About Manitou Julia

Manitou Julia has been a member since January 1st 2014, and has created 95 posts from scratch.

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Pulpit Rock Lion Turned Into Art

Pulpit Rock White Formation turns into Art.

One of the white rock formations on the Pulpit Rock hike haunted me after finishing the hike and downloading the photos.

I knew it had to get transformed into one or two of my surrealistic, abstractions images from my nature photos.

Pulpit Rock Lion Formation

At first sight, just thought of it as a stony lion, that reminded me of the ancient sculptures I had seen all over Europe.

But when I began to play with it, saw two ways it could be looking. In either one, I loved how it looked like they were being reflected in a pond below.

One, just a series of two lions facing each other.

Surrealistic Pulpit Rock Lion Formation

Or with two lion lovers being guarded by their friends acting as look-outs in two directions.

Abstract of Pulpit Rock Lion Formation

Leave a comment letting me know which one do you like best?

Pulpit Rock February 2017

It has been a few years since I last hiked the trails at Pulpit Rock.

Pulpit Rock Colorado Springs

There was absolutely no signage indicating where to turn off of Nevada Avenue or where the trail head actually is located. And the entrance for the parking lot is quite different looking. But we did find it after a couple of U-Turns after driving past it the first time.

At first it looks like an easy hike, and I left my hiking pole behind. Big mistake!

Pulpit Rock Colorado Springs

The trail soon took a turn for the rocky and challenging.

As we began to hike upwards off the flat trail, we discovered that there was no signage to guide us to which trail to take up to the formations. And the ones we took were very poorly maintained trails leading up and down from the main formations.

Rocky Trail Pulpit Rock Colorado SpringsBut up we went.

There were a couple of places I had to ask for a hand up from my hiking partner.

But having no worries about being embarrassed about this request,  chose to do that rather than risk a fall.


Pulpit Rock Colorado Springs

And coming back down, actually sat down to get back down in a couple of places.

Pulpit Rock Colorado Springs Pulpit Rock Colorado Springs



Walking among the beautiful formations was worth taking this challenge to get up there!



Years ago, after a bad car accident, I developed had Panic Attacks when I was in high places and looking down. I quickly decided I wasn’t going to live with that and took steps to overcome that health challenge. Tested myself a couple of times on this hike when the trail ended in a steep drop off.

Pulpit Rock Colorado Springs

I was fine! So happy I was able to make that shift in my mental and emotional state all those years ago.

There were incredible views of to the west towards Pikes Peak.

At the top of a trail that went east from the Pulpit Rock White formations that everyone sees from below were a few cairns on the trail.

Cairn at Pulpit Rock Colorado Springs

Got some nice photos of this one with Pikes Peak behind.

And this awesome “grandfather” tree caught both of our attentions.

Pulpit Rock Grandfather TreeHad to take a few moments to honor it and give it some respect for how it has survived so many years in a rocky, windy place above the city.

I am certain it will someday become one of my abstract photos, but for tonight, just sharing it in its natural state.

I had picked up a heavy stick to use as a pole in one of the more challenging areas. Then when we saw what looked like an easy trail down, left it behind. And we even encountered some icy areas on this downward trail.

Pulpit Rock Colorado SpringsSo I soon regretted that decision. I would definitely recommend anyone doing this trail take a good hiking pole with them to stabilize themselves in many sections going up and down from the white formations.

At the bottom we went a bit farther to the east on very smooth and wide trails before heading back to the car. Pulpit Rock Colorado Springs






No need for a pole here, so if you just hike the lower section, you can hike without one.

The birds were singing and the sky was very blue above.

It was just too beautiful of a day to turn back quite yet.








Been Down A Rabbit Hole

I’ve Been Down a Rabbit Hole of Creativity for the Last Year.

So one of the main reasons I haven’t been focused on writing about my hikes is, I had fallen down a “rabbit hole’ of being creative with my Nature Photos.

This is an example of what I have been doing that came from one picture of the “hiking cat” yesterday.

This is the original photo.

Original Hiking Cat in Manitou Springs

Then this came out using a small piece with the cat in it.

Abstract Cat Hiking in Manitou Springs

Then this one came next.

Abstract Cat Hiking in Manitou Springs

And this one . . . Sometimes you see the cat, sometimes you see a fantasy creature . . .

Abstract Cat Hiking in Manitou Springs

I have been putting these types of images and a series called “I Choose Love” that has a nature image inside a heart on pixels.com

On this site, my artistic images can not only be bought as framed prints and cards, but can be put on mugs, t-shirts, pillows, towels, shower curtains and so much more. Pretty fun.

And this one came from the “Let It Be Tree” seen in my last post.

Do you see the fairies?

Let It Be Tree Abstract

Take a moment and write a comment about what you see in any of these images.



Hiking Journaling Starts Again

Time to share more hikes and how they revive my spirit.

So I haven’t stopped hiking, I just got away from posting them here. But plan on writing about current and past hikes starting NOW!

Just two days ago it was frosty and very cold. Then it was 60 degrees today and I just couldn’t resist being outside in the sunshine.

So I started out to take just a walk up my street.

I hadn’t intended to actually hike today, so didn’t have water or hiking boots or walking stick.

But I kept going up just one more street. Then, on the street near a short trail leading up to a field I was joined on this walk by a very friendly cat.

As I stood below this steep trail, I decided I really wanted to visit my favorite “Let It Be Tree”. So up I went.

My Let It Be Tree in Manitou Springs

And the cat followed me . . .

