Monday, August 29, 2011

Colorado Springs

Our five days in Colorado Springs have flown! A highlight of our stay was a visit to the Unites States Air Force Academy. What an impressive place! The centerpiece of the campus is the Cadet Chapel, which is the most popular man-made attraction in Colorado. You can't miss it.

The chapel was designed to house several worship areas under its pinnacled roof. The Protestant Chapel, on the main floor, is the largest. The 46-foot polished aluminum cross suspended above the altar is quite elegant.

Stained glass windows form colorful ribbons of light across the ceiling.

One pew near the front is "reserved" for a very special group of service men and women. A solitary candle burns in the center of the pew as a constant reminder... keep POWs and MIAs in our hearts, minds and prayers.

These bibles were neatly stacked in a rack on the back wall of the chapel. We had never before seen camouflaged bibles.

The Catholic Chapel is located on the lower floor. A glass mosaic of shades of blue, turquoise, rose and gray provides a calm and peaceful backdrop to the altar.

The Jewish Chapel is also on the lower level. This circular room was designed to suggest a tent-like structure.

The Buddist Chapel is the newest and smallest worship area. This quiet space welcomes visitors to spend some peaceful time in meditation.

Outside the Chapel, visitors can watch cadets moving from class to class across the Terrazzo. Freshman cadets are required to "run the strips" of granite between the blocks as they move from building to building. The Chapel Wall is the only spot where family and friends can see their cadets during basic training. This view provides an interesting perspective on cadet life.

On Saturday, we decided to take a drive up the mountains to Cripple Creek. We fueled up with a late breakfast at the Hungry Bear in Woodland Park. We were pleasantly surprised to see fellow travelers Ed and Marilyn sitting at the next table. What a small world! We hadn't seen these two since our visit to the Rio Grande Valley nearly two years ago. It was great to catch up with them.

Cripple Creek, Colorado is an "interesting" place. Visitors are welcomed with the booming whistle of this historic narrow gauge railroad that runs to neighboring Victor.

On the surface, Cripple Creek looks like a quaint, old gold mining town in the mountains.

But inside nearly every door of these historic buildings are rows and rows of slot machines! In 1991, Colorado voters allowed Cripple Creek to establish legalized gambling. As a result, this ghost town has been transformed into a gambling destination. We're not really gamblers, but we enjoyed our stroll around town on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. And, the scenic drive up and back couldn't be beat!

Yesterday, we met my brother and his family for lunch in Monument, just north of Colorado Springs. It was great to get together. Every time we do we're amazed at how these two boys just keep growing!

Our home here in Colorado Springs has been the Garden of the Gods Campground, which is just down the mountain from Manitou Springs. It has served as a great home base for our brief time here in "The Springs".

Tomorrow, we're headed for our native Kansas and the coolest campground ever!


Merikay said...

I hope we can visit that chapel someday. It looks very interesting.

Sue and Doug said...

the chapel looks very interesting..nice stained glass pictures!!