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  • Pikes PeakPikes Peak Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Pikes Peak is a mountain in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains, located about 10 miles west of Colorado Springs, Colorado and was named after Zebulon Pike, an explorer who led an expedition to south Colorado in 1806. Standing tall at 14,115, the peak is one of the state's 54 fourteeners; and every year, drivers race up the mountain in the famous car race Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It also happens to be the site of the Pikes Peak Marathon and Ascent foot races that are held on the Barr Trail each year. The upper parts are a National Historic Landmark. Most of its glory comes from the fact that it is located on the eastern edge of the Rockies, and is the nation's easternmost fourteen thousand foot peak and was the first sign that early frontier travelers were coming to the Rocky Mountains and the treacherous crossing they would have overcome to get to their dreamlands beyond. The peak is made of a unique pink granite called Pikes Peak granite and is due to huge amounts of potassium feldspar and formed over 1.5 billion years ago. When explorers were coming to the territory, many referred to the peak as Pike's Peak after Zebulon, who was the first to document it and tried to ascend its heights, but had to stop since he was trying during the winter months, and the snow drifts were chest high according to his records. Edwin James became the first person to scale the top, during the summer months and some would try to change the name to James' Peak, but it went round and round until it was finally settled by using the original name, already well known. It was called Pike's Peak until 1891, when a newly formed US Board on Geographic Names recommended not using apostrophes in names, so the name stayed the same, only the apostrophe was dropped, and in 1978, the state's legislature passed a law stating that the name would by Pikes Peak only.  In 1820, a young student that had just graduated from Middlebury College in Vermont signed on as a relief botanist for the Long Expedition, after the first one had passed on. His name was Edwin James, and the expedition was exploring around the South Platte River up to present day Denver, and turned south passing by what James said, "Pike's highest peak". He and two others from the party left the rest of the party camped on the plains and climbed to the summit in two days, with little problem and on the way was able to tell about the blue columbine, the state's official flower. In 1858, gold was found by Denver and the newspapers called it Pike's Peak, and it became the slogan for the Colorado gold rush. The peak's visibility made it easier to describe the area, which didn't have any gold found until 1893, but was what the gold prospectors saw coming across the plains. The gold found by Pikes Peak was more southwesterly and would become one of the last gold rushes in the lower 48 states. In 1860, Clark, Gruber & Company started minting gold coins in Denver that had the phrase "Pikes Peak Gold" and an artist's drawing of the peak on the reverse side. The artist had never even seen the peak, so his perception of it was not close; but in 1863, the US Treasury bought the minting equipment and opened the Denver Mint. Katherine Lee Bates was so moved by her trip to the top of Pikes Peak, that she wrote the words to the famous song "America the Beautiful" in 1893; although she made it to the top riding in a carriage. She had come to the state by train, going through Kansas after leaving Chicago. As she sat in her room, looking out towards the peak, the words just seemed to flow from her mind as she sat in that Colorado Springs hotel room.

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Colorado Springs Apt Budget Car Rentals - 7770 Milton E. Proby Pkwy.

Budget Rental Cars Colorado Springs - 384 Garden of the Gods

  • Garden of the GodsGarden of the Gods Colorado Springs, Colorado
    The Garden of the Gods is a public park found in Colorado Springs, Colorado and it is free thanks to Charles Elliot Perkins, whose children gave the land to the city of Colorado Springs in 1909. There are marvelous trails for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and walking; with one of the more popular being called Perkins and has been paved to stop the erosion of the park's central garden by so many visitors. Visitors are warned about the rattlesnakes that live in the region and are especially active during the summer. With its odd shaped and steep rock formations, it has become a favorite of rock climbers from all over, and it is allowed with permits. The only stipulation is the reading of the rules, the right equipment, a climbing buddy and to stay on established routes. Since the sandstone is unstable, especially after a lot spring rains, some fatalities have happened. It is also a very popular place for bike riders, with spectacular views and sceneries, safe one-way roads and excellent healthy fresh air. The best features of the park are definitely the geologic ancient sedimentary beds of white, purple, red and blue sandstones, limestone and conglomerates that were deposited horizontally, and then tilted vertically and faulted because of the huge mountain building forces that was the results of a big uplift of the Pikes Peak massif. The rocks have become open books for many as they read the signs of ancient seas, alluvial fans, the eroded remains of ancestral mountain ranges, sandy beaches, and enormous sand dune fields. A fantastic shear fault can be observed by the Tower of Babel (Lyons Sandstone) where it comes into contact with the Fountain Formation. The name Colorado is believed to have originated with the colorful sandstone, with all kinds of fossils, marine forms, and dinosaur fossils visible around the area. A ridge of sandstone layers tilted, are called hogbacks, since they look like the spines and backs of a pig and instead of laying horizontally, many of the layers are vertically set. Every one of these hogbacks can reach a height of 320 feet, with one unusual rock feature called the kissing camels, looks like a pair of camels sitting face to face with their lips touching. One of the best known is the balancing rock, called locally Balanced Rock. The visitor's center is found by the park's entrance and gives free nature presentations every day. It has natural history exhibits that contain geology, minerals, local wildlife and plants plus Native American culture.

January 11, 2011