Three Colorado Parks

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My last round of Colorado pix looks back at three other places we visited. First up, Lory State Park, just outside Fort Collins. We arrived on a cloudy Sunday afternoon that eventually gave way to at least an inkling of blue sky.

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Lory State Park has many grassy, sloping hills.

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As with Rocky Mountain National Park, we didn’t see as many wildflowers as we hoped to, although we spotted the occasional outlier.

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We hiked up the Well Gulch Nature Trail; near the top, we could make out Horsetooth Reservoir through the pines.

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A heavenly, panoramic shot of Horsetooth Reservoir.

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Zooming in along the red rock ridges next to the Reservoir.

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We walked all the way down to the water where we found picnickers, partiers and a few people out fishing.

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Although we spent most of an afternoon at Lory State Park, we saw but a fraction of it. Above, looking Southward, it appears to stretch on and on.

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Our second park is the Colorado Chautauqua in Boulder. Part of the historical Chautauqua adult education movement, it is the only one west of the Mississippi River still operating today.

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We went primarily to see the Flatirons, a dramatic, pointy mountain range.

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Our view as we made our way upwards.

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Luckily, blue skies were more abundant than at Lory State Park.

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Entering the serene Enchanted Mesa.

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A typical view while hiking through the park.

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After leaving the Enchanted Mesa, we arrived at a scenic overlay of Greater Boulder.

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As I said, the Chautauqua is still pretty active, as you can see in this spiffy Dining Hall.

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Our third and final park is Garden Of The Gods near Colorado Springs. Above, a wide-angle view of it with Pikes Peak in the distance.

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Essentially a set of red rock formations, Garden of the Gods is visually stunning, fairly contained (you can walk the central part of it in less than an hour) and free to the public (so expect hordes of fellow tourists depending on when you go).

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This gives you a sense of scale re: rocks vs. everything else.

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This teeny tiny hiker probably provides an even better sense of scale.

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You can make out this formation’s “kissing camels” at the center.

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Two tiny birds rest on a typically twisty formation.

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The “Cathedral Spires”: they remind me a bit of peanut brittle.

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Not all the rock formations are red; this whitish-gray stuff even boasts a few trees on top.

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One of the central garden trails, to illustrate what walking around the park is like.

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Postcard-perfect views of Pikes Peak await behind the red rocks: a sight worth even driving to Colorado Springs for.

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