http://www.denverartmuseum.org/ * 720-865-5000 * Denver Art Museum * 100 W 14th Ave Pkwy * Denver, CO 80204
A day of art all around for me as me and friends wandered into the Denver Art Museum on their ‘free day’ which is the first Saturday of the month. Being my first visit to Denver’s impressive Art Museum, I enjoyed my visit and will definitely be back. Hosted in Denver’s Civic Center, this Art Museum is reknown for its collections that expanse well over 68,000 works of art and has quite a notable collection of American Indian Art. Originally founded in 1893 at the Denver Artist’s Club, it took on the name of the “Denver Art Association” in 1916 and moved into its first galleries in 1918 where it became known as its current namesake. Taking over the current building in 1971 that was designed by Gio Ponti and local architect James Sudler as a 24-sided, 7 story architectural art piece in of itself. In 2006, the Duncan Pavillion grew to a 5,700 square feet second story additon to the original Morgan Wing clad in titanium and glass. The museum hosts nine curatorial departments: (1) Modern and Contemporary, (2) Native Arts, (3) Architecture, Design and Graphics, (4) Asian Art, (5) New World Art, (6) Painting and Sculpture, (7) Photography, (8)Western Art, and (9) Textile Arts. The Museum has and does display the arts of India, China, Japan, Southwest Asia, Tibet, Nepal, Southeast Asia, religious art, traditional folk crafts, modern and contemporary collections of 20th-century artists including the Herbert Bayer collection, Man Ray, Andy Warhol, David Hockney, Robert Motherwell, Damien Hirst, Philip Guston, Dan Flavin, John DeAndrea, Gottfried Helnwein, Yue Minjun, Native American arts (spanning several hundred tribes) with Northwest Coastal woodcarvings, Naskapi painted leather garments, Winnebago twined weaving, Plains Indian beadwork, Navajo weaving, Pueblo pottery, California basketry; Oceanic arts spanning all the major islands with wood carvings, painted bark cloth from Somoa, Tonga, and Hawaii; Melanesian collections from Papua New Guinea & New Ireland; drawings, paintings; African Arts with sculptures, textiles, jewelry, paintings, printmaking, drawings, Yoruba works; New World Arts; Latin American arts including ceramics, stone, gold, jade, furnishings, silver from Spanish Colonial periods; Pre-Columbian arts from Mesoamerica, lower Central America, and South America; Mayan art from Mexico, guatemala, and Belize; European and American paintings and photographic works; Coptic and pre-Columbia textiles; Western American Art; the Harmsen Collection; and many more …. The Museum cannot be completely covered in a day – so make your visit to span the weekend. Rating: 5 stars out of 5.
One of Colorado’s Society for Creative Anachronism’s (SCA) premiere events … Battlemoor represents the re-creation of the “Age of Chivalry” during whence the Dark Ages have ended and the Middle Ages begin. The focus was on the chivalric ideals of heroism, picturesque castles, glorious churches, pangeants, camps, tournaments, charity and gallant self-sacrifice as it swept across Europe. With active members of the SCA working hard to replicate the historic beauty of the Period with costumes, arts, crafts, battles, competitive tournaments, encampments, parties, and events. From Vikings to Knights, Gypsies to wanderers … it was like stepping into the past. With the backdrop of the amazing picturesque mountains of Buena Vista they recreated the Kingdom of Battlemoor. A six day camping event of feasting, swimming, battling, fighting, debating, conversing, partying, and friendships. It was put on by the Kingdom of the Outlands, one of the 20 Kingdoms found within the SCA.
