Friday, January 12, 2007

oh look a bighorn...that's why I come up here

Got back from Colorado late Monday night. You wouldn't believe the property that the Navigators owns out there. It's in a mountain glen outside of Colorado Springs where bighorn sheep and mountain lions roam free. No joke. It's almost surreal. As soon as I arrived I could scarcely believe that this place actually existed. Let me describe it to you.
Glen Eyrie is located above Colorado Springs in the front range of the Rocky Mountains. There was a fresh blanket of snow on the ground but it was not excessively cold. The air smells like pine and there are conifer trees everywhere. Large pillars of red rock fire straight out of ground hundreds of feet into the air. There are several trail that lead into the mountains at the base of Pike's Peak. The trails take you between and up the mountains with crystal clear creeks flowing freely between each hill. At the end of one trail there was a large frozen waterfall that the creek still flows behind. The waterfall itself is about a 50ft drop. Large icecicles had formed to cage the creek in. The Glen is home to all sorts of wildlife. Rattlesnakes, mountain lions, birds, deer and bighorn sheep. I was fortunate enough to come across a bighorn. It was probably the most amazing animal I've ever seen.
As if the property itself wasn't amazing enough, the Navigators owns and operates a freaking mountain castle! Apparently, back in the 50's the Navigators acquired the castle when it was donated by the Billy Graham crusade and several prominent, Nav alumni, businessman who wanted to give the Navigators a headquarters. The castle dates back to the early 1800's and still had much of the original furnishings and general decor. Rediculous. Normally, I'd question the ownership of a castle by a non-profit ministry but Navs uses this place for so many worthwhile causes that it seems more like a divine gift than the misallocation of ministry funds. Plus the castle is self-sufficient. It can be rented for business conferences and weddings so that it doesn't use ministry funds to stay in operation.
What a crazy amazing place.

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