Monday, February 18, 2013

Picture of the Day: Lookout Mountain

On the way home from Black Hawk today,
we took a drive up Lookout Mountain.
It is one of the larger foothills
overlooking Golden, Colorado.

In the past Ute Indians used the lookout
to watch the surrounding area.

The road ascends from
near the Colorado School of Mines
through a series of hairpin turns and drop offs 
to Windy Saddle Park
and beyond to the grave of Buffalo Bill Cody. 

Muleys Cross on Lookout Mountain Road,
Near Golden, Colorado

Windy Saddle Park is well-named,
because constant winds flow through the area, 
and today the winds were bitter cold!

Winds blow down 
from the Continental Divide; 
or, winds flowing across the plains
hit the Rocky Mountains
and are forced upward.

Clear Creek Canyon
from Windy Saddle Park
John H. Gregory followed Clear Creek upstream to find the first lode gold in Colorado.
The site of his discovery, "the richest square mile on earth," became Central City.


Updrafts are strong enough to lift objects.
Raptors ride these thermals to conserve energy,
making it easier for them to soar
without flapping their wings
or to travel long distances.

Hang gliders and paragliders 
often soar here with the raptors,
but not today.

The magnificent views 
were worth the cold, buffeting winds.

Denver, Queen City of the Plains
Twelve Miles Away

We saved Buffalo Bill's grave for another day.

23 comments:

  1. When we first moved to Colorado, David and I lived in a teeny tiny cabin on Lookout Mountain. It shook when the wind blew, but we were young and life was grand. Life's still grand, but we're young no more, lol.

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    1. Lucky you, Terry! I had never seen it until yesterday! I know what you mean about "young no more!" We are definitely going back and hiking!

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  2. Wow...look at those mountains and that beautiful blue sky! Just stunning! It must feed the soul taking in all this beauty.

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    1. Hi Martha! That's exactly what it does ~ feeds the soul! But, boy was it cold yesterday!

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  3. Now I believe everything I have heard about Colorado. Just look at its magnificence! Love the photo with Denver in the background, Louise. One could spend some time there (in warmer weather).

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    1. Hi Jim! We plan to go back in warmer weather. As a matter of fact, I want to walk up to Buffalo Bill's grave. It's about four miles and gains about 1,200 feet in elevation. I think I trust my feet better than a car ~ but Terry doesn't seem to mind driving the hairpin turns and drop offs! The views are spectacular!

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  4. I have never seen Denver before....you photo really helps me understand the surrounding landscape with the buildings popping up. I'm so used to seeing water everywhere. How is the air for breathing? Would a sea level guy like me have a trouble? Was wondering about that.
    We have driven through the Canadian Rockies a couple times and really were in awe of the sharp turns, hills, and mountain vista. We also hiked a few trails...would love to do that again so badly! We also cycled Calgary, Banff, Jasper to Edmonton one summer...we'll never forget that. See what your mountain pictures are doing to me...love it!

    Ron

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    1. I'm glad you love it, Ron!

      It is very dry here; and I like that because it means I can have curls!
      Up in the mountains there are some lovely lakes and more trees. You would find the American Rockies much different from the Canadian. The canyons are narrow here, and there is much less water ~ tarns more than lakes and smaller streams, not to mention mostly granite rather than metamorphosed sediments.

      The air is thinner. Usually sea level folks can acclimatize over several days, but if they get altitude sickness they just have to go to a lower elevation. I live at about 6,000 feet, Black Hawk is at 8,000 feet, and Terry's sister's place is at 10,000 feet. I have hiked Fourteeners (14,000), but not for several years. I want to try Quandary this summer at 14,265 feet. I should be fit enough then. I've sprung a few leaks inside in recent years and had to have some blood transfusions ~ but I'm doing okay now!

      Your bike trip sounds awesome! If you get a chance, come west! We'd love to show you around!

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    1. Hi Debra! It is spectacular! I never tire of it!

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  6. O gosh, just look at that -- breathtaking!! If you've ever been to Singapore, then you'll know why your pictures are doubly breathtaking to me!

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    1. Hi B&R! Lucky you!
      Oh yes, I've been to Singapore! My husband's sister Noreen lived in Kuala Lumpur twice, so we've flown in and out on the way to Malaysia or Thailand or Cambodia. Our trips are running together now, so it's a little confusing just how many times I've been in and out of Singapore.

      When I was 21 and working as a student geologist during the summer in New Brunswick, our field team went to a restaurant in Fredericton. Trying to look cool and experienced, I ordered a Singapore Sling after reading its history in the drink menu. I swore then that I would go to the Long Bar at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore and have a real Singapore Sling! Which I did ~ and it was kind of funny because the bar mixes them up in gallon containers. And I saw Gracie, the dugong, at the Sentosa Aquarium. I wanted to stand on the very tip of the peninsula, but it was pouring out and Terry said "No!" Sometimes he has too rein me in. Singapore could teach the USA a lot!

      Thanks for solving the mystery of where you live for me! Have a great week!

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  7. Louise, these pictures are so beautiful. It's been a number of years since I went out to Denver/Vail for work and I miss those gorgeous landscapes!

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    1. Hi Audrey! I am as much a Coloradan now as a Nova Scotian. I don't know if I could permanently move away from Colorado now. I do love it. But then the ocean is spectacular too! Maybe you'll get to come this way again. The Rockies are magnificent! Have a good week! I hope your doggie is adjusting and improving!

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  8. How relaxing!! I feel at ease just looking at these pictures :)

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    1. Hi Keith! I'm happy you found the pictures relaxing! I have to admit that I didn't find it relaxing riding up and down the hill. Heights are tricksy for me, and my heart was pounding. And the wind! It was freezing and threatening to blow me over when I was trying to take the photos ~ but there is something about it all that soothes the soul.

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  9. Well the scenery is great and the weather looks spectacular. We'll take it. Just put that day on a bus and send it to Ontario, please.

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    1. Done ~ it's on a greyhound! The weather was awesome! And I never tire of Colorado! Have a super week!

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  10. This is one of my favorite places to visit. I love driving up from Golden on the twisty, turny road... the views are magnificent.
    Thanks for the pictures of 'home'!

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    1. Hi Dreaming! I'm so glad that you enjoyed the pictures of "home!" That was the first time we ventured up there, but not our last guaranteed! Happy travels!

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  11. Hello Louise,
    Stunning landscape, thank you for the tour!
    Ivan

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    1. Hi Ivan! I'm glad that you enjoyed the pictures! I didn't get a lot because I was freezing in the wind at Windy Saddle Park, and I thought I was going to get flattened! I want to go back when the hang gliders and paragliders are riding the thermals ~ something that is not on my Bucket List! I like my feet on the ground! Have a great week!

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