Manitou Springs Hiking Cat

This reminded me of the times when I lived for a short time in Florissant that my two cats I had then would hike with me. And when I moved back to Manitou I would put them in the car and drive to a nearby trail-head and we would hike together. They loved those hikes!

He kept rubbing on me, looking cute, and laying at my feet when I sat on the trunk of the tree basking in the sunshine.

Cat at My Feet

At this point, I decided to make it a longer walk/hike and climbed up the very steep section to get to the field and another trail. And without my hiking pole, it looked a little daunting.

Manitou Springs Steep Trail Hike

Since the cat kept following me, I just kept walking on some deer trails in the field, not wanting to really get on the trail, and I didn’t have water or my in-town hiking pack on my back. Just my phone and camera.

Cat on Deer Trail in Manitou Springs

We walked around and I actually did something I don’t think I have ever done before, I called a friend who needed some encouragement. And we chatted about ways to help each other. I kept trying to take photos with the camera while on the phone. A few came out just fine, others . . . well, not the best approach to getting good photos.

After I finished the call, I walked a few more minutes, but it was time to go back. And I although I really didn’t want to leave that sunny space, I walked towards the place I came up.

Manitou Springs Steep Trail Hike

Looking down I decided it was just too risky to do without a pole and hiking books.

The kitty easily tripped down there and invited me to follow.

Manitou Springs Hiking Cat

But, I wasn’t up for risking a fall on the very slippery steep slope. Told him to go home and I headed for the street.

Kitty didn’t understand why I didn’t follow him, so came and followed me. But he was pretty hesitant on the street. Seemed unsure where he was. So, I picked him up and carried him a few blocks. He was kinda nervous and kept looking around, but didn’t try to escape my arms.

Manitou Springs Hiking Cat

When we got close to the trail area I had gone up, I let him down. A guy was there and greeted the cat by name. I asked if he knew where the cat lived. He said yes, and pointed to a driveway across from the trail and the cat was happily walking up it. Was glad I could continue on home without that sweet kitty following me.

It was a lovely break from the computer and being indoors. Still, I am not totally comfortable with the series of really warm days we have been experiencing in January and February. Sunshine is not unusual, but 60 degree weather just seems wrong at this time of year!

Glad I did take advantage of it today and truly enjoyed being able to get away from town in such a short amount of time and enjoy vistas and “wilderness” so close to home.

Mountains around Manitou Springs

If you enjoy hiking and writing, I would invite you to check out my Hiking Journal.

It is not just a “blank” book for writing about your hikes, but has spaces to record specifics about each hike. It also has pages and space to do some writing about what inspired you on each hike.





Spirit Renewed on a 2015 Christmas Hike

Some how I have gotten away from posting my hikes here. Talk about them on Facebook, but need to keep this site more up to date. I have taken many hikes since my last post. Also considering putting them into a book format . . .

FB_Merry Full Moon Christmas_5271

On this Christmas day, I needed a “spirit renewing hike” badly.

The day was gloomy and it had snowed during the night.

I had seen the full moon and hadn’t expected to awake to snow on the ground.

Web_Wild Clouds_Blue Sky_5797

Started out just walking around town. Then the sun came out.

FB_1 Xmas Hike_BlueInvite_5793

I headed up the street towards the water tank trail to see how icy or deep in snow it would be.

Not to bad.

FB_1_Xmas Hike_BlueSky Trail_5578

Realizing I didn’t have the proper shoes, no water or a pole, I gingerly started up the trail.

There were places it was a bit more snowy and icy than I felt totally comfortable, but then there were areas the snow was barely covering the trail.

The weather changed soon after I started the hike, but not too cold.

FB_2_Cloud Shrouded Mtn_5580

Sometimes I like to test myself and make sure I no longer experience vertigo when looking down from heights. So I walked over  to a cliff and looked back down to the path below.

FB_3_Look Down Cliff_5597

And I was just fine. So hiked on a bit farther.

Then I spied one of my favorite things to photograph: Rusty objects.

Web_Rusty Object in Snow_5656

I played with this for a while.

Web_Rusty Twins_5618Web_Rusty_5645-5629

On one part of the trail, I realized there was one other set of tracks. This set didn’t look like a deer as the first set of tracks I had seen when starting out. And they were very fresh. Began looking around me more to be sure nothing was waiting for me . . .


And when it started to snow I turned back and began to head back down the trail. Still a bit wary of spotting a creature that I might not like being alone with in the mountains.

Tried to capture snowflakes falling. Not an easy thing to do. But did catch a few in the photos.

FB_5_Snowflakes Path_5746

And then there were some lovely pine cones to capture.


They reminded me of winter flowers blossoming in the trees and on the ground.


Hiking down, there was a great view of downtown Manitou Springs.

Looking down upon my town made me think of these words:

“O’ Little Town of Manitou Springs . . . how still you lie below.”

Oh Little Town Of Manitou

My Spirit was renewed as I remembered how I love this little town . . .

Web_Blue Sky Gate exit_5778

So I headed back to my home.

Blue skies showed up for a short time.

Web_Wild Sky Transition_5814

But not for long.

Web_Wild Sky Transition2_5805

And the sky was very strange. “Mama always said, Don’t look into the sun.”

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But I couldn’t help taking some photos of the sky with sun brightly behind the clouds.

And will try to capture the full moon Christmas night, but finding that challenging for my camera.

Merry Christmas 2015 and to all, a good night!