Lake Mead N.R.A.

Lake Mead N.R.A.

Monday, July 5, 2010

U.S. Air Force Academy Self-Guided Tour

July 3-4th, 2010.
It was a hot one July 3rd. with highs right at 90 with at least 60% humidity in Denver. I say Denver, because we drove to my sister and brother-in-laws house on the outskirts of Denver. My sister had a block party and barbeque for all the young kids and their parents in the neigborhood.
It was too much fun for me to handle so I spent most of the day watching the baseball game inside their house!
July 4th, 2010.
Happy 4th of July! 
We started off the morning with our usual walk with Maggie and Rico. We ventured into the pine woods around the campground and came across two large owls in trees.
Later in the morning, Joyce and I did the self-guided driving tour of the United States Air Force Academy in the morning. It was a beautiful if not hazy day.
USAFA Visitor's Map
The B-52 Display

View of the Cadet Chapel and the athletic fields from one of the scenic overlooks

The Cadet Chapel is the most popular man-made attraction in Colorado, with more than a half million visitors every year. Groundbreaking began on the iconic landmark Aug. 28, 1959, and was completed in 1963 at a cost of $3.5 million.

The Cadet Chapel's principal designer and architect was Walter A. Netsch Jr. A Chicago native, Mr. Netsch studied architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, receiving his degree in 1943 and joining the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. He was 34 when he completed the design for the chapel.
The chapel's aluminum, glass and steel structure soars more than 150 feet into the Colorado sky. Its 17 spires can be easily spotted from Interstate 25, several miles east.
The structure is a tubular steel frame of 100 identical tetrahedrons, each 75 feet (23 m) long, weighing five tons, and enclosed with clear aluminum panels. The panels were fabricated in Missouri and shipped by rail to the site. The tetrahedrons are spaced a foot apart, creating gaps in the framework that are filled with one-inch thick colored glass. The tetrahedrons comprising the spires are filled by triangular clear aluminum panels, while the tetrahedrons between the spires are filled with a mosaic of colored glass in aluminum frame.
The Cadet Chapel itself is 150 feet (46 m) high, 280 feet (85 m) long, and 84 feet (26 m) wide. The front fa├žade, on the south, has a wide granite stairway with steel railings capped by aluminum handrails leading up one story to a landing. At the landing is a band of gold anodized aluminum doors, and gold anodized aluminum sheets apparently covering original windows.
The Cadet Chapel was designed specifically to house three distinct worship areas under a single roof. Inspired by chapels at Sainte-Chapelle in France and the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi in Italy, architect Walter Netsch stacked the spaces on two main levels.[4] The Protestant nave is located on the upper level, while the Catholic and Jewish chapels and one all-faiths room are located beneath it. Beneath this level is a larger all-faiths room and two meeting rooms. Each chapel has its own entrance, and services may be held simultaneously without interfering with one another.

1st Year Cadets Marching in formation to lunch.

A picture of the Air Force Stadium which is very close to the Fam Camp.

We attended a hot dog and pot luck lunch at the campground around 1:00 and then took naps. I filled the truck with diesel off base in preparation for our move on Tuesday.
The Air Force Academy was hosting a public fireworks display on base with festivities to include Air Force Bands beginning at 6:30 pm. However, the rain clouds rolled in and there were reports of severe weather with lightning, hail and tornadoes so we stayed in the campground hoping the weather would clear by 9:30 so we could at least go watch the fireworks. The weather didn’t cooperate so, Joyce and I walked out into the campground in the light rain to watch what we could see of the fireworks that went off a bit early to avoid the next severe storm.
It stormed till about midnight which cooled things off and made for good sleeping weather.

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