Well we didn't get the early start we hoped for. What a shock! I'm the slow mover in the mornings and always hold up the parade. At least it was still cool when we did finally leave around 8:30 AM. We headed north on I-25 to Colorado Springs and our destination was the U.S. Air Force Academy just northwest of Colorado Springs.
We made it to the academy and they let us in even though we didn't have a few of the requirements they have for motorcycle riders on base. We had helmets, but didn't have reflective vests and boots over the ankle. Jim went first to the guard shack and had a conversation with the young airman guard at the gate. He schmoozed him with the fact that he is an old Air Force veteran and the kid gave us a pass on the rules.
The Academy campus is beautiful with the most impressive building being the Cadets' Chapel. It's a soaring, steep roofed building designed to represent Air Force jets going vertical. We drove through the campus and got a few photos there. After that visit, we headed for Estes Park where we
will spend the night. Estes Park is at 7,500 ft of elevation and is very close ot the east entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park, where we are heading tomorrow.
On our way there, we stopped for gas just south of Boulder where Colorado University is located. At the gas station Jim struck up a conversation with an old fellow who turned out to be an Air Force Viet Nam veteran. He told us how to take Boulder Canyon Road to head to Estes Park. I had planned to go through that area, but up until meeting the old guy I wasn't sure how we would do it. The route is called the Peak to Peak road. What a beautiful ride right through Boulder Canyon on a very twisty road. It eventually takes you through the hippie town of Nederland right in the mountains. When Heather was living in Colorado she took us to Nederland on the same road. The whole ride to Estes Park was magnificent. This is what we came this whole distance to do.
We are staying at the Ridgeline Hotel and they have a very nice little promotion. With every
check-in, you get a complimentary s'more kit. They have 3 outdoor fires where everyone sits around making s'mores. A real nice touch and the fire felt great on a cool night.
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