Before the volcanic explosion that formed these famous mountains, the area was tropical. Dinosaurs circled the area. Palm trees and ferns were the flora of the time.
Early cavemen flocked to the United States from the land bridge across the Bering Strait, linking present-day Russia with Alaska. These people inhabited the western region of the United States and evolved into our founders of Native Americans.
Fast forward thousands of years. Spanish researchers have visited the area in search of gold and other riches.
The French follow. They were expanding their holdings in the undiscovered United States west of Mississippi. Then American researchers traveled west to map their new acquisition from the French, the Louisiana Purchase.
Other Americans moved west of the colonial United States to find their adventures. Mountain men who embarked in Colorado decided to live in this rough land. French coat-holders came into the bean-hides territory, which was so sought after for hats, coats and jackets for rich people.
A man named Zebulon Pike explored central Colorado and found the famous mountain that bears his name. Mr. Pike opened the territory of Colorado for further exploration. Many sought wealth just like the Spaniards had several hundred years ago.
And they found him. The golden tide was in Colorado. Thousands competed from the east to make their fortune with the "Pikes Peak or Bust" slogan on their lips or painted on their wagons. Cities you now know today, such as Denver, Aspen, Leadville, were once tent cities around gold beats.
With the newly established cities established, lawlessness, gambling, houses of bad repute and encroachment have invaded the scene of the golden tide. Many old legends in the west turn Colorado into a halt to travel to other parts of the established west.
When the gold was finally taken out, the gold diggers either left the area to head back east or stayed on the plains of Colorado to cultivate the land. Some hearty souls joined the wagon trains heading west because our new country suddenly grew larger and more people expanded into the territory.
With the influx of these new residents, the original landowners, Native Americans, were pushed out of their property.
The Indians retaliated against the attack and bloody fighting ensued between them and the US government.
By the end of the century, 1899, Colorado was well established and established as a state. So you can see, in a short time, Colorado was part of the legend of the wild west in a very big way.
When visiting, think about where you go or the mountains you take pictures of.
Hundreds of years ago, the first researchers looked at exactly the same thing, walking in the same area. It definitely gives you a sense of perspective.