2011 Southwestern USA travel blog

A black squirrel near our campsite

a B-52 near the base gate

Royal Gorge Trip 1 - Pike's Peak received a new dusting during...

Royal Gorge Trip 2 - another view as we are driving through...

Royal Gorge Trip 3 - as we head West we encounter the...

Royal Gorge Trip 4 - lots of sunflowers along the highway

Royal Gorge Trip 5

Royal Gorge Trip 6 - coming into CaƱon City

Royal Gorge Trip 7 - the train will be alongside the Arkansas...

Royal Gorge Trip 8 - we are now entering the deepest part...

Royal Gorge Trip 9

Royal Gorge Trip 10 - the famous suspension bridge in the distance

Royal Gorge Trip 11 - a little closer

Royal Gorge Trip 12 - the tram station at the top that...

Royal Gorge Trip 13

Royal Gorge Trip 14 - another view of the bridge as we...

Royal Gorge Trip 15 - looking back

Royal Gorge Trip 16 - some rafters as we go farther up...

Royal Gorge Trip 17 - now we are headed back

Royal Gorge Trip 18 - the remains of an old wooden pipe...

Royal Gorge Trip 19 - a part of the wooden pipe that...

Royal Gorge Trip 20 - heading back into the deepest part again

Royal Gorge Trip 21 - a couple swinging out over the gorge...

Royal Gorge Trip 22

Flying W Ranch 1 - the old schoolroom

Flying W Ranch 2 - the water cooler and lavatory

Flying W Ranch 3 - the Flying W Wranglers put on a...

Olympic Training Center 1 - the center gym in the gym building

Olympic Training Center 2 - the weight training center

Olympic Training Center 3 - the fitness center donated by 24 Hour...

Olympic Training Center 4 - the wrestling center

Olympic Training Center 5 - the shooting center - 50 meter targets...

Olympic Training Center 6 - the aquatic center

Olympic Training Center 7

Olympic Training Center 8 - some of the grounds

Olympic Training Center 9 - a bobsled for decoration

Olympic Training Center 10 - more of the grounds - a flag...

Olympic Training Center 11 - bronze statues just outside the visitor center

Olympic Training Center 12

Olympic Training Center 13

Air Force Academy 1 - the world famous chapel

Air Force Academy 2

Air Force Academy 3 - the plaza contained bronze models of most...

Air Force Academy 4 - a magpie waiting for us on a...


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.

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