Once inside the Visitor Center, you are welcomed with a large mural showing cadets throwing their hats in the air in celebration of graduation, a bronze plaque blazoned with their motto "We will not lie, steal, or cheat, nor tolerate among us anyone who does". They show a great film about the life and training of a cadet, and have exhibits displaying the history, uniforms, a model of a cadet's room, etc. Then, of course a very large gift shop!
A map is given (and needed!) for you to take a tour of the campus. Luckily, most areas of interest are in a central area. The most visited is the Cadet Chapel. Completed in 1962, originally controversial in its design, the Cadet Chapel has become a classic and highly regarded example of modernist architecture and was named a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 2004. The first thing you see is it's row of 17 spires. There are gaps between them that are filled with colored glass that create an incredible experience inside.
|The Protestant Nave|
|Buddhist Vast Refuge Dharma Hall|
After walking our legs off this very large campus, we headed "back to the past"... to check out the Wild West Ghost Town Museum!
Jack and I have visited a number of Ghost Towns across the country, but this was nice in that it was inside, clean, and all in one spot. It was well preserved, located within one of of the last remaining Colorado Midland buildings. The structures were abandoned after the gold rush era in the 1800s and included a general store, saloon, blacksmith shop, jail, livery stable, rooming house and a beautiful Victorian house along with a ton of artifacts. There were hardly anyone else there when we visited, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.
You could put a quarter in the player pianos and have a dance with your partner, or hop on a saddle and pretend you were a cowgirl, or even pet one of the last remaining bisons!
It was a great way to end our week together. We had so much fun, saw so many new things and once again renewed our friendship with these wonderful people! What more can two people ask for?
Life is good...
...kicking back in Colorado, Marie
If you wish to view the rest of the photos from this trip, you can at my Flickr account at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/74905158@N04/