Sunday, May 31, 2009
Air Force Academy and Pike's Peak
After being camped at the Air Force Academy for nearly two weeks, we thought it was time to visit Colorado Springs number one attraction. Yes-that would be the Academy Chapel with a view of the academic grounds. Since our visit was a few days after graduation, we had to time our arrival at the Chapel around the numerous post graduation weddings of the recently graduated Air Force 2nd Lieutenants. According to the chapel hostess, there are many weddings that follow graduation.
Besides the chapel, there is little to explore at the Academy, as the rest of the grounds are off limits and in fact there cannot be much of interest in dorms and class rooms. It is still a pleasant visit and you can get the feel for cadet life by watching a video at the visitor center along with numerous exhibits.
The next afternoon, we headed to COG Railway station to take the train to the top of Pike’s Peak, where the temperature is 30 degrees lower than that at the railway station. The climb to the top takes well over an hour and provides a wonderful view of the area and gives you a real appreciation for what it would take to climb the mountain by foot.
Pike’s Peak is the most visited mountain in Colorado, but it is not near the highest. There are 54 peaks over 14,000 in Colorado and Pike’s Peak is 31st.
We have been top the top some 20 plus years ago with the girls, but went up via the toll road by car. This time there was still lots of snow and ice and this required careful navigation of the grounds. We enjoyed the view of the area including a developing thunderstorm just north of the peak. While we did not buy any souvenirs, we did partake of hot chocolate and the high altitude fat free donuts.