Our first experience with this amazing event was as vendor’s … The Tree Leaves Oracle sharing cultural arts from Vikings, Pirates, Middle Ages, and the fantastical beliefs of faeries, creatures, and folklore. We had a wonderful time making new friends and re-acquainting with old friends. My son Cian had a blast playing with friends he met at Northern Realms War as did I. The Vikings of the Northern Realms War as well as the Gypsy Camp enchanted us with evening hours of festivity, food, drink, and fun. Thank you all. The Beach party enchanted the wee prince as he won rubber knight duckies during the Marshmallow catapult game and Spear the Santa games. Roasting marshmallows on the fire, hot dogs, pancake breakfasts, Roasted goats, pigs, and bacon wrapped corn were amongst a few of the delicacies we were treated to. The Snow Dragon Inn blessed me with many libations. The Merchant coordinator did an amazing job laying out the site, making sure the vendors were well cared for, and had free lemonade/snacks daily for us to take a break at. Thank you. The pond was cold, but refreshing swim, as was the river. The Cottonwood Meadows site was phenomenal. We’ll be back, It was a great time. Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The only Starbucks in Old Colorado City and Manitou, this great location has a friendly staff, good drinks, and great seating area. The internet is strong and allows productivity. There is a bit of transient traffic from the street corner and “sleepers” that seem to lounge there which is a pain when you want to have a place to sit or work and have to sit somewhere uncomfortable because a non-paying guest is sleeping on the comfy chairs. Otherwise my experiences have been great here. Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5Visited 9/5/17
Ah the relaxation of a Starbucks, and this one in the heart of the 16th Street Mall, crowded with tourists on a rainy Colorado afternoon. Limited seating, one bathroom (with a code 74147) down a hall, and friendly staff (as usual). Good window viewing of the Mall. Decent wifi as usually can be expected from Starbucks. The few seats and tables there are, is decent seating. Definitely a drop off point. Parking is limited as its a crowded touristy downtown hub with 2 hour max meters. But hey, it’s around the corner from the Money Museum which is a free one-room display of currency history of the region. Free bag of shredded money as a souvenir. Got some peaceful work done to my drug-of-choice the Chai Creme Frappacino. ~ Leaf McGowan. Visited 8/7/17 : 3 stars out of 5.
The Magic Fest http://www.themagicfest.com/ Friday August 18th – Saturday August 19, 2017 1st Annual, EB Rains Jr Memorial Park / DL Parsons Theater, 11800 Community Center Drive, Northglenn, Colorado
The premiere consortium of magicians, illusionists, and entertainers with a galleria of magical goods, tricks, entertainers, and services. Hosted in the heart of Northglenn, this year’s fest was its first over Friday August 18th and Saturday the 19th. It all began with Intrigue (http://themagicfest.com/intrigue/) friday night in the 1920’s / 1930’s era theme for adults with an evening of speakeasy and partying accompanied by magic, drinks, jazz, and vendors. Our booth the Tree Leaves’ Oracle featured the 1920’s wizard Leaf doing sleight of hand, close-up and stage tricks within the booth. The costumes were fantastic around the party and event. Hosting in the green glory of the EB Rains Junior Memorial Park with outdoor entertainment and bars hosted for free. Within the theater were special paid performances of magical delight. The main stage hosted the Jazz Spiders with a mentalism twist of Anthem & Aria, followed by the Bringers of Swing. On the Sleight of Hand stage Shawn Preston and Joe Given performed, and in the bar were Don Zellner, Brandon Parker, Joe Givan, and Shawn Preston doing card tricks. Magicians walked around the festival doing tricks everywhere with Salida Circum, the travelling escape room, and much more. David and Leeman performed in the theater for shows at 7 and the Sideshows, Oddities, and Spirits performance by the Theater of Dreams Carol Massie and Joe Givan.
Saturday was a full day of fun for the family with lots of kid activities, shows, performances, and fun. Vendors, food trucks, bouncy castles, wand making, and fun in the park. Over 25 magicians performed during the event over 5 stages and roaming performers. The entertainment all free to anyone wanting to attend and be amazed. Cliff Davidson and Mark Strivings bedazzled children in the Kid’s tent. Steve and Carissa Walters did kid magic in the activity area sending home the young ones with tricks to start their own performances. Bryan Parker and Cosmo Solano performed closeup magic on stage 2. Professor Phelyx and Anthem / Aria performed mentalism on stage 3. Richard Kewsell and the Sleightly Impossible (Gene Gordon and Matt Brandt) performed parlor and cabaret magic on stage 4. Alec Mueller and Trevor Vernor, teen magicians, walked around the fest performing all around. The Genii Leaf performed at the Tree Leaves Oracle booth out front. Lots of gifts, tricks, books, face painting, food, and services were offered by vendors local and far.
