06.16.15 United States Air Force Academy

scaled_USAFAsealTuesday, June 16, 2015 – After all the excitement of Pike’s Peak we thought we’d take it a little easier today – so we toured the United States Air Force Academy.

The Air Force Academy is unique in its dual role as both an Air Force installation and a university. The 10th Air Base Wing provides logistical, medical, fire response, security, civil engineering, family care and medical support across the 18,000-acre installation for a community of approximately 25,000.

After showing our Picture IDs we were allowed to enter the base.  We headed for the Visitors Center where we watched a 20 minute video about the Air Force Cadets four year experience here.  I didn’t know it really is a college experience where they come out as Air Force officers trained in a specific area.  Lots of wonderful information and I’m glad we chose to watch it.

20150616_141837The Academy’s stated mission is “to educate, train, and inspire men and women to become officers of character, motivated to lead the United States Air Force in service to our nation.” It is the youngest of the five United States service academies, having graduated its first class in 1959. Graduates of the Academy’s four-year program receive a Bachelor of Science degree, and are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Air Force.

145115008 To gain admission, candidates must also pass a fitness test, undergo a thorough medical examination, and secure a nomination, which usually comes from the member of Congress in the candidate’s home district. Each class starts with around 1200 cadets with around 1000 graduating.

In addition to a rigorous military training regimen, cadets also take a broad academic course load with an extensive core curriculum in engineering, humanities, social sciences, basic sciences, military studies and physical education. All cadets participate in either intercollegiate or intramural athletics, and a thorough character development and leadership curriculum provides cadets a basis for future officership.

After watching the video we toured a little museum they have and also saw a couple of live Falcons being held by two young men who were explaining about them.  We walked through the gift shop and then left to see the rest of the campus.

20150616_13565620150616_135532 20150616_135543 20150616_135744 20150616_135825 20150616_141357It is a beautiful campus with picturesque views of the mountains surrounding it.  The camp covers 18,500 acres on the east side of the Rampart Range of the Rocky Mountains. This has to be such a huge blessing for the young men and women to live here and learn all they do during their training.

20150616_142541 20150616_141532 20150616_145918 20150616_145933 20150616_150056 20150616_150450 20150616_150542The next four are panoramic pictures.  To see them better click on each one.  Then click the back button to bring you back to the blog.20150616_15103620150616_131846 20150616_131517 20150616_132000The highlight of our visit was when we went to the Cadet Chapel.  Not knowing any better we toured just the main portion which is the Protestant Chapel.  We learned later there is also a Catholic Chapel, Jewish Chapel and Budist Chapel within the huge structure.

Both the exterior and interior are unusual and inspiring.  I can imagine that worshiping God there must be wonderful!  The exterior of the chapel is a focus point on the campus.

20150616_143732 20150616_143553 20150616_143227 20150616_143208 20150616_142631 20150616_142744The pictures below only capture a bit of the overwhelming glory of the interior. Information about the stained glass, the cross and the organ are below.

The Cross made of cast aluminum is suspended and is 46 feet high, 12 feet across and weighs 1200 pounds.

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The organ has 4,334 pipes ranging in size from 32 feet high to merely pencil like size.

20150616_145340 20150616_144241The colors in the stained glass graduate from dark to light representing coming from the darkness into the light of God.20150616_144721 20150616_144413 20150616_144221 20150616_144036Other chapel pews and exterior doors:

20150616_14540320150616_144133Roy had a little fun taking photos with some of the bronze statues on campus.

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Roy was thoroughly taken with watching a plane pulling a glider through the air over the chapel.  You’ll have to look closely in these pictures but if you do, you will see the plane and the glider.

20150616_143926 20150616_143930 20150616_143936This was the perfect outing for two old folks exhausted from their adventure the day before! The temperature today as in the low 70s and sunny!  We really see why people loving living here in Colorado – now that we’ve found the mountains!!

Tomorrow’s adventure includes the US Olympic Training ComplexOlympic+Training+Center+Colorado+Springs

and Garden of the Gods

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We’re both enjoying having some quiet time this evening and relaxing a bit!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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06.15.15 – Part Two – The Chauvin’s take on Pike’s Peak!

20150615_145045 20150615_145057Part Two – Pikes Peak – Monday, June 15, 2015

Two of Roy’s panoramic pictures are above. Click on the panoramic pictures (and any other picture) to see them full size.  Then just click the back button to come back to the blog.

At the Summit, we also ventured out at a different spot, as close to the edge as we could like two crazy old folks.  This involved walking through snow and rocks (large and small) to get there.  The views were amazing even with clouds covering some of the area.  We were the only folks there for much of the time which was nice.  The young folks we did see were just be-bopping along over the rocks and through the snow.  Boots was parked near us and is in one of the pictures.  That boy sure gets around!

20150615_132251 20150615_132751 20150615_132739 20150615_132729 20150615_132632 20150615_132558 20150615_132554 20150615_132514 20150615_132512 20150615_132507 20150615_132400 20150615_132344 20150615_132312 20150615_132910 20150615_133701 20150615_135947 20150615_133733 20150615_133728 20150615_13212720150615_133034 20150615_133044We, on the other hand (mostly me) kept sinking in the snow, a couple of times up to my knee and almost losing my shoe. You’ll see a picture of a hole in the snow – that’s where my leg went in down to my knee (this happened twice) and a picture of me face down in the snow.  I had to pause somewhere and this seemed the thing to do at the time.  Also a picture of me in distress with snow in my hand.  I decided to eat the snow while I was resting.  Then a picture of my legs and shoes all wet.  That was from wallowing around in the snow.  My distress seemed to be be interesting to the young folks who watched me but Roy was there to pull me up and keep me going.  My shoes, socks and glove went straight to the top of the dashboard for drying.

