Friday, July 31, 2009

Garden of the Gods

A really long time ago, my mother took me out to Colorado Springs to take a look at Colorado College. I didn't go there, but it was the only trip I ever took just with my mother, and one of the few times in my upbringing that I had her all to myself, because we had a large family. While traveling around Colorado recently, I got the opportunity to revisit this beautiful place where the rock formations create a natural secret garden in the middle of the high desert.

The name of the park goes back to August 1859 when two surveyors discovered the site. The story goes that one of the surveyors, M. S. Beach, suggested it would be a "capital place for a beer garden." His companion, the young Rufus Cable, awestruck by the impressive rock formations, exclaimed, "Beer Garden! Why it is a fit place for the gods to assemble. We will call it the Garden of the Gods."

Back when I first visited the park, deeded to the city of Colorado Springs by the descendants of Charles Elliot Perkins who desired the area remain open to the public free of charge, there was no impressive visitor center as there is today. But I do remember some raucous college boys climbing the rocks. I was more focused on their activities than the rocks themselves. Today you still can scale the big red rocks, but must obtain a permit to do so. So if you find your self in the Denver area, which has gotten to be a really big city, I suggest you get on the freeway and head south to Colorado Springs. It's just an hour away, and there you can see the Garden of the Gods.-- Ruth Mitchell

(c) 2009 - Ruth Mitchell - all rights reserved

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