Once again the City of Northglenn provided an amazing free festival for everyone to enjoy with thousands in attendance. It was a grand event indeed. Can’t wait til the next one! And gearing up to their spectacular Pirate festival as well in a few weeks. Rated 5 stars out of 5
The Money Museum is part of the Denver Federal Reserve and is located along the 16th street mall. It is open Monday through Friday and offers free tours during the day. This little one room display enables the visitor to learn about the Federal Reserve and how money works. While there is no admission, you need to be at least 18 years of age and go through a screening. After the tour, they gift you a bag of shredded money. I actually didn’t really enjoy the visit. Glad it was free. They need a better display and presentation. Rating: 2 star out of 5 (Visited 8/5/17)
The iconic “Main Street” that most think of when thinking of the center of Denver. This foot traffic and shuttle bus strip dotted by upscale stores, chain restaurants, and entertainment avenues is one of the hotspots for tourism to Denver. It is a central drop off location for those staying downtown. It offers a lot of activities for its patrons and visitors. It is a central location for entertainment, festivals, fairs, shows, events, flash mobs, street performances, and zombie crawls. It boasts a free transit mall ride or shuttle bus called the Free MallRide. I’ve had many memories of this place from the Denver Freeze to the Denver Zombie Crawls, to late night and daytime activities. During the summer, the center strip was dotted with free pianos to play, lounge chairs, games, chess, bean bags, rolling chairs, and local performances. ~ Leaf McGowan. Visited 8/5/17 – 5 stars out of 5
The tree-lined pedestrian and transit mall runs approximately 125 miles across downtown Denver from Wewatta Street at the historic Union Square to the Civic Center Station at 16th and Broadway. There are over 300 stores dotted along the corridor ranging from chains to locally owned shops. As costs become over the top, more chains have replaced local businesses through time. There are over 50 restaurants and the Denver Pavillions Mall. The Mall opened in 1982 as a pedestrian strip running from Market Street to Broadway but has since expanded to Wynkoop Street in 2001 and to Union Station in 2002. It was designed by Pei Cobb Freed and Partners.
Directory of Services: Please visit web site linked above. As we review various places and events, they will be linked here in the near future.
I experienced my first visit to the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art on its infamous “penny admission day for Colorado residents” on August 5, 2017. The architectural style of the museum portrays contemporary art in its own style and facade, with a hidden entrance down what appears to be a dead-end graffiti styled corridor out front. The rooftop has a great garden with modern-style and wonderful views of the city. The bubble chill zone on fake grass pads is also a nice touch. Its a great space for exhibiting art. While this particular selection of exhibits was not very fascinating the museum itself had lots of great pleasure. I also was very impressed with the Jenny Morgan exhibit and how it was presented. The other two, not so much. As I’m not a great fan of contemporary art, I did enjoy my visit. ~ Leaf McGowan Rating: 4 star out of 5
The MCA or DCMA was founded in 1996 as a home for contemporary art in the city. For its first seven years, it took over an old renovated fish market in the Sakura Square downtown Denver, being founded by Sue Cannon. By 2003 the Board of Trustees donated land to build a permanent building. October 2007 they opened their current, new 27,000 square foot environmentally sustainable building in lower downtown Denver created by architect David Adjaye. It was styled with hidden skylights and natural lighting with large windows looking out to Denver’s streets. The building possessed five galleries as well as a shop, library, education spaces, and a rooftop cafe.
Mario’s Two Fisted Pizza Parlour 1626 Market St, Denver, CO 80202
One of my favorite Pizza joints in Denver, Colorado. Mario’s Two Fisted Pizza is conveniently located next door to the infamous Double Daughters Salotto that is by far one of my favorite bars. Back in 2005-2012 when I lived in Colorado … Double Daughters and Mario’s were amongst some of my usual haunts. I unfortunately haven’t had the chance to visit again since 2012 (partially because my life doesn’t support eating out anymore). But from memories … Some of the most superb pizza around. As they are open to 2 or 3 am most nights, great place to grab a slice after clubbing or bar brewing. Rated: 5 stars out of 5
The whimsical humpty dumpy egg sculptures off Colorado Boulevard between Tejon and Pikes Peak have a strange history in Colorado Springs, especially having become the target of multiple vandalism accounts and pranks. They were originally created by artisan Kimber Fiebiger of Minneapolis who submitted one as an installation for the annual Art on the Streets program in 2003. The first one was called “Hump D” and sat in front of the Pikes Peak Center. Local businesses were impressed and commissioned additional ones. One was stolen in 2003, others vandalized over several years, and cost the city much in repairs and replacements. There are now four of them on south Tejon near Colorado Avenue. There is the one that sits on the wall, another playing a violin, another reading a book, and one toppling and hanging on for its life under the parking garage. Rating: 5 stars out of 5(Visited 7/20/17)
Interested in this review or story? have things to add? please comment below. Do you enjoy this article? if so, please consider buying the writer a chai, lunch, or help cover gas funds for covering these sites. Thomas Baurley is a work from home single father sharing his inspirations, treasures, findings, and travels. Tell him thank you if you like his work, Please donate. Need a new or updated review? contact him for more information. Continue reading The Humpty Dumpty Brothers, Colorado Springs, Colorado→
A bit of greenspace in the heart of downtown Colorado Springs. It is Colorado Springs’s first city park and was donated to the city by its founder, General William Jackson Palmer in 1871. Most famous for its Uncle Wilbur Fountain that choreographics water fountain displays to music in a jack-in-the-box fashion, a thrill set for kids splashing around and playing in the water during summers. The Park is also equipt with a playground area that the kids’ love. Unfortunately there is a bit of a homeless problem in the park, and in the past has had issues with homeless camping out. Since then, the park has beautified and cleaned up some of the distractions that scared away some patrons. The park has beautiful green grass lots with shade trees, picnic tables, horseshoe rings, shuffleboards, and during the winter on occasion an ice skating rink. On thursdays during the summer there are vendors, crafts, and food from 10 am – 4 pm. Rating: 3 stars out of 5(Visited 7/20/17)Other Reviews. Also nearby is the water fountain park called America the Beautiful Park where kids can also play and splash around in the fountain water to cool off during the summers.
