Friday the 16th the weather finally cleared and we headed for the Royal Gorge
to see it. Instead of going to the bridge and park which has been over commercialized we decided to take the Royal Gorge Route Railroad
and see it from below in a much more relaxed manner. It was a great ride through the gorge with great scenery around every corner. I didn't include a great many pictures as they just can't capture how big this thing is.
We then came back to Colorado Springs, did a little shopping while killing some time, and then went to the Flying W Ranch
. It is a lot like the one we went to in Cody but much better and even a little less expensive. The food wasn't quite as good but the cowboy show was a step above the Cody one. Before the show we looked at a lot of the older buildings on the ranch, which is still a working ranch. Most of them were now gift shops but the schoolroom was still as it once was and I snapped a couple of pictures.
Saturday and Sunday were football again so we didn't do much else but watch some great ball games. Monday we headed into Colorado Springs again. This time was to see the Olympic Training Center
which is one of the the three centers in the United States. The other two are in Lake Placid, NY and Chula Vista, CA. This center has a very nice visitor center and tours that are led by Olympic ambassadors. Ours was led by one of the paralympic athletes and he did a great job. The center is used by our athletes to train for the Olympics and they are housed and fed here. Some have part-time jobs to supplement their needs and others are sponsored by different organizations. This center is used by athletes training in gymnastics, swimming, shooting, wrestling, basketball, boxing, and others I forget. The other summer Olympic sports receive training at Chula Vista while the winter Olympic sports receive training at Lake Placid.
We then came back to base and visited the cadet area of the Air Force Academy. Mainly we wanted to see the chapel which has some great architecture. This is a very nice base, very large and mostly forested at the foot of the Rockies. You drive several miles getting from one place on base to another. We have enjoyed our relaxing stay here but must leave tomorrow for Walsenburg, CO from which we will visit the Great Sand Dunes National Park.