20150615_132140 20150615_133427 20150615_13350320150615_133655Now for our ride down the mountain. There are stops along the way up and down to visit gift shops, use the restrooms, see specific beautiful views and opportunities for exploring the areas through hiking.  We took advantage of all that (except hiking!) which made the whole experience even better!  The driving was quite different from every day driving, as on the way down Roy stayed in 1st gear most of the time and on the way up he went from 2nd to 1st a lot and used quite a bit of gas.

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Roy left our mark in the snow. Look closely it says CHAUVIN at the bottom of the snow!

20150615_135641 20150615_135650 20150615_135756 20150615_135947   20150615_140827 20150615_140837 20150615_140915 20150615_140935 20150615_141047 20150615_141822 20150615_142157 20150615_142212 20150615_143752 20150615_143804 20150615_143812 20150615_143843 20150615_144628 20150615_144658 20150615_144751 20150615_152517 20150615_152958 20150615_153541They check your brakes temperature half way down and ours was okay.  Inside the gift shop halfway we hear people saying that three of the last people checked were over 600 degrees.  Glad Roy is such a good driver that we weren’t one of those folks!

The ride down was totally different than the ride up.  It became very dark and cloudy as we were getting ready to leave the Summit.  Being in the clouds as they turn dark is quite eerie and kind of interesting to see. On the way down it began lightening and raining and then came the hail.  We pulled off to the side in a camping area where hail quickly gathered on the ground and on our windshield.  It let up after a while and we continued on our way down going through a lot of fog (maybe clouds).  A sign warned us of loose gravel on the road and there was quite a lot of it as we got closer to the end of the road.  Roy is an amazingly focused driver and I was very thankful for that yesterday.

We are planning to go back up Pike’s Peak on Friday on the COG Railway so Roy will be relieved of driving duty and we’ll see the mountain from a different view.  Can’t wait till then!

I’ve just finished going through almost 400 photos and selecting 100+ of them to share with you over two blog posts. Roy learned how to take panoramic pictures with our cameras so I’ll be including more of those as we go along. I know the amount of pictures are too much, but I don’t want to leave anything out!

It’s 7:30 pm here and after this long day, going through the photos and writing this I’m heading to bed to recover before tomorrow’s adventures.  I’ll post the blog and pictures tomorrow, Tuesday,when I’ve recovered a bit!!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!!!

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06.14.15 Along the way to and in Colorado Heights RV Park

10178093_342910769197092_5000442774910047737_nSunday, June 14, 2015 – Roy and I are now 1,249 miles from our home in Amite, Louisiana!  We left Amite on May 5th, 40 days ago!  We’ve seen so much already, but the part of this journey we’ve looked forward to the most begins now!

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Along the way from Seibert, Colorado to Monument, Colorado we saw:

wind mills
Hundreds of wind mills as far as we could see.
wind mill blades
Four 18 wheelers each carrying one of the four blades needed to build a windmill

Some pictures of the mountains as we approached them.  I felt like a kid seeing them.  These pictures don’t do justice to the beauty God created in this amazing place!

mountain up closemountains moreI’m sure I’ll have more pictures to share of Colorado Heights RV Park but these are some from when we first pulled in.  We are at an elevation of 7300+ and are feeling okay.  I’m hopeful that’s a good sign for when we go higher into the mountains.   Since our home in Louisiana is at 0 elevation this is a big change for us.  Colorado Heights is a very big park and has a lot to do here with a lot of beauty to do it in!

new chairs and mat
These are our new rockers and recliners we picked up at Sam’s Club on our way in today. There is another anti-gravity recliner that we’ll keep sometimes inside, it’s tan.  We purchased the Fleur de Lis mat a while back but this was our first time using it.  Couldn’t decide between going with subdued colors or bright and bold.  Guess you can tell which way we went!
tan lounger with table
The tan recliner we’ll keep inside mostly. It matches our furniture real well!
colorado heights rv park
That’s Dora and Boots on the left side in this picture.
colorado heights view
This view of the mountains (and I don’t know what mountains they are yet!) is from right by our spot.
looking up at rv from trail
We are parked above a natural trail which I walked some of trying to find out what it was! These two pictures taken of Dora from below are from the natural trail.

way down on the trail looking up

As nice as it is here we did arrive to some bad news.  Two weeks ago Roy ordered a 10931306_1097965880229685_8471053185574325462_n new door lock for our RV front door and had it shipped here to Colorado Heights RV Park.  When we arrived on Saturday morning, they told us that it came but they sent it back.  The reason is that even though we made reservations three weeks ago through the Coast to Coast system, it doesn’t show up in the specific resort’s system until the day before we arrive.  They had searched through all their reservations and saw nothing for us so they sent it back.

Roy, being the brilliant man that he is 11011842_931209490253621_3955828387081218897_nstopped everything he was doing and called the Monument Post Office and they located it.  If he hadn’t called exactly when he did, they would have sent it back to the company.  They now have it arranged to be delivered back here on Monday.  Yes we did let the resort know it’s coming again!  We received a precious card from Madisyn with her Kindergarten picture in it and handwritten totally by herself.  So happy they didn’t send that back too!  They were very apologetic for what happened and since we’re getting the package on Monday, it’s all good!

Ya’ll come back now, ya’ hear!

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