Monday, March 22, 2021

Ground Control to Major Kimmie...

Hey guys!  Long time, no?  I've been out traveling and working on some thangs, and haven't really had the time to sit down and write.  Well, tonight's the night!  I might even write two posts.  Wow, I can't believe we are nearing the end of March already!

I wanted to share with you guys this crazy little day trip I took to a magical place that looked like another planet.  I wore the wrong outfit.  An astronaut ensemble would have been a wee bit more fitting.  I present to you...PAINT MINES INTERPRETIVE PARK located here in Colorado!

Not a lot of locals know about this place.  It's a well kept secret.  In fact, I talk to locals all the time who tell me I've seen and explored more in Colorado in the one year (yes one year anniversary) than people who have lived here their whole life!

So, what are the paint mines?  The paint mines are an ecological playground combining prairie, badlands and wetlands.  They are located in El Paso (translation: "the step" in Spanish) County in Calhon, Colorado about 30 miles east of Colorado Springs and an hour south of Denver.  The name derives from the clay that the Indians used to make paint!  The clay has since oxidized creating pastel bands of layered soil.  There is a little over a 3 mile hiking loop for any skill level.  

Things to know:

  • Sorry, no dogs allowed!  Hey, don't shoot the messenger.  Just reporting the rules here.  It's to protect the fragile ecosystem.
  • Want wildlife?  You might see anything from hawks to coyotes to falcons to mule deer.  I saw LOTS of wabbits!  Eeeee
  • You can take some wonderful photos....some framers for the wall!  Night photos are supposed to be pretty spectacular with the sunset.  However, these shots were taken midday.  (keep scrolling for more tidbits on the paint mines, and enjoy the photos...ummm yea this is in Colorado!!!)...

Did I mention it was a wee bit windy?

Leaving the park...a view from the top!

  • It's SUPER windy!  There are turbine windmills on the prairie land surrounding the paint mines.
  • February can be super muddy (even March) since we get a lot of snow.  Make sure you wear the appropriate shoes!  Probably the summer time is the best time to avoid mud.
  • This park is one of three locations in the entire USA where you can find hoodoo rock (slender spire-like rocks) formations (the most famous being in Bryce Canyon, Utah).
  • There are the cutest little small caves located throughout the park.
  • Climbing is discouraged to help preserve the formations.
Speaking of evening photography, I might be back to the paint mines after seeing this photo on the internet.  Breathtaking, no?  It's like all the purples come alive!

If you're ever in Colorado, I recommend adding this one to the list!

Thanks for stopping by and giving me a read.  While I write for me, it's lovely to know people enjoy reading my thoughts.


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