Extended trip to Colorado Springs CO
This is a report on Sun Country Corvette Club trip to Colorado Springs. First off I want to thank a few people –My planners: Pat Tobin, Ben Dyer, Jim Haney and Dan MurphyMy drive coordinators: Ben Dyer, John Seeger, Jim Haney, Dave Wicks and Dick Whelan.My participants: Ray & Fran Danczak, Ben & Sue Dyer, Jim & Judy Haney, George & Sharon Johnson, Dan & Shosh Murphy, John & Beverly Seeger, Dick Whelan & Linda Stutgen, Dave & Selma Wicks and Don & Pat Tobin.Our trip departed from the Bagel Shop on Sunday morning heading for our first nights respite in Albuquerque, NM. Throughout our trip we of course ran into roadwork of varying degrees. Our second day of driving took us from Albuquerque to Colorado Springs. We were very fortunate that Ben was leading us unerringly to our destination. Ben Dyer had made out a timetable for our travel days and quite impressively we were very close to right on time both days.In Colorado Springs we had a number of events scheduled for each of the two full days. Day one (Tuesday) activities to choose from included: Pike’s Peak (either drive or take the COG Railway), lunch in Manitou Springs then drive through the Garden of the Gods, Museum of WWII War Planes. Dinner Tuesday night was at the Flying W Ranch including live entertainment.Day two (Wednesday) activities to choose from included: Dragonman’s Military Memorabilia Museum, Miramon Castle, Queen’s Tea Room, Air Force Academy Tour. Dinner was going to be at Jim Haney’s sons house – it was decided that it might be a tough drive back to the hotel in the dark. We went to Outback Steakhouse instead.Our trip home of course started in Colorado Springs and proceeded home with an over-night stop on Thursday in Cortez, CO. We made it home mid-afternoon on Friday and I think most of us went to bed for either a nap or an early to bed night.SCCC Trip to Colorado Springs Sept 12 – 17thThe hotel that we had in Colorado Springs fortunately seemed to be centrally located for everything we planned to do.Tuesday morning we planned on starting the day with Pike’s Peak. Everyone had the opportunity to decide – either drive to the summit or take the COG Railway. The Railway has recently been purchased by the Broadmoor Group and refurbished. Jim & Judy Haney and Ben & Sue Dyer decided they wanted to drive to the summit. Jim Haney & Dave Wicks both mentioned that the altitude 14,000+ feet got to them a little. After Pike’s Peak the plan was to stop in the town of Manitou Springs for lunch on your own. Following lunch many of us decided to drive through the Garden of the Gods. This is truly a very beautiful drive.Dinner Tuesday night was at the Flying W Ranch & Chuckwagon. Prior to leaving the hotel for dinner a group of Model A enthusiasts checked into our hotel. It was a group larger than we were for sure. It turned out that they were going to dinner at the same place and it just so happened that they were seated right in front of us at the Flying W Ranch. Dan Murphy also met up with us for dinner - unfortunately his wife Shosh was unable to join us.Wednesday morning everyone had three activities to choose from: Dragonman’s Military Memorabilia Museum, Miramon Museum or Queen’s Tea Room. Since this was going to require splitting up the couples, I envisioned a logistics problem that did not materialize. George & Sharon went to the Miramon Castle and they had a terrific time. The displays there included beautiful paintings and even some military memorabilia. Sharon said that this was the highlight of the trip for her. Four ladies went to the Queen’s Tea Room and they enjoyed the food and of course the camaraderie. Three cars went to Dragonman’s Museum. Personally I was overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” that he has. I got the impression that he is not quite sure what he actually wants to collect. Militarily: He has uniforms, guns, artillery pieces, explosives, jeeps, trucks, half-tracks, tanks, pictures & photos from the beginning of the United States of America. Included in all of this is German/Nazis equipment plus Iraqi (Saddam Hussein) uniforms and photos. He has another section that is all holocaust memorabilia & photos. He told us that he continues to purchase more “stuff” as he finds it. Other non-military: He had several warehouses that housed old completely restored cars (1955 – 1958 and earlier Chevrolets, Fords etc.). Everywhere you looked through these warehouses you found Elvis memorabilia, Pez dispensers, 45 rpm records. He also has a collection of bicycles. The group that we toured with seemed to be too big (over 50) and they couldn’t keep quiet (many private conversations going on while he would be talking).This was Wednesday and he did tell us that we could come back on the weekend for his 30th annual machine gun firing festival. We could come back and rent a machine gun of our choice, purchase ammo for the machine gun and fire it to our hearts content. He said that we could shoot at “stuff” and blow “stuff” up. He is quite a character – definitely a Patriot.Wednesday afternoon, Dan Murphy offered to give anyone interested a tour of the US Air Force Academy. We were to meet at Dan’s house in Colorado Springs then commence driving to the Academy which is not too far from his & Shosh’s house. For those that don’t know Dan & Shosh – they were longtime members of SCCC and they now live fulltime in Colorado Springs. Dan is a graduate of the AF Academy and his class celebrated the 50th anniversary of their graduation the week before our trip. Dan is also a retired AF Officer & pilot having retired with the rank of LT Colonel. After receiving a tour of the Murphy’s residence Dan lead us onto the Academy grounds. Our short tour started with a stop at the academic & athletic overlook. This gives you a broad viewpoint of much of the Academy grounds. Dan explained much of what we were seeing including the intramural fields, Honor Hall, the building shielding the Chapel as it is being refurbished, etc. Our tour ended at the Southeast Asia Memorial Pavilion & The Plaza of Heroes which was spearheaded by Dan’s graduating class the Class of 1970. Being a Vietnam Vet this was a very meaningful stop to me. In the Plaza of Heroes there is a sculpture of the Academy’s only Medal of Honor recipient, Capt. Lance Sijan ’65. I would like to thank Dan Murphy personally for taking us on the tour of the Air Force Academy and also for offering his hospitality at his home. I did hear a couple of people ask to move in. You and Shosh have a beautiful home and the views from your windows and patio are simply gorgeous. Thank you my friend.Wednesday dinner was originally planned for Jim Haney’s son’s house. As we were finishing up Dragonman’s we realized that our time was really stretched thin. Jim’s son graciously accepted our request for a last minute cancellation. Jim had been planning on spending a few additional days at his son’s house so he split off at this point.Thursday we started home from Colorado Springs with an overnight stop in Cortez, Colorado. Several people had early commitments for Friday afternoon & Saturday morning so we split up on Friday morning.I would also like to thank Sharon Johnson for all of her picture taking throughout. She will be posting them to social media (website/facebook) very soon.