Today we visited Garden of the Gods and the Air Force Academy. Entry to both was free!!
After visiting the Air Force Academy (USAFA) Visitor’s Center were able to go inside the Cadet’s Chapel. Beautiful inside. Can’t imagine our pictures will do it justice. Just outside the chapel we saw a group of about 200 young people assembling on a large grassy field. We found out they were high school kids who will be seniors next year. They are interested in attending the Academy and each paid $350 to spent 5 days at Summer Seminar. Since most of the actual cadets are in some kind of training away from the Academy for the summer, the youth live in the cadet dorms and eat cadet food while attending classes and working on physical fitness. This was their first day and things weren’t very realistic yet because the people in charge weren’t yelling at them. For some reason those in charge of National Guard Basic Training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio years ago weren’t nearly so nice. At our campsite we hear cannon fire and bugle calls from Fort Carson right below us. Colorado Springs is immersed in Army and Air Force culture.
We were able to get a great picture of Pike’s Peak from Garden of the Gods. Found out they had a super mild winter around here and the peaks are usually still snow capped this time of the year. As it is, it looks like someone poured chocolate syrup over their tops. Zebulon Pike never made it to the top of the peak named after him. His November attempt was turned back by heavy snow. Pike’s Peak is the furthest east of Colorado’s 54 fourteeners A fourteener is a mountain that is above 14,000 feet.
Garden of the Gods was very pretty and interesting. We wandered around the trails for awhile and found some geocaches. Actually Earth Caches. Since it isn’t okay to place actual objects in areas such as this, people use GPS coordinates to take cache seekers to a location and require them to answer specific questions in order to get credit for finding the cache. It is often very difficult to figure out what in the heck some of the questions mean.
Tomorrow we head for Denver.