Interested in this review or story? have things to add? please comment below. Do you enjoy this article? if so, please consider buying the writer a chai, lunch, or help cover gas funds for covering these sites. Thomas Baurley is a work from home single father sharing his inspirations, treasures, findings, and travels. Tell him thank you if you like his work, Please donate. Need a new or updated review? contact him for more information. Continue reading Acacia Park, downtown Colorado Springs, Colorado→
This beautifully sculpted statue watching over Colorado Boulevard between Pikes Peak and Tejon is a majestic sculpture created by artisan Bobbie Carlyle. It is based on her bronze piece “Twilight” from her website at http://bobbiecarlylesculpture.com/Twilight.php. A large street version in Bronze, This fantastical piece represents a mythical woman emerging from twilight as darkness falls, as if from a cocoon, energized by her potential that lies before her path. Bobbie Carlyle is a Loveland Colorado artisan who is a self-made woman funded by her art as the living dream most artists possess. Bobbie states about her art “I create monumental bronze sculptures that capture bold strength and provocative intelligence. My figures go beyond first impressions to challenge the intellect and cause the viewer to look within themselves for greater meaning. My work reflects my love for classic sculpture, while presenting a modern approach with its presentation and a psychological approach for connection to the struggles and triumphs of life.” caption from Bobbie’s web site Bobbie began her art about 30 years ago. Sculpture is located near the whymsical statues of the Humpty Dumpty brothers. Rated: 5 stars out of 5 (Visited 7/20/17)
Interested in this review or story? have things to add? please comment below. Do you enjoy this article? if so, please consider buying the writer a chai, lunch, or help cover gas funds for covering these sites. Thomas Baurley is a work from home single father sharing his inspirations, treasures, findings, and travels. Tell him thank you if you like his work, Please donate. Need a new or updated review? contact him for more information. Continue reading Twilight by Bobbie Carlyle (Colorado Springs, Co)→
Formerly Confluence Park, this 30 acre park was recreated and re-dedicated as “America the Beautiful” in 1992 as part of Colorado Springs Downtown Action Plan for assurance of the vitality of the downtown area. The Julie Penrose fountain was added in 2007 as a fabulous water park section with an slowly turning modern art piece in the center of a timed fountain that patrons can cool off in. The art piece reminds alot of people of the infamous “Stargate”. Its called the “Continuum”.
This beautiful park has become a weekly adventure for me and my son during the summer months for him to splash and play in the fountain waters. Lots of open grass fields for the kids to play,
an amazing kid’s playground very artistically done, and great recreational features such as picnic tables, benches, walkways, and restrooms. Rating 5 stars out of 5(Visited 7/20/2008; 7/1/2017; 7/20/2017 – formerly rated 4 stars in 2008).
Interested in this review or story? have things to add? please comment below. Do you enjoy this article? if so, please consider buying the writer a chai, lunch, or help cover gas funds for covering these sites. Thomas Baurley is a work from home single father sharing his inspirations, treasures, findings, and travels. Tell him thank you if you like his work, Please donate. Need a new or updated review? contact him for more information. Continue reading America the Beautiful City Park, Colorado Springs, Colorado→
The infamous highway to the Rocky Mountain National Park gateway city of Estes Park from Loveland Colorady. It run from Granby, Colorado to the Nebraska Border east of Laird Colorado following the Colorado River Valley. It cuts through the Rocky Mountain National Park at Estes Park, going over Milner Pass, up into the Gore Mountain Range exiting the National Park at US 36 near Deer Ridge. It is considered the highest continous highway located in the USA. Headed east from the Rocky Mountains, it goes from Estes Park to Loveland, intersects I-25 and Highway 287. It continues into Greeley, past Highway 85, U.S. 34, and crosses the South Platte River, then heads east into Nebraska.
