Friday, August 22, 2008

US Airforce Academy

As we drove in, this is the first view of the academy buildings and grounds. The Chapel stands out toward the rear of the picture.

You first go to the Barry Goldwater visitors center, and watch a movie and look at the displays in the museum.

They have one of the cadet gliders hung over the displays, and of course the mandatory gift shop. Above the glider is a window to let sun light in as though it was the sun shining down on the room. Of course that gives the camera big fits to deal with all the contrasting lighting.

The actual college area is mostly off limits, and 1/3 of a mile away. You have to hike a trail that goes up a hill and around thru the woods.

Once you get closer, the student buildings begin to appear.

First the dorm is visible thru the trees.

Then you come out into the open and can see most of the college buildings.

As you walk farther then the Chapel becomes the most striking building, and takes away your attention from the other sights.


And as you arrive in front you are struck by its size.

Turning on your heels you are now above the main student marching area. We called it the grinder in the Navy, but I do not know what term of endearment they use in the Air Force.

This is from the steps of the chapel. If you look, or click to enlarge the picture, you can see all the students making their way from classes to lunch. It was nearly high noon.

Once inside the Protestant, main floor of the Chapel, they were rehursing for a wedding. The chapel was to close after our tour, so we were fortunate to have been allowed inside.

Looking straight up, the stained glass is between the spires.

They change color, as you go toward the front, or alter, to signify coming to the light of Christ.

Behind you and elevated above the entry, is a massive pipe organ.

This is the Catholic Chapel which is on the lower floor from the Protestants. It is about a third the size, but is lined with stained glass as well. They did not allow flash, so these available light shots without a tripod are blurred. I was as still as possible, but to no avail.

Each window has a small wooden cross inlayed into the glass pane. It is in the white milk glass pane of each section. It is in the lower right corner of the closest one.

Now we are in the Jewish Synagogue and the tour guide has opened the cabinet shaped like the ten commandments, to reveal the torah scrolls. The alter is shaped with rounded ends so as not to damage the scrolls.

The menorahs were on the piano, and the painting around the room depict the scenes from the Old Testament.

After the tour of the Air Force Academy, we went for a drive to the town of Cripple Creek, up in the mountains behind Pikes Peak. It is quite a drive and we reached altitudes above 10,000 feet. I have bunches of pictures, but the speed of our internet connection will not allow them, unless I stay up all night. LOL.

Oh I forgot, I jacked up the trailer and removed that pesky wheel and tire before we went to the Academy. It was a finishing nail that was embedded sideways into the edge of the tread. We put a really big plug in it over at a local tire shop, and it is now back on the trailer.

We are moving on to the West of the Colorado Springs area in the morning, so we will see how well it holds air.

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