Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

Collapse

Ad Widget

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Trip Report Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

    Welcome to another trip report!

    Due to the mutual decision of my partner and myself, we've elected to not vacation this year--but the motivation to hit the road was not dead. We tried to do things closer to home. Luckily, this past week, my aunt and uncle from Pennsylvania came for a visit. My uncle has been a huge influence on me-we're both teachers and we love going to museums and the like.

    And this trip was no different!

    I live about 15 minutes from this place, the famed Air Force Academy. I've visited West Point and the Naval Academy and, by far, the best real estate has been given to this school in the 1950s. They pretty much own much of northern Colorado Springs and there's something beautiful in seeing our young men and women practicing their parachuting skills in the early morning.

    These are really some good kids and I kinda feel for them-I did not have the gumpsion to do what they do. You see them every where (the underclassmen have to wear their dress blues even when going off campus) and they are respectful and kind. Rarely is there a scandal; and if it is...it's because, less we forget, they still young men and women.

    You enter through a guard gate that does not let you drive right up. Instead, concrete is poured to force you to drive in a zigzag pattern (I didn't get a pic). You must show your identification and, on occasion, have your car inspected by the MPs.

    Once inside, you are given directions to the main campus (the place is gignormous!) with it's visitor center, overlook, quad and chapel.



    The Visitor's center houses the introductory film, the museum and the all important gift shop. Unlike the Disney post-ride visits, the money here goes to fund the football team and is not taxed.



    Graduation is a huge event as seen in this photomural upon entry. Traffic stops all over town. Of course, that's usually because the president is in town and every cell phone and garage door-opener is being jammed. And also because they keep doing fly-overs by the Blue Angels and ultra creepy stealth bombers.



    However the 50's concrete design could use an update. This gives you an idea of the displays in the visitor's center.



    Freshman are referred to as Cadets FourthClass...or doolies. I never thought of myself as old, but you look at these young men and women and they look like they are 14 years old! AHHH!



    A dome covered interactive map does not do justice to the size of campus. You can see the famed spires of the their art deco church, the main draw.

    More to come!

    Peace,
    Roo
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

  • #2
    Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

    Part Two.



    Piloting ain't easy--especially while living in a cell phone driving world! The glider is where the cadets begin their education in aviation and below, you can see visitors looking into the cockpit of an F-16 (don't quote me, I think that's what it said).



    Their mascot is the Falcon and some students still practice this ancient hunting skill. Being right on the front range, these birds do exceptionally well. And they are beautiful to behold in motion.



    Close up of the cockpit.



    Another diorama of the famed multispired glass church.



    And some uniforms. Nothing like a man in uniform. I guess the same goes for women!

    Peace,
    Roo
    husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

      Now for the hike. Again, if you aren't used to the altitude, they offer a brief shuttle to the other side of the bluff. Once there, you can tour the chapel and, from an overlook, see the main quad.



      Here is the view from the front of the Visitors' Center. It should give you an idea of life here on the Front Range. And my aunt and uncle exercise daily, so we elected to hoof it over the hill to the chapel.



      Here's the first sight you get rounding the bend. The quad is beyond.



      The upper portion is the Protestant chapel and this visit, we played it smart. We went during a week day. This place is booked, like, for the next four hundred years for officers' weddings. Located below is a Catholic chapel and a Jewish Temple.



      And inside.



      And the altar's details.



      At risk of of innuendo...the organ!

      Next up? The Quad!

      Peace,
      Roo
      husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

        And lastly, the quad.



        For a weekday, the campus was buzzing. The new school year was about to begin, so many civies were being permitted onto the quad--if they had a cadet escort. The first thing in the school year? You get your new badges and your rank changes. So everyone was positive and there were many, many families having picnics. Some students are also sponsored by local families (especially if their family is far away) and they were all buzzing about.



        Notice the grid. It covers the entire lot. No one is sure where the tradition began, but underclassmen must walk it and only stop if an upperclassmen or an officier approaches. Don't believe me? Well, take a look at these two pictures of these poor doolies....



        And these cadets...



        And that, my friends, was the Air Force Academy. I am not as talented with the camera as my partner, but I hope I gave the place some justice. Questions? Let me know!

        Peace,
        Roo
        husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

          Yay! If you ever, ever get an opportunity to go to graduation, you should take it. It was awesomely awesome.

          I've never been in the vistor center though, so thanks for showing that part!
          A signature should go here.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

            When I was in CoSprings back in 1999, we went here and to the Olympic Training Center (of course ). Both are so awesome to go to. I love the architecture of the chapel.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

              Well, Susie, when you live around here, you can't help but not get caught up in the whole graduation thing. But tickets go fast and since we don't know anyone there...we just watch what we can on television.

              Also depends on who the speaker is.

              O-Nut? That's what we did this very same day! But I'll publish that as a separate thread, for the amount of pictures would blur everyone's vision.

              So...coming soon....the Olympic Training Center!

              Peace,
              Roo
              husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

                It's televised??? I had no idea! Or, do you just mean on the news?