Located along the shores of Lake Loveland, near Highway 34 is a beautiful tranquil sculpture garden that is free and a public park for all to enjoy. A popular tourist destination to stop at on the way to the Rocky Mountains and other activities in the area located in the heart of Loveland.
The garden is a unique showcase of local sculpture art that has been displayed here since 1985. It is also the location for the annual “Sculpture in the Park” festival held by the Loveland High Plains Art Council. There are over 154 sculptures in the park on permanent display created by world renown artisans encompassing over 10 acres with foot paths, sidewalks, benches, restrooms, and picnic areas.
It has been cited as being one of the “200 most important modern and contemporary art sites around the world”. It is open year round with no admission fee except during the festival. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 6/1/17.
Located right on Manitou Avenue in downtown Manitou Springs, Colorado is a sweet tasting natural Artesian soda spring called Cheyenne Spring. This sweet tasting bubbly elixir is believed to be over 20,000 years old and healing for digestive issues and osteoporosis. Drinking water this old empowers the soul with the geology of the Earth and peps the spirit. It comes from aquifers located a mile below the earth’s surface. This is one of the 7 most popular springs in the area.
Most of the Springs of Manitou were known for their health benefits, especially with digestive systems. This was especially helpful to the tribes visiting the waters as their diets were rich with wild game, the meat of which was notable for acidic effects on the body when consumed. These mineral waters helped re-balance the stomach acids.
This magical spring of Manitou has added health benefits based on its mineral contents that are well known for helping with blood pressure, nerve transmission, muscle contractions, osteoporosis, the heart, bones, teeth, and blood coagulation. It is also good for helping release energy from food digestion, regulating fluids, and stimulating the kidneys to release toxins. Magically it is a blood, bone, and heart tonic. It’s year round temperature is approximately 49-55 degrees Fahrenheit.
The waters that create this spring are said to fissure up from a mile beneath the surface fed by aquifers created from rainwater and snow melt of Pikes Peak. When the water reaches these depths, they heat up from the Earth’s core, become mineralized, and flow up through fissures and cracks in the Ute Pass fault zone where they become carbonated within limestone caverns, to the surface where they are tapped as natural springs or wells.
This was one of the natural springs frequented by the Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Jicarilla Apache, and Ute Indians throughout history. It was held as a sacred site for healing, meditation, and peace. Plains and mountain tribes agreed to peace during their visits while frequenting the springs together. It was the white man to break the peace of the area.
Fur trappers, miners, and traders came to the area and discovered the magic waters. It became an area known for curative effects in treating tuberculosis. When the Europeans and white settlers came to the area, they pushed the tribes from this area. The spring became commercialized in the 1800s. During the 1870’s, this was one of three springs located in Soda Springs park: Navajo, Cheyenne, Shoshone, and Manitou Springs.
By 1872, the Town Company, owned by Manitou Springs founder Dr. William A. Bell and his friend General William J. Palmer built a rustic stick pagoda over it and created a park called Soda Springs Park on the spot. They made the first bottling plant that year with an associated bath house combining the waters with Navajo Springs to prosper from its magical health benefits.
By the 1890’s it was contained by the current sandstone spring house by the Manitou Mineral Water Company and bottled. The spring house was constructed of stone quarried from the Kenmuir Quarry where Red Rocks open space now sits just east of town. Within the spring house is a historic copper-clad, carbon dioxide gas collector settled in the center of the cistern which the water company boasted was the world’s first mechanism to capture natural gas emitting from the source and being able to re-introduce it during the bottling process for the production of the best naturally sparkling water on the market called “Manitou table water”.
As the region was commercialized, the park diminished in size and was taken over by businesses. It was flanked by Soda Springs and Navajo Springs. When the company collapsed, which many believe was caused by a curse placed by the Ute that no white business would every prosper from the springs, the font and housing fell into disrepair until restored by the Mineral Springs Foundation in 1990-1991.
The current public font was crafted by local sculpture artisan Paul Rogers in Bronze. In June of 2011, a coli form bacteria was found in the spring closing the spring until it was dealt with. It was cleaned and re-opened shortly after. It is one of the most popular springs visited in the area.
