On a whim, my BoomerGuy set up a surprise trip to Colorado Springs to visit my sister and her husband. It was only for three days, but at this time of year and getting ready to host a myriad of relatives it was quite sufficient and delightful. What a great treat.
Colorado Springs is one of the fastest growing cities in the country. It sits on the outskirts of Denver, and has quite a rich heritage, including Pikes Peak, the United States Air Force Academy, the Garden of the God’s and Cheyenne Mountain, just to name a few. However, at this time of year, one of the major points of interest is the Broadmoor Hotel, the longest running five-star hotel in the United States.
The ban of Ute people were known as the “People of Sun Mountain” dating back to 500 A.D., then the Arapaho people arrived in the 1800’s and called the mountain, Long Mountain. Zebulon Pike named the peak “Pikes Highest Peak” in 1806, but never reached its summit. The mountain was later named “Pikes Peak” in 1890.
The United States Air Force Academy is located just west of Colorado Springs, was established in 1954 and stands at 7258 feet in elevation with 4237 cadets at any given time.
The first European explorers referred to this site as Red Rock Corral. Then in 1859 a new group of surveyors remarked the area would be a great location for a beer garden. His companion retorted this place of incredible beauty was more suited for gods to assemble. And that’s how “Garden of the Gods” got its name. The park’s famous red rocks formed over 300 million years ago and are conglomerates of red, pink and white sandstone and limestone. The 1367-acre garden is a “gift of inestimable value” to all of mankind, and will be “kept forever free to the world.”
Cheyenne Mountain is a triple peaked mountain southwest of Colorado Springs. The mountain serves as the host for military, communications, recreational and residential functions. The underground operations center for the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) was built during the Cold War to monitor North American airspace for missile launches. Built deep within granite, it was designed to withstand bombing and fallout from a nuclear attack.
And then onto the wonderful Broadmoor built in 1918 as the “Grand Dame of the Rockies” fully equipped on its 3000+ acres with a PGA golf course, polo field, riding arena, ice palace, an Olympic training center all complementing its 779 rooms. There is nothing more splendid than the Broadmoor at Christmas.
It was a wonderful trip with absolutely too many pictures to share, but hopefully this gave you a “taste” of how beautiful this part of the country is.
For all you Boomers, have a Merry Christmas.