9/28/16 (Wednesday) in Monument, CO (Colorado Heights Resort-ROD)
Time to get out in the world again. Our first visit was to the Garden of the Gods, a Colorado Springs city park considered by Tripadvisor the best city park in the US.
Not only is it amazing, but it’s free. As stated on this plaque:
Here is an overview. Can you see Pike’s Peak? Do you see in the mountain range behind the red rocks with the pines and yellow aspens? You’d probably need to enlarge the image.
Can you see the back of a crouching puma towards the top right? I had fun spotting creatures, real and imagined, in the rocks. There’s also a lion’s head, facing left.
Some more rocks.
Further south was the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. Florissant is the town where this exists. Way back in time a group of volcanoes spewed a volcanic mud flow (called lahar) that covered much of the meadow below. In doing so it covered up to 15 feet of the Redwoods growing there at the time. Yes, this a a tropical forest back then. This mud flow contained silica and minerals that slowly leached into the very cells of the wood, turning them into petrified (rock) wood. They have a 1 mile loop walk along which you can see several of the redwood stumps that have been uncovered.
Because there was a lake formed, with a mat of slimy algae at the top that caught lots of leaves and insects, and then this mat sank to the bottom, allowing these remains to be preserved in the slate that eventually formed there. This area is world famous for the number and variety of fossils found here, with most of those fossils now residing in museums world wide. We got to see some that are still here.
There is even a yurt here where you can look for fossils yourself, with the aid of a ranger.
It was such a beautiful day to enjoy these 2 areas, we found ourselves relaxing in another sense.