Cheyenne Spring, Manitou Springs, Colorado, USA
Cheyenne Spring is notable for its high Calcium, Chloride, Magnesium, Sodium, Sulfate, & Potassium content. Calcium for bones, teeth, heart, blood coagulation, helps control blood pressure, heart disease, PMS, and osteoporosis. Chloride is an electrolyte helping with fluid balances. Magnesium is good for bone and tooth formation, vital for nerve conduction and muscle contractions, and aids energy release from foods. Sodium helps with blood pressure & regulates fluids. Potassium also helps with blood pressure, nerve transmission, and muscle contractions. Stimulates the kidneys & releasing toxins.
Garden of the Gods is a unique natural geological park that is located in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs … and is a Registered National Natural Landmark. It’s open from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. in the summer and 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. in the winter. The park boasts over a million visitors a year or more.
History and Mythology
Where the Great Plains grasslands meet the low-lying pinon-juniper woodlands of the American Southwest at the base of the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains a geological upheaval occurred along the Trans-Rocky Mountain Fault system creating these spectacular features over a million years ago. Horizontal ancient beds of sandstone, limestone, and conglomerates were pushed and tilted vertically when the tectonic plates pushed together. Glaciations, wind, and water erosion shaped the features over hundreds of thousands of years.
This geologic feature was seen as sacred grounds by the original inhabitants of the area, potentially visited and used for spirituality possibly over 3,000 years ago to present. As early as 1330 B.C.E. evidence of human occupation has been found from petroglyphs, fire rings, pottery, and stone tools have been left behind. The Ute Indians claim that their people always had lived where Garden of the Gods Park now stands and their people were created there and around Manitou.
The Kiowa, Apache, Shoshone, Pawnee, Cheyenne, and Arapaho also claim their peoples visited or lived here. It was known as a pivotal crossroads and meeting place for many indigenous peoples and nomadic tribes gathered together for peace. Rivaling tribes were said to even have laid down their weapons before entering the shadows of the sandstone features.
Two sets of petroglyphs were found here – the first hidden in a crevice on the east side of South Gateway Rock depicting a circular shield-like figure divided into four parts with a rain cloud terrace image, a Thunderbird image, zigzag lines, and image of wheat or corn and a faint flower-like image with a dozen dots forming a semi-circle over its top which some experts said was done recently in the last 100 years copying Indian designs from a book. The other petroglyph is pecking in the rock discovered in the 1980’s and estimated to date to 1500 C.E. most likely an Ute Indian design potentially depicting a deer, a third of a buffalo head, and maybe a stone tool seemingly telling a story.
Alleged Native American legends of the site have been told, their authenticity unknown. Marion E. Gridley wrote in “Indian Legends of American Scenes” telling a tale about a great flood that covered all the mountains nearby Pikes Peak. As the waters receded, the Great Spirit petrified the carcasses of all animals killed by the flood into sandstone rolling them down into this valley as evidence of the Great Flood.
The second was written by Ford C. Frick saying “… in the nestling ales and on the grassy plains which lie at the foot of the Great White Mountain that points the way to heaven lived the Chosen People. Here they dwelt in happiness together. And above them on the summit of the Mighty Peak where stand the Western Gates of Heaven, dwelt the Manitou. And that the Chosen might know of his love the Manitou did stamp uon the Peak the image of his face that all might see and worship him … but one day as the storm clouds played about the Peak, the image of the Manitou was hid .. and down from the North swept a barbaric tribe of giants, taller than the spruce which grew upon the mountain side and so great that in their stamping strides they shook the earth. And with the invading host came gruesome beasts – unknown and awful in their mightiness – monstrous beasts that would devour the earth and tread it down … and as the invading hosts came on the Chosen Ones fell to the earth at the first gentle slope of mountain and prayed to Manitou to aid it. Then came to pass a wondrous miracle, the clouds broke away and sunshine smote the Peak and from the very summit, looking down, appeared the face of Manitou himself. And stern he looked upon the advancing host, and as he looked the giants and beasts turned to stone within their very steps … “
If this site was in Australia or Europe, it would be named castles and fortresses associated with Gods, Deities, Spirits, or Faeries.
Westerners first discovered the features in 1859 by two surveyors who were here to build Old Colorado City. M.S. Beach, one of the surveyors thought it would be a great location for a beer garden. The other surveyor replied to him stating “A Beer Garden? Why this is fit place for the Gods to assemble. We will call it Garden of the Gods”. General William Jackson Palmer who was known for his contributions of building Colorado Springs convinced his colleague Charles Elliot Perkins to buy the 240 acres embracing the features. In 1909 his children donated the land to the city of Colorado Springs.
