Although we’d been to the Air Force Academy last fall, another trip proved well worth the time.
At the Visitor’s Center, they have an excellent movie on the lives of the Cadets through their four years and in their own words. The Center also has an informative museum.
However, clearly the highlight of any trip to the Academy is the Cadet Chapel (150 feet tall, 280 feet long and 84 feet wide) with its dramatic exterior
and multi-denominational interior chapels.
PROTESTANT CHAPEL (capacity of 1,200)
CATHOLIC CHAPEL (capacity of 500)
JEWISH SYNAGOGUE (capacity of 100)
and one memorializing the Tuskegee Airmen …
At the corners of the interior quad, four combat fighters flown by USFA pilots
and a memorial to the victims of the 9-11 tragedy.
After lunch at
where they served some of the most outrageous, not to mention huge, burgers on the planet, Debbie and I took another drive through Old Colorado City.
We then drive to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings,
which proved absolutely fascinating and informative. Within the Visitor’s Center is a museum which includes a number of interesting exhibits.
It is also unique in that visitors are not kept at “arm’s length” from the ruins but are able to wander through them and are actually encouraged to touch and feel the handiwork of the Anasazi who lived there between 1,000 and 1,300 AD.
The current Visitor’s Center and Gift Shop is a pueblo built in 1898 and occupied by Native Americans until 1984.
Most archeologists agree that the Pueblo Indians are descendants of the Cliff Dwelling Indians. Fifty years before Columbus “discovered” the New World, Taos Pueblo was built around 1450 and has been continuously inhabited since then.
Defense was a primary reason for building pueblos five stories high with no doors or windows in the lower floors. The only access to these floors was by ladders to the room and then down an opening. The exterior ladders could be quickly pulled up during enemy attacks. Today, doors and windows have been cut into the lower levels; yet there are no interior hallways, and ladders are still used to access the upper levels.