Every time that I need to go to Denver I make a point to hike the Fountain Valley Trail at Roxborough State Park, if I can. I could today and did.
I drove to Denver this morning for a class in macro photography at the flagship store of the chain where I bought my Canon EOS 50D SLR camera. While the class was too basic and general, I learned a few things.
And I moved closer to buying a Canon EF25II extension tube, which will work for both my 60mm macro lens and my regular 18-200mm zoom lens. It will increase the effective focal length of my lenses, bringing my subjects closer. Since the instructor for the macro class this morning offered us students “a special deal,” I almost bought it from him. The regular price, he said, was $189, and I could have it for $164. But when I got home this evening, I checked the Amazon price — $135 with neither sales tax or shipping charges. Glad I waited.
The best thing about driving to Denver for the macro class is that it took me closer to Roxborough State Park, which is a few miles southwest of Denver. If this beautiful place were closer, I would go there all the time. But it’s more than 50 miles from my apartment.
Particularly along the Fountain Valley Trail, this is an especially notable example of what geologists call the Fountain Formation. This is a reddish conglomerate sandstone that is found in various places along the east side of the Front Range of the Rocky Mountain in Colorado. Boulder has its Flatirons and its Red Rocks; Colorado Springs has the Garden of the Gods; and Denver has the Red Rocks Amphitheater and Roxborough State Park.
Here’s a broad view of the valley that I walked through this afternoon on the loop trail:
Here’s a rock that may have a name. I don’t know. But it looks suspiciously like some sort of animal to me, so I call it “Animal Rock.”
Here is a special example of a plant that I find just about everywhere in Colorado:
They lock up the gate to the park at 5, and I got out just in time. But topping off the trip just a couple of minutes before closing I saw more antlers than I had ever seen before. Seven bucks each with two big racks were grazing right beside the road. While it’s not unusual to see seven or more does together, I’ve never seen a group of bucks before.
At Roxborough State Park the Fountain Formation rocks rival the beauty of the animals. I’ve seen and photographed all of the famous Fountain Formations now, except for the Garden of the Gods. That’s coming.