The original family that donated the land to the public required that it would always remain free, and that is what it remains today. Garden of the Gods stands as a great park for hiking, walking, bicycling, rock climbing, picnicking, special events, and weddings … The park has it all … protected as 1,387 scenic acres … and presents itself as a unique tourist / information center, with a theater and gift shop near the entrance. Within are 15 miles of trails ranging in various levels of difficulty from beginner to advance for hiking and exercise.
A historical video greets you at the welcome center and tells the tale that began in the 1870’s when the railroads carved westward, when General William Jackson Palmer founded the city of Colorado Springs and upon discovering this natural beauty, urged his friend Charles Elliott Perkins, the head of Burlington Railroad, to make his home where the park now stands. He lived there until he finished his railway from Chicago to Colorado Springs. His railroad project wasn’t a success and never made its destination in the springs.
His homestead eventually became his summer home in 1879. He purchased 480 acres and never actualized building on it, leaving the land in its natural state and for the public. When he died in 1907, he made arrangements for the land to be a public park, and this was enacted by his children in 1909 forever as the Garden of the Gods “where it shall remain free to the public, where no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold, or dispensed, where no building or structure shall be erected except those necessary to properly care for, protect, and maintain the area as a public park.” That is exactly what they’ve done …. and its a beautiful place to be.
The second largest city in the state of Colorado, following under Denver in populace, Colorado Springs often nicknamed “The Springs” is a municipal hub for government, military, education, religion, sports, and recreation. It is the heart of El Paso County and is located in Central Colorado on the eastern slopes of the Rockies, in the shadow of Cheyenne Mountain, NORAD, and Pike’s Peak. It is located along Fountain Creek as its main water source. The region of Colorado Springs is located within the high desert of the Southern Rocky Mountains bordering its west, with the high plains to the east, high desert lands to the south, and the Palmer Divide to the north. It is approximately 60 miles south of Denver – the Mile High City, of which it beats in elevation at 6,035 feet. It is home to the United States Olympic Committee and training center. Colorado Springs has a population of over a 1/2 million residents. It encompasses over 195 square miles.
The area that is now Colorado Springs, was once home to the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute tribes of the first inhabitants of the Americas. Once Euro-American settlers populated the area, the lands here were included in the 1803 Louisiana purchase and the 1854 Kansas Territory records. The first settlement by Euro-Americans occured in 1859 and was part of the Jefferson Territory, at the Front Range confluence of Fountain and Camp Creeks during the Gold Rush plaguing the Pikes Peak region in the mid 1800’s. It became the capital of the Colorado Territory in 1861, but in 1862 the capital was moved to Denver. By 1871 the “Colorado Springs Company” established the towns of La Font (now known as Manitou Springs) and the Fountain Colony up and down stream of Old Colorado City (the foundation of Colorado Springs). The former “Fountain Colony” became “Colorado Springs”. At a later date, that which was “Fountain Colony” became Fountain, Colorado and that which was “Old Colorado City” became Colorado Springs. The Military camp and town of “Fort Carson” was built within the middle area between Fountain and Old Colorado City. These “annexations” occured primarily around the late 1800’s and included the creation and division of Seavey’s Addition, West Colorado Springs, East End, North End, and the Broadmoor suburb that hosted the Broadmoor Casino. By 1895 there were over four Mining exchanges and over 275 mining brokers running the city.
After the mining boom gaining attention to the city, the experimental scientist Nikola Tesla created a Tesla Experimental station here on Knob Hill from 1899-1901. The Airport was established in 1919, with the Alexander Airport towards the north end of the city opening in 1925. The current Colorado Springs Municipal Airport was established in 1927.
By the 1940’s Colorado Springs became a central hub for the military, first with the establishment of Peterson Air Force Base in 1942 during World War II. By the 1950’s it was the Cold War headquarters for the ADC Air Defense Command. Peterson Air Force base was reopened in 1951 as a US Air Force Base and by the 1970’s NORAD was built within Cheyenne Mountain. The city boomed again with the construction of colleges and Universities making it a place of learning with the acquisition of “University of Colorado: Colorado Springs”, “Pikes Peak Community College”, “Colorado College”, and “Colorado Technical University”. By the late 1970’s Colorado Springs became the U.S. Olympics training Center.
The region of Colorado Springs is located in a semi-arid climate zone gaining quickly changing weather patterns and temperature zones from the chinook winds that come down off the mountains during the winter, and drastic rapid warming in the summers. It is considered to be sunny year round at an average of 243 sunny days a year. It gets approximately 38 inches of snow a year, although the snow doesn’t stick around long. The region receives roughly 16-18 inches of rainfall a year. It is also a popular location for afternoon thunderstorms, even though they don’t always produce rain. It is one of the most active places in the United States for lightning strikes nad is one of the reasons Nikola Tesla selected it as a location for his lab studying electricity.
