Friday, September 28, 2012

Peak to Peak Highway

A favorite Leaf Peeping spot is the Peak to Peak Highway. We drove up Boulder Canyon to catch the highway in the town of Nederland (where the Frozen Dead Guy Festival is held Click Here to read about it!). But we made a brief stop in the canyon for a short hike up to Boulder Falls.

From Nederland we followed the highway to Estes Park. A ride full of gorgeous views, despite the haze from forest fires burning in other Western states.

And an unexpected surprise. This incredible stone church. Fondly called Chapel on the Rock, its formal name is Saint Catherine's of Siena's Chapel.

During a quest to find the location of a meteor he saw streaking across the night sky, a Catholic priest came across a large rock formation. The beauty of the area inspired the priest and remembering words from the Bible, "Upon this rock, I will build my Church", the priest vowed to build a church on the site. For 20 years the priest prayed for funding to achieve his dream.

Finally in 1936 the chapel was dedicated. In 1993 Pope John Paul II visited the chapel and bestowed his blessing on it.

The Chapel is built from native stone that was hauled in by mule carts. The sculptures on either side of the altar were carved in Italy. The stained glass windows were created by world renowned German artisans. The sanctuary lamp has been is use in the chapel since the first mass in 1935. This antique lamp once hung in a small chapel in a palace in Rome which Mussollini ordered torn down.

A trip to Estes Park wouldn't be complete without a photo or two of the Stanley Hotel! 

And a stop to view the elk lounging on the golf course.

And we were gifted with a gorgeous sunset on the drive home.


Debra She Who Seeks said...

What a spectacular little chapel -- love how it's built on that rock. Visually arresting.

Robin Larkspur said...

Another great drive. The stone chapel is so beautiful; I imagine it must be a peaceful place.
The elk are wonderful, what a gorgeous creature. I would hate to have to play on that course though, after the elk had, you know, dropped anchor, so to speak.

Danni said...

Wow, what a beautiful drive! The stone chapel is so unique and I love the elk. What a group of camera hams!

Wendy S. said...

From a gorgeous chapel to a freaky and wonderful haunted place. You're driving to such fun places, makes me want to come along.

mrsduncanmahogany said...

That chapel is amazing! What a beautiful piece of architecture! And the elk! Wow. Beautiful area that's for sure...

Introverted Art said...

Jeanne, what a beautiful place. That chapel is stunning, so stunning.