Only thing on the docket for today was a visit to the Air Force Academy. Since it is only about an hour from Denver, just north of Colorado Springs, I thought I would have an early day and be checking into the hotel by 3 or so. Not to be. After taking care of some housekeeping items before I left Denver it was just before 11 by the time I got to the USAFA visitors center. I caught the film about the first year in a cadet's life at the academy. The beginning was a bit traumatic for me because it showed them on the first day of basic training and some of the things they had to endure during training. It caused me to flash back to my Army basic training 45 years ago and the very unpleasant experience that was! There was also a section in the visitors center w/ display boards that talked about both the military and academic training the cadets are required to complete. The displays also talked about the concept and construction of the Academy. Finished up in the visitors center a bit after noon.
Next I took the short hike over to the chapel. The chapel was built in a very unique architectural style making extensive use of metals and glass. It is on the one side of what is the academic quad or military parade field, kind of depending on your perspective. The first cadet class spent their first three years at Lowry Air Force Base in Denver before moving to the new academy in the fall of 1958 in time for the first graduation in 1959.
There is a map that provides a self guided driving tour w/ 8 stops. Most of the stops include way stations discussing some aspect of Academy life or some physical aspect of the Academy. I hit all of the stations, of which the visitors center was one, spending the most time at Heritage Trail, other than the visitors center. The Heritage Trail ended at a Southeast Asia War Memorial, i.e Vietnam. There was a plaque on the trail about the class of 1989. Apparently even if you graduate from the Air Force Academy you can be commissioned in another branch of service. According to the plaque 3 grads from the class of '89 were commissioned in the Marines and 6 in the Navy.
By the time I finished up it was after 3 and I headed for the hotel which was another 30 plus minutes down the road. Hadn't eaten since breakfast but assumed there would be something close to the hotel. No dice. Decided I wanted Panera and didn't even bother checking in to the hotel but headed straight back out. It was supposed to be 15 minutes away but due to some miscommunication between the GPS and myself took about a half hour to get there. Decided I didn't want to have to run out later for dinner so I also got a salad to go. Finally check into the hotel around 5.
When I checked out this morning I mentioned the cricket to the desk clerk and she said the maintenance folks told her they had gotten it. I told her then there must have been 2 of them because I took care of one on Monday night.
Steps 7308/162282 Bike 49.5/49.5