Friday, April 15, 2011

United States Air Force Academy

Today dawned cold and windy.  Since we arrived in Colorado Springs, we’ve had cold nights with temperatures in the low 30s.  The sun is bright so the daytime temperatures warm up quickly, but it’s still only in the 50s.  We may have left spring behind in Oklahoma.  I’m sure now being at 6000 feet has something to do with it.

Another thing we’re having difficulty adjusting to is the change to mountain time.  Peanut may be the only one still trying to get adjusted, but his problem has spread throughout the family unit.  He’s wanting somebody to get out of bed at 4 AM to get his breakfast in the bowl.  That disrupts our sleep, then we start looking toward the bed about 7:30 PM.

Speaking of the Peanut, this morning was his turn for annual maintenance.  Gene picked out a vet from the internet.  Every spring we do this; sometimes we get lucky and sometimes we don’t.  Today, we found a real jewel.  In fact, I commented we might have to come to Colorado Springs every spring just to bring Peanut to the East Springs Veterinary Hospital.

Peanut does not like to go to the vet.  His record is filled with comments like, “extremely aggressive cat” and “unable to do physical exam”.   The assistant, John, was wonderful with Peanut.  He held him with a firm but gentle grip while the vet did her thing.  We were calling him the cat whisperer.  The vet wouldn’t come close without John telling her from which angle to approach.  When it came time for the shots, John slid Peanut along the length of the examining table with Peanut facing away from the vet.  The vet gave the shot while Peanut was sliding along the table.  It worked great.  Peanut was focused on John and the slide along the table and I don’t think he even knew he was getting a shot. It was the best vet visit we’ve ever had.

Peanut got a clean bill of health, almost.  Everything is fine except his eyesight.  The vet thought perhaps he wasn’t able to see as well as he should.  He may be developing a cataract on one eye.  We’ll just wait and see how that progresses.  

This afternoon, we drove north of town to visit the United States Air Force Academy.  We had tried to visit the Academy in 2003 when we were in the area.  However, at that time the national security level was high enough to keep all visitors off the base.  We were glad to get the go ahead when we called the Visitor Center yesterday.

The Air Force Academy is a military instillation so we had to pass through the check point with photo ID and answer a couple questions.  Our car was also minimally searched.

At the Visitor Center, we watched a short film about cadet life at the Academy and toured the exhibit hall.  Yes, we also checked out the gift shop.  I was actually looking to buy a coffee mug.  They had several, but all the ones which were the size I wanted I didn’t like the design.  The ones that I found pretty, were all huge.  I got to save my money.

The Cadet Chapel is the focal point of the campus.  We parked at a small parking lot and walked down a short trail for a great view down on the Chapel as well as the cadet area.  From the Visitor Center there is another short paved trail which leads to the Chapel.  Since the Chapel is within the secure Cadet area, we were not allowed to park in the Chapel parking lot.

We toured the Chapel on our own, visiting first the Protestant and largest chapel, then downstairs to the Catholic chapel, the Jewish “chapel”, and the Buddhist chapel.  It’s an incredible structure.  The photos taken inside do not capture the true effect of the stained glass.  It’s one of those places best appreciated in person.

Tomorrow, we’re hoping to do a little hiking at Garden of the Gods.  So I guess that’s all I have for today.  Thanks for tagging along.

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