In part one of this miniseries-within-a-maxiseries, our intrepid band of wanderers (i.e., my family and I) began Day Six of our nine-day road trip by sallying forth from Colorado Springs to Seven Falls, a natural curiosity comprised of what they say they are, each one positioned above the other, nestled into the back of a spacious canyon with an eighteen-story metal staircase affixed to one side so that tourists aren’t required to bring their own climbing gear or jetpacks.
From the platform at the halfway point of the staircase, you can see their main observation deck called the Nest, from which most people snap their official Seven Falls souvenir photos.
You can reach the Nest either by ascending yet another high-rise staircase, or with the straightforward, handicap-accessible Mountain Elevator, whose walkway entrance extends above the Trout Pool and a modest eighth waterfall, distantly connected to its seven famous relatives further upstream.
The elevator walkway leads to the elevator tunnel, which leads to the elevator, which leads to the Nest, which leads to scenery. Display cases of educational trivia and local artifacts break up the long walk of the Seven Mile.
The view from the Nest is indeed advantageous. The elevated photos from Part One were taken from that position. If you look away from the falls, you still have ample geological wonders to behold. If you look to your far right, the park also built and attached a separate gift shop to the Nest, in case you need candy or souvenir knickknacks at that altitude and can’t wait until you return to ground level.
If someone shouts at you, “Don’t look down!” you’re bound to give in and notice various man-made support structures used to tether protrusions more tightly to the canyon walls, for the sake of safety and visual integrity. You’ll also spot the larger gift shop and cafeteria waiting below with a wider shopping selection…assuming you don’t arrive before they open, as we did.
Also at the lower elevation: SQUIRREL! This diminutive fellow, like my son, couldn’t wait for the snack bar to open.
The Powers That Be at Seven Falls have named a few of the more distinct formations in South Cheyenne Canyon. If you squint at the right side of the top of this mountain, you might discern why it’s called George Washington’s Profile. (Hint: it’s not because it contains his personal info or Friends list.)
Colorado’s very own Pillars of Hercules are no direct relation to the original, international Pillars of Hercules that merit their own WikiPedia page, but tower adequately over one and all anyway.
The “Old Indian Trail” demonstrates the stubbornness of the previous landowners, who preferred to chisel their own paths into the mountainside rather than stoop to walking on the white man’s convenient asphalt. Or something.
On your way out of the World’s Most Beautiful Canyon as guaranteed by the entrance sign, the rear of said sign surprises you with the news that you’re officially a nature lover of the world. The conversion process was so seamless, we didn’t feel a bit of pain, apart from shortness of breath after all the stair-stepping.
To be continued!
[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for previous and future chapters, and for our complete road trip history to date. Thanks for reading!]