September 12, 2011

C/S Trip Day 4: Forest & Garden

Saturday morning Jeramy took me to Pike National Forest for a 2 mile hike down to the reservoir. The forest was very much secluded from the city, driving up into the mountains away from all the busy-ness. It was beautiful! No paved roads or constructed buildings here. The pale green grass was long and wispy. The tall and thin aspen trees abound here. There were plenty of inviting spots like this where sunlight peeps through the forest canopy with partial sun, partial shade.

Notice the steep grade!

I must be truthful and say that there are no restrooms here. (Duh!) And so I was a little concerned about meeting a bear while finding a spot to relieve myself. There are also elk, birds & squirrels. Snakes are not as abundant, but they have been spotted.

Along the beaten trail.

Pretty fuzzy purple flowers

After 2 miles of hiking downhill we come to the reservoir. Currently the level is low, but that will change when the snow comes and melts later in the season. I counted about 5 other small groups of people out here fishing & hiking, which is very busy for any one time.

Then we hiked 2 miles back, up hill.
This picture doesn't do the view justice.
(Nor do any of the ones I've taken.)

Finally, one together.

The sign, marred by bullets.

The following pictures are on the descent from the Forest. Notice how it looks so desolate. It is so peaceful there. You feel like you're alone, in the middle of nowhere. At first you're overwhelmed at the vast expanse, the splendor of it all. It's very humbling. God, the Lord, who created all of these things just out of the word from His mouth and it all came to be. And it's as if this great work were of no effort for Him. And how is it that God, who made all this marvelous wonder, would bother to create humans, as small as we are in comparison to all this?!

O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!
From the mouth of infants and nursing babes You have established strength
Because of Your adversaries,
To make the enemy and the revengeful cease.

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers,
The moon and the stars, which You have ordained;
What is man that You take thought of him,
And the son of man that You care for him?
Yet You have made him a little lower than God,
And You crown him with glory and majesty!
You make him to rule over the works of Your hands;
You have put all things under his feet,
All sheep and oxen,
And also the beasts of the field,
The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea,
Whatever passes through the paths of the seas.

O LORD, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8:1-9

THESE are mountains.

After leaving Pike's Forest we set out again for The Garden of the Gods. I'm told that the name, "Garden of the Gods," comes from the old Indian name (Cheyenne?). It is kind of peculiar when you see these natural rock formations. The relative landscape around it is somewhat normal hilly, then suddenly giant, bare, red rocks jut out of the ground like sky scrapers. (Remnants of the worldwide flood.) This is one of the more tourist type sites.

Here is a view of The Garden from the highway.

The Balanced Rock.

The Garden has a Trading Post where we grabbed lunch, two Bison burgers made to order, and good souvenirs. I found this cedar plank very appealing.

After the Trading Post we visited the American Neumismatic Headquarters & Museum where they are currently displaying many Civil War relics and old coins. Jeramy found it especially interesting. We saw the old mint printing machines and balances. It's hard to believe that something so massive is needed to make such a small coin.

We ate a kingly dinner with the Bishops, including 1" thick grilled steaks, parmesan-crusted baked potatoes, sweet corn on the cob, and crunchy broccoli salad (with bacon, raisins & sweet onions). Jeramy and Paul enjoyed a cigar outside with peach cobbler a la mode while Jenny and I played Wii bowling & Mario Kart and watching Hello Dolly! the musical. We all had a lot of fun.

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