Thursday, September 22, 2011

Touring Colorado Springs

At first when something goes wrong with the RV we tend to overreact. When we realize that in our old sticks and bricks the refrigerator broke or we needed new tires we get over it pretty quickly, maybe it is because the size of the RV compared to the house and the closeness of everything.

Most of the time when you are in Colorado Springs it is mostly clear and the mountains dominate the view. Pikes Peak is a good navigation tool as you always know which direction is west.

While Jo's brother and sister-in-law were visiting we toured the Olympic Training Center, which is at the former home of ENT Air Force Base and the headquarters of the North American Defense Command, Jo's brother was in the Air Force in the 60's and he reported to ENT for his time at Cheyenne Mountain. In July 1978 this site officially became USOC administrative headquarters and provides housing, dining, recreational facilities and other services for up to 557 coaches and athletes at one time on the complex.

Entering the complex there is an  interesting sculpture. We first toured the Visitors Center and the Hall of Fame while waiting for our free tour to begin. The tour began with an inspiring 12 minute film about the Olympics.and then a 45 minute walking tour where you tour the grounds and see some of the training facilities. After the tour we of course walked through the gift shop but being full-timers with no space to spare we were able to avoid buying anything.

Next we visited the Air Force Academy concentrating on the Visitors Center and Chapel. We have not toured the other military academies but we cannot imagine a more scenic location than this one. The drive from the gate to the Visitors Center is picturesque and enjoyable. The Barry Goldwater Visitors Center had displays on the history of the academy which was opened in 1958. Construction began in 1955 and a temporary location at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver was utilized until 1958.

From the Visitors Center you can take a 1/3 mile trail to the Chapel which houses 4 Chapels; Buddhist, Catholic, Jewish and Protestant. The Chapel is near the dorms and although we never saw formations we saw a lot of cadets heading for athletics and other activities while we were there. The Academy houses 4,000 cadets and upon graduation they become First Lieutenants in the United States Air Force.

We have good news on the refrigerator, the cooling unit has been delivered and it will be installed today but we did not let not having a refrigerator stop us from enjoying the beautiful Colorado Springs area.

Till next time,

Bob and Jo

1 comment:

  1. I used to live there as a child. My dad was the Academy Comptroller (director of finance) for 4 1/2 years; I lived in Douglas Valley and attended elementary school there. That's where I developed my love of the mountains, as almost every weekend was spent with the family on picnics and explorations up in the mountains above the Academy and Colorado Springs. (When you have 6 kids, you find cheap entertainment!) It remains to this day my most favorite "home" of the 19 I've lived in. One of these days I'll take my husband there. He's retired Air Force and I know he'll love seeing it. I love that chapel - it's definitely the icon of the Academy.