Tuesday, Oct. 7th
On the road by 8am; we headed north on I25 towards Colorado Springs. Jim was stationed at Fort Carson Army Base in 1955 and looked forward to "going home" to see the changes; his first since 1962. Oh my, very little was familiar...progress has made major changes everywhere.
We headed north of the city to explore the Air Force Academy. No trouble getting on site and immediately headed for the Sports Arena so that I could show Jim the mammoth facility where our grandson Josh had played a Ice Hockey game in February 2006. I was there for the game during my cross country drive.
From there we drove to the Cadet Chapel. A soaring structure that reminds one of a series of delta-winged jets set on end and stacked light dominoes. The upper chapel is for all the various protestant faiths, the lower chapel is for the Catholics and then there are also Buddhist and Jewish Chapels. A very impressive structure. We found the gas station and were delighted when we were allowed to fill the tank; saving a few pennies over the stations in town.
Our next adventure was in the Garden of the Gods located back towards Colorado Springs. Very impressive, easy to see by driving the circular drives. See a selection of several of the massive sandstone rocks in the photos. The best was the balance rock. Then continuing southwest we reached Manitou Springs. A town we could have spent two days in easily; very quaint with lots of shops and things to do. Drove the main street and then headed for the Manitou Cliff Dwellings. They moved the entire structure here in the late 1800's from Mesa Verde in the Four Corners area and opened to the public in 1907.
It was nearly 3pm by the time we hit the road west for our nights lodging in Gunnison; an old west town that has managed to stay alive and has continue to modernize and still maintains enough of it's old lore to be interesting. It was a three hour plus drive of twisting two lane mountain roads. Arriving after dark; the elk/deer crossing signs kept us alert and nervous having once hit one in North Dakota years ago until we entered the town. Our old eyes don't do well at night either! Tomorrow its a bit over 100 miles to Grand Junction where we'll visit their "wine country" and college friends who moved there several years ago from Anaheim. See you then.