Saturday, July 27, 2013

Photography 52 - 30 The American Adventure Pt II

Want to hear more about our American Adventure?  Lots of photos ahead gang - one of my longest posts ever!!  I hope you're ready!

We stayed in Colorado Springs for a week and also toured the Air Force Academy base.  Our brother-in-law is a former Major in the Air Force so we got some of the inside info with him as our tour guide.  :) 

Here's a B52 Bomber.  These planes were massive...and still in operation around the world too.  

This was really cool, the class of cadets on their first day wearing their "blues" and learning how to fall in, march, fall out....all those good basics.  It was really fun to watch them.  So above is them measuring out their spacing.  

Air Force Academy Chapel....these pointed triangles on the chapel are so beautiful...the inside is lovely too.  

This is how gorgeous the inside of the chapel looks, the stained glass is beautiful.

Do you notice that on the end of each pew it's designed to look like the tail of an airplane?

More of the stained glass and the mountains out the window.  It's a beautiful location for the Air Force Academy to worship in.  

Our next major stop was Glen Eyrie.  This is the castle in Colorado Springs that Colorado Springs founder, General Palmer built for his family in the early 1900's very near the Garden of the Gods.  I cannot say enough wonderful things about our time there, I think its one of the hidden gems of Colorado Springs, and I think that it may be one of my favourite things all trip.  I very much was looking forward to it.  The grounds are gorgeous there, and I caught this little butterfly in the flowers.  

General Palmer was an amazing man.  Such a visionary!  I could talk on and on about all the things we learned about him.  He was a railroad man, and became very wealthy, but not without also being a very generous philanthropist as well.  His castle, Glen Eyrie was fashioned after castles he had seen in Europe and he also imported many of the things he used in building the castle (like all the 24 fireplaces) from European materials.  The Castle is 64 rooms, and AMAZING...but there's a lot of other wonderful things on the property as well.  Glen Eyrie is now owned by the Navigators, and used as their headquarters, a training facility, and also you can come a stay there too.  They want to share it with anyone.  And we sure enjoyed it.  

One of the creekbeds at Glen Eyrie.  All the stone bridges he built on the property are still standing.  I can just imagine horse drawn carriages still pulling up to the property for the lavish parties they held there in the early 1900's.  

One of the buildings on the property we also got to tour was this one, The Pink House, it was actually built by the previous owner, the Straik Family, an oil family from Texas who wanted to use it as their summer home while they restored the property after it had been in disrepair.  This house is stunning inside.  6200 feet and all restored to be so warm and inviting.  What you can't see, but I'll point out is above the pink house on the ridge - the recent fire in Colorado Springs came as far as over that ridge.  600 yards from Glen Eyrie.  They evacuated but gratefully the property was saved.

Outside of The Pink House, they have a hummingbird feeder.  I was completely fascinated by the ruby throated hummingbirds that flitted throughout the canyon.  I was able to catch a few of them.  They are gorgeous creatures.  

The weathervane above the carriage house.  

And here is the castle.  Honestly it was just stunning.  I had my jaw open most of the day.

General Palmer was so progressive, so forward thinking that so much of the castle was decades ahead of it's time.  The castle was finished in 1904.  Some of the fun details we found out about:  He had fire extinguishers and hoses installed in hidden panels in each room, it had a central vacuum system, a phone, a call system for the servants like Downton Abbey -  only electric, he had a 2 lane bowling alley, a solarium for his daughter who had tuberculosis, a green house, his own dairy, his own school for his children and childen of the staff.  The man was amazing, and I was delighted to hear about him.

Here is another view where you can see more of the castle.  

Our older son isn't grouchy :)  He just didn't realize I was taking the picture yet! 

This is where they do high tea each day in the castle.  Isn't that room amazing?  I just love all the decorative moulding.  

General Palmer's room.  His bed is one of only two pieces of original furniture left.  After the Palmer's sold it, and before the Straiks and then the Navigators purchased the property, it went into disrepair and many pieces were stolen.  This bed was one of the pieces the recovered.  

Me and my hubby in the entrance hallway to the great hall.  

This photo is one of the rooms (my favourite) in the Pink House.  WOWEEEE.  I'd love to stay there someday.  They do marriage retreats too....I'm thinking that maybe for our 20th Anniversary next year we'll have to go back!  

They have a beautiful rose garden on the property too.  Many of the roses are done blooming, but these mini roses were so pretty.

And more examples of the beauty of the gardens there.  It was such a wonderful memorable day for our family.  Blessings all around us.  

From Colorado Springs we moved on to Moab, UT to the Arches National Park!  In our original plans we had hoped to go as far as the Grand Canyon with a pop up tent trailer.  We sadly found out we couldn't pull the trailer with our van, so we had to re-vamp everything, so a close second and similar location was Moab.  I think God knew that we needed to go exactly where we did because we have had the best time.  

It really is a place of majesty, stillness, and beauty.  I read on a Moab brochure a quote that read  "Wilderness is not a luxury, but a necessity of the human spirit" Edward Abbey.  And the desert in Moab has that amazing quality of restoration that I think the writer was talking about.  It has the ability to make you feel very small - and for that to be a good thing.  It right-sizes things in life in a very beautiful way.   This is a section above is called Park Avenue - and the Courthouse Towers, incredible.  Below is that same viewpoint with my longer lens.  

