Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Northwest trip, day 16

Dateline Colorado Springs - Today definitely had a high point - 12,095 feet at Independence Pass, and I'm still short of breath from that altitude. We got there after climbing a narrow winding road out of Aspen. We got to Aspen by sitting in a long traffic jam, which will keep me from ever going to Aspen again. We took a lot of mountain pictures, to make up for the ones we didn't get on Going to the Sun Road at Glacier NP. Went through the aspen trees, the tall evergreens, past the ghost town, the short evergreens and finally the tundra above the timber line.

Came down the other side into areas that Bill knew from his time at the Academy, except he didn't recognize anything since it changed a lot from 1965! Ate at a semi-green diner in Buena Vista (pronounced byou-na vista around there), where they actually had a short-order fry cook. Also original art for sale on the wall.

Had to go out to USAFA, since I hadn't visited my alma mater since 1974. It's changed, too. There is an alumni center where nothing was going on and a fancy visitor center. New facilities on the cadet side, too, including athletic buildings. Didn't stay long, since it was raining.

Checked in at the HIE Airport, and went to a Mexican restaurant - saw a beautiful double rainbow en route, and of course the cameras were in the room.

For the day 330 or so miles, 4800+ for the trip. Tomorrow it's boogie across the prairie on back roads to Oakley, KS, thence to Abilene KS for the night.

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