It’s impossible to see everything Garden of the Gods offers in the little over two hours we spent there before continuing on our trip, but it helps if you’ve visited several times before and know where the highlights are.
Although the light was coming from the wrong direction, I couldn’t resist pulling off the road and getting this shot of one of the main ridgelines in the park.
Right afterwards, I headed directly to the balancing rock, my favorite scene in the park.
On our way out I found it impossible to drive by a couple of other spots without taking a photo. It’s hard to figure out how that tree could get started two-thirds of the way up the rock on the right — or how it could possibly survive there.
At first I was also attracted by the trees sprouting from this pillar, but once I saw the climber with the blue shirt near the top I couldn’t see anything else.
It wasn’t until I got home and put the shot up on the screen that I realized that there was actually a second climber with a black shirt slightly below and to the left of the first climber.
The bonus shot of the day was actually another misidentification. This jay flew right in front of me while taking the previous shot. I assumed at the time it must be a Pinyon Jay since it said they were common in the park I had never seen one before, but I realized that was a misidentification when I looked it up on line to confirm the ID. Turns out it was actually a Woodhouse’s Scrub-Jay, a first for me.