This is called Balanced Rock.  You can see why :)  Early on that day it was cloudy but hot.  Later the sun came out and baked us.  

I just love the look of the desert with the rock formations popping out all over.  In the background is the La Sal Mountains.  

Behind the older two is one of my favourite Arches from the day - this one is called Double Arch.  A short hike up there and you can climb right up into the arches.  It's amazing as you can see below.

Here's my husband and the kids up right in front of one of the arches...Now if I could just photo shop out those people in the background!  

And here's me and the kids in right in the arch.  You get a feeling for how massive it is.  And behind the arch?  Big Drop!  

This is Delicate Arch.  We hiked to it from the bottom side, but there's a shorter hike you can do to see it from the top side (see those little dots of people on the ridge?), however by this time the sun was baking and that was a 3 + mile hike.  

Our little guy LOVED scrambling on all the rocks.  They're called slick rock, I'm guessing because of how they must get if it's rainy or snowing.  But during the summer, if you're careful, they're awesome to climb.  

And this above is Skyline Arch.  I loved this one because you have to climb into a canyon to see it, and it's a little secluded.  You can see how massive it is by how tiny our daughter is.  

All in all a spectacular day.  

The next day we went to Canyonlands National Park, just a short drive away.  Where Arches National Park is one where you are on the floor of most of what you see and can climb up into the arches, Canyonlands National Park puts you above the canyons.  It's like a mini version of The Grand Canyon.  And I think it might give it a run for it's money.  It's incredibly dramatic, majestic, vast and impressive.  I'll just show you a couple of pics from there.  Then save the rest till next week!

These below are all worth clicking spectacular arch in the Canyonlands National Park is this one, Mesa Arch.  It's not huge...but the view through the arch is amazing.  You can see the spectacular canyon, another arch, and the La Sal Mountains in the background.  They say it's stunning at sunrise.  

This will likely be our Christmas Picture this year don't you think?  A very kind gentleman offered to take our picture.  I'm always so grateful when someone notices and offers that.  

This is what the view looks like through the arch without people.  Amazing is an understatement.  And the drop-off behind the arch is so scary.  

And this is the view of what's through the arch. See that other arch in the center?  They call that the Washing Woman.  It looks like a woman doing her laundry :)  

Such a overwhelmingly beautiful place.  

And I hope to have a surprise from our next location next week for you!  

Thanks for sharing this week with me! 


Marisa said...

LOVE the picture of your kids and you and the dessert is amazing!! Fabulous castle shots too. Looks like you had a great time :)

KarinsArtScrap said...

wow stunning picture and great photo's you have made.

greetings karin

Conniecrafter said...

Oh Wow these are gorgeous pics, I have gone through Utah but not that area. My husband and I are going to Yellowstone area for our 30th this fall, we might have to drive through that area on our way there or back, glad your all having a great time!

TLady said...

WOW CHRISTINE!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT GORGEOUS PICTURES!!!!!!!! :) HOW do you remember all those things about each picture? I'd get things MIXED UP!!!! LOL WHAT A SPECTACULAR TIME you had!!!!!!! LOOOOOOVE that CASTLE!!!!!!!:)

Mickie said...

More great pics. Love the beauty the Lord has made.

BJ Searcy said...

Beautiful pictures and beautiful kids. Love the backdrop of all the pictures of your beautiful family. That makes for nice memories. Thanks for sharing.

Wanda Cullen said...

Wow, these photos are incredible! Loved "traveling" along with you and your family! I have two nurse friends who go on annual trips and try to visit national parks. I'm going to have to ask them if they've ever been to these locations! Isn't God's creation just so amazing?!

Bobbi's Paper Trail said...

Christine thank you so much for sharing such gorgeous pictures. What a wonderful vacation; you have a beautiful family. God Blesd you!

Anonymous said...

Arches is my all time favorite place. I was blessed with a dad who took us to see all the beautiful places this country has to offer. I know your kids will remember these places for a long time if not forever. Enjoy the rest of your trip and thank you for sharing the pictures, they bring back a lot of fond memories, especially since my dad is no longer with us.

Patti J said...

Goodness, you brought back memories! Our son is a 1998 graduate of USAFA, so we spent lots of time on I70 between St. Louis & Col. Springs! Our daughter was married in Feb. 2012, at the tiny little chapel at Garden of the Gods. Don't know if you saw it, or not. Looks like a wonderful vacation, and your family is so special! Thanks for sharing :)

Anonymous said...

Family, vacation, memories, God's mighty creativity in the lense, what a teaching/ learning opportunity for generations of stories to tell, research papers to generate, and card making so beautifully inspired. Thank you, your generous sharing of pics has been a trip in the shade. Thanks for baking to share with the rest of us in blogland! Pray for the chaplins there, they have so many regs to meet and so man military minds of academic prowess to guide with the Book of Books showing the way. Blessings on your comings and goings, school prep and end of summer interactions.
Keep Looking UP! mt23stamperatyahodc