                One of the highlights is that after the cadets throw their hats in the air at the end of graduation, the kids in the audience are escorted on to the field to go grab one to keep. Lots of the cadets put money inside their hats as a surprise. I think my son got $5, which my cousin quickly denounced as cheap, since had put $20 in his. :lol:
                Last edited by SusieP.; 08-12-2008, 09:38 PM.
                A signature should go here.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

                  Great TR! Thanks for the pics.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

                    Very Cool - thanks for the photos. I hadn't seen the church before.

                    On the jets..

                    the guys doing the flyovers would be the Thunderbirds, not the Blue Angels. The airforce wouldn't want the Navy's performance team spoiling their ceremonies Thunderbirds are the white jets with red/blue bird markings (F-16s). Blue Angels are blue with gold markings (flying F/A-18s)

                    The cockpit in the museum is a T-38 . It's the supersonic trainer that USAF pilots would train in once they get to jets. Also popular to see as the trainer used by astronauts.

                    The other jets in your photos (in the quad) are a F-15 (the jet facing right) and a F-16 (the one facing left).

                    Signed
                    - the pesudo navy brat and jet freak

                    Jet Noise - The Sound of Freedom!

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

                      Originally posted by flynnibus View Post
                      Very Cool - thanks for the photos. I hadn't seen the church before.

                      On the jets..

                      the guys doing the flyovers would be the Thunderbirds, not the Blue Angels. The airforce wouldn't want the Navy's performance team spoiling their ceremonies Thunderbirds are the white jets with red/blue bird markings (F-16s). Blue Angels are blue with gold markings (flying F/A-18s)

                      The cockpit in the museum is a T-38 . It's the supersonic trainer that USAF pilots would train in once they get to jets. Also popular to see as the trainer used by astronauts.

                      The other jets in your photos (in the quad) are a F-15 (the jet facing right) and a F-16 (the one facing left).

                      Signed
                      - the pesudo navy brat and jet freak

                      Jet Noise - The Sound of Freedom!
                      Okay, okay...thanks. I didn't mean to insult--but to my credit, they didn't have anything labeled. And since I tend to HEAR the Thunderbirds moreso then seeing them, well, I went with the first word I thought of.

                      Thanks for the clarification!

                      Maybe YOU need to come to Colorado Springs! Lemme know. I'll get some meatloaf and lemonade and cookies together. Sounds like you might enjoy such a place!

                      And Susie, it has been televised, but I've not noticed recently. Mostly just the news!

                      Peace,
                      Roo
                      husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

                        Wow, great TR Roo! I love the jets and the church is just gorgeous!

                        Thanks for sharing and GREAT photos!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

                          Originally posted by Roo719 View Post
                          Okay, okay...thanks. I didn't mean to insult--but to my credit, they didn't have anything labeled. And since I tend to HEAR the Thunderbirds moreso then seeing them, well, I went with the first word I thought of.

                          Thanks for the clarification!

                          Maybe YOU need to come to Colorado Springs! Lemme know. I'll get some meatloaf and lemonade and cookies together. Sounds like you might enjoy such a place!
                          Closest I've been is Denver to Cheyenne Tho there is a big AF base there as well I believe. Ironically living relatively close to Annapolis my entire life, and staying in the 'city' as well, I've never actually visited the Naval Academy either!

                          I grew up around the Navy, including my father going through Test Pilot School, and still now 30+ years later still working in very significant roles in Naval Air. It had its perks tho.. flying the real military simulators, watching live test exercises, going on carrier cruises, etc. Jets are cool

                          Also spoiled being close to DC here.. we get Armed Forces Day at Andrews where all the branches come out to demo/show off their toys.

                          If you ever get the chance, I highly recommend Pearl Harbor. Very inspiring displays there as well.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

                            I've done Annapolis (sp?) and thought it was interesting...but very enclosed in my opinion. But then again, look at what I got!

                            My dad was Navy, but loves his mountains--hence we ended up back in Colorado.

                            And, luckily, I have done Pearl Harbor. You are totally right, very cool to see. And I was there during monsoon season, so there was nothing creepier then seeing the bilowy clouds in the film and then going outside and....seeing bilowy clouds.

                            I didn't realize you were near Washington DC et al. Very, very cool. My maternal grandfather did a stint in Arlington before retiring to Texas. I was out there last year for a visit--my paternal grandfather's family is in Lancaster, PA, but the closest airport is Baltimore and Reagan. So, like it or not, I had to drive all around that area.

                            Guess it is a small world, after all!

                            Peace,
                            Roo
                            husband, petowner, wordsmith, imagineer, martialist, playwright, traveller, ardent, wit, critic, barista, Taoist, superhero, fortuneteller, reader, fidget, teacher, dreamer, author, blogger, ghosthunter, voter, patient, bear, gourmand, Floridian, friend

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs, CO

                              I hate to say it Roo but I'm kind of glad you guys are doing 'home vacations' this year. I have loved seeing how beautiful Colorado is and all the unique different things you have. I can't wait to see your Olympic area photos.
                              sigpic

                              Comment

                              Ad Widget

                              Collapse
                              Working...
                              X