“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Near Golden in Jefferson County, Colorado — The American Mountains (Southwest)

Play in the Wind

Play in the Wind Marker image. Click for full size.
By Charles T. Harrell, July 3, 2011
1. Play in the Wind Marker
Inscription. Windy Saddle Park is named for the nearly constant wind currents that can be felt blowing through the foothills. Winds traveling across the plains are forced upward when they hit the Rocky Mountains, and as the air rises, it has enough force to lift objects into the sky.

Many large birds use these currents to conserve energy. Being lifted into the sky by this wind, called a thermal, is much easier than flapping wings that can span eight feet from tip to tip. Using thermals saves energy and make it easy for birds to travel long distances. The turkey vulture is an expert at utilizing these thermals and are often seen soaring over this area, rarely flapping their wings. Humans now use the same lifting air currents to play in the wind. Hang gliders and paragliders can often be seen here soaring with the raptors, high above the foothills.

When air moving across the plains hits these mountains, it is forced upward, causing strong updrafts that carry birds and enable humans to feel the wonder of flight.
Location. 39° 44.196′ N, 105° 14.726′ W. Marker is near Golden, Colorado, in Jefferson County. Marker is on Lariat Loop Road. Click for map. Marker is at overlook. Marker is in this post office area: Golden CO 80401, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Recreation: Past to Present (here, next to this marker); Water Carves Canyons (here, next to this marker); Windy Saddle Park / Connecting to the Past (here, next to this marker); Our Changing Landscape-From Sea Floor to Mountain Top (approx. 0.4 miles away); What You Can See From Here Today (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lariat Loop Byway: Denver Mountain Parks (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lariat Loop Byway: Buffalo Bill Museum (approx. 0.4 miles away); Charles E. Kirk (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Golden.
Categories. AnimalsEnvironmentSports

Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. This page has been viewed 412 times since then and 102 times this year. Photo   1. submitted on , by Charles T. Harrell of Woodford, Virginia. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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