Thursday, December 08, 2005

Thursday Travelogue: Garden of the Gods

Image hosted by Photobucket.comSome things, some places seem more monumental (pun intended) when revisted through the child's filter of your mind's eye. While it may truly be amazing, there's something about memory, especially if it's from childhood, that adds some magic to the ordinary.

When I was around 10 years old, my family was stationed at Peterson AFB, Colorado Springs. At the time, my dad was quite the outdoorsman. We camped and fished at different times throughout the year. We would also make trips out to local parks and tourist traps. One of those was Garden of the Gods.

Image hosted by Photobucket.comI've always had a thing for rocks. Don't know why, but I like 'em. I like the way some are smooth and some are rough. I like the way light catches them differently at different angles. There was a time, when I was about 6 or 7, that I had a bunch of rocks on our front porch, in the sunlight. My dad told me to get all the rocks off the porch. I asked him, "But how are they going to grow into big rocks?" Yeah, yeah, I was a silly kid. But I loved rocks.

Anyway, for this installment, I wanted to pull something from my childhood and Garden of the Gods seemed like a good idea. However, looking at the photos I've found online, the park isn't as grand as I remember. I mean, it's a beautiful place, but after you've been to the Grand Canyon, Sedona and Chiricahua, you're ruined on scenic rocks.

It still has a special place in my mind. Colorado Springs and Peterson AFB in general do as well, but the Garden was always a special trip. We went several times over the three years we lived there. It was a special treat. Not only to play outside around the rocks with my younger brother, but inside the gift shop they had two things I also sought -- fool's gold and polished stones. I had a good collection of both from all the times we visited.

My parents weren't the kind to spend a lot of time explaining the importance of the monuments to us. They answered questions and would give cursory explanations. But this place was still treat to visit. It's still a treasured place in my mind. It makes me realize that doing things with my children is important regardless of what we actually do.

Ed. Note: None of the photos here are mine. I found them online. Because of where I found them, I consider them to be in the public domain. However, if one of these photos is your property and you object to its use here, please leave a comment and I'll remove it.

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