So even though the road we turned on--to the west--would eventually get closer to the mountain, we would be turning off at our destination this AM-the Garden of the Gods.
We found the Garden Drive entrance into the park, turned right and then the mood of the morning changed for me as I stepped outside the car. Everything about the atmosphere here seemed different from elsewhere -- I felt that I had entered a magical, ancient world! It was (and still is) hard to describe the effect it had on me.
The sky was typical for a late spring/early summer morning here, with the moon clearly discernible above us still. The first rays of the rising sun reflected off the rock formations causing them to seem alive-glowing with a reddish intensity that was stunning against the deep blueness of the heavens. The ambiance was one of great peace and antiquity. I had only felt this way once before--on part of a trail near Longmire on Mt Rainier, the Trail of Shadows. It was silent outside the car we traveled in--as if the few visitors there felt an inner urge to respect the serenity of all that were there.
Photos: as identified above. Taken spring/summer 2008.
See links for additional information, photos, etc on Pike's Peak, Manitou Springs & the Garden of the Gods..
Note: I could not link it from here, but there is a map available of the Garden of the Gods on another site. Just google it--I believe it was the official site for Colorado Springs. There were several maps there including some that gave the names of the rock formations and the trails there.
Note on quote above: words taken from 'America the Beautiful', inspired in part from the view atop Pike's Peak. Written by Katharine Lee Bates.