Colorado Springs has become a backdrop for many art projects, films, and books including but not limited to Stargate, Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, War Games, Homicide Hunter, and the Prestige. In 2013 North Korea produced a propaganda film stating Colorado Springs as one of its four main targets for a missle strike.
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The Orient Land Trusta.k.a. “Valley View Hot Springs” email@example.com, olt.org * PO Box 65, Villa Grove, CO 81155-0065 * 719.256.4315 * 9 am – 10 pm. Open to the public 7 days a week – closed December 1st – 28th.
This fantastic Land trust is dedicated to the preservation of natural resources, wildlife habitat, open space, historic and geologic features of the northern San Luis Valley for the enjoyment of current and future generations. The OLT protects a humongous bat colony, hot springs, alternative energy use, and is well known for its high altitude dark skies for astronomy, exposed active geological fault, limestone caves, numerous trails, historic buildings, town sites at an abandoned iron mine, and a working ranch. The OLT is a naturist community (clothing optional) with 24 hour access to the hotsprings when camping or renting their rustic lodging cabins. They limit the number of visitors based on space availability and environmental impact. For current pictures and views … visit their web site, linked above. The entire grounds are clothing optional – while the majority of the guests tend to swim and soak without swimsuits, there is no pressure either way. The OLT welcomes a diverse clientele of couples, singles, and families from all walks of life – children are always welcome, though require supervision. They offer camping and cabins, their indoor lodging have heat and electricity, though there are no telephones, clocks, radios, or tvs in any of the rooms. All of the ponds and pools are outdoors – there are no private pools or hot tubs – there are four natural ponds with temperatures ranging in the 90’s, an 80′ long spring-fed swimming pool (no chlorine) in the high 80’s, and a heated hot pool around 105 degrees. Our visit to this fantastic resort was over the weekend of 11/10-11/11. A must visit for any hot springs or naturalist enthusiast. Rating 5 stars out of 5.
One of my favorite parts of Colorado is its great diversity in the ranges of the Rocky Mountains. One of those hotspots of “oddity” is the vast Sahara-like desert of sand dunes in the San Luis Valley. Of course California, New Mexico, and Arizona has tons of sand dunes – but Colorado’s is very unique, especially at the foot of snow-covered mountain peaks and being the tallest dunes in the United States. This geologic feature extends 5 x 7 miles with a grand height of 700 feet above the valley floor (over 7,600 feet above sea level). As early as 440,000 years ago, the dunes were formed from the Rio Grande River’s and associated tributaries flowing through the San Luis Valley. Over a period of several thousand years, and continually growing today, the westerly winds blow the sand over the Rockies and down along the river flood plain, collecting sand, and depositing them on the east edge of the San Luis Valley before the winds rise up and over the Sangre de Cristo mountain range shaping these huge stable dunes. There are also some parts of the dunes where patches of black sand can be found made up of magnetite deposits as crystalline iron black oxide. Medano Creek winds through the dunes as it is fed by melting snow from the mountains. It extends roughly 10 miles, flowing from spring and early summer from the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and disappears into the floor of the valley. An unusual feature of the creek is that it never finds a permanent and stable streambed causing small underwater sand dunes that act like dams are continuously formed and destroyed, causing what seems like “surges” with “waves of water” flowing downstream with intervals of a few seconds to a few minutes, and can appear as large as a foot in height with an appearance of an “ocean wave”. The geological area is known as a “High Desert” with summer temperatures not typical of normal high desert lands, varying from high and low temperatures of exceedly cold nights (even below zero). There are also alpine lakes and tundra in the park, with six peaks over 13,000 feet in elevation, ancient spruces, pine forests, aspens, cottonwoods, grasslands, and wetlands. The park is also notated as being the quietest park in the United States. The park, is managed by the National Park Service, and has been a place of enjoyment under their reigns since November 2000 with over 85,000 acres. In 2004 it became known as the “Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve”. It can be reached west from Mosca along country road 6 North, or from the south along CO road 150. The park hosts a great visitor center, a campground, four wheel drive trails, restrooms, and picnic areas. The park is great for hiking, wading, sand castles, sandbox play, sunbathing, sand sledding, rough play, skimboarding, photoshoots, and ATV sports. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Visited 7/12/2008. 2/16/2017. Review by Thomas Baurley, Leaf McGowan, Leafworks and Technogypsie Research/Review Services.