Our Buckley Stay

Our visit to the Denver area has been a lot of fun.  We have spent some time with my brother and his family and my sister and her family.  We will get to spend more time with many of them at Sandi’s retirement party on Thursday evening.

We have done some shopping with our goal to stock up on harder to get items that we may need while in Yellowstone for the summer.  That goal took us to Camping World where we were somehow able to escape having spent less than one hundred dollars.  That rarely happens.
I have enjoyed running on the base along a very well-maintained asphalt path that runs parallel with the road the Family Camp is on.  I have logged runs ranging in distances from five to over six and a half miles.
The on-base campground is located adjacent to a nature trail that encircles a small lake.  Connie and I walked along with the trail one evening and I was able to capture a few good images of what we encountered.  Hope you enjoy them.
Indian Paint Brush among the grass
Blooming Blue Yucca
We took a driving trip on Interstate 70 up into the Rockies to Vail where we had a quiet lunch in a French deli.  Vail was surprisingly quiet.  It seems we were there between seasons.  I saw a sign in one business that said they were closing on May 16 and would reopen on May 29th or something like that.  So, I guess they have a two-week slow period.  There was a lot of road and building construction going on.  The roadwork seemed to be heavy maintenance while the building work we saw looked to be a major overhaul of the interior and exterior of one of the condominiums.  It really looked like the intention is to get out of most of the jobs before the summer season gets into full swing.
When we left Vail we headed south on US 24 and eventually picked up US 285 to complete a loop back to Denver.  We found a pretty darned good Italian restaurant not too terribly far from the base and relaxed over a good dinner.  In all, we drove some 315 miles, but it was a beautiful drive on a marvelous day.
The view across The Pando Valley
We learned that the President was going to be in the area for the graduation ceremony at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, just south of here.  We were informed of that during our one-night stay at the academy and we figured he would likely land here.  As it turned out, he also had a fund raising event in downtown Denver following the Commencement Address at the academy.  We were fortunate enough to be able to catch glimpses of his motorcade making its way towards downtown and again later as it returned to Buckley AFB. 
We also saw where Air Force One was parked on the tarmac, but of course, we couldn’t get very close with all the security.  After watching the arrival of the motorcade we headed back to the Family Camp and as an added treat we were able to see Air Force One get airborne.  That was just plain luck.  We were looking in the wrong direction.  I was getting ready to turn around and took a look in my rear-view mirror just as the 747 carrying the President cleared the runway behind us.  We got turned enough that we were both able to watch as the plane ascended and made a sweeping turn to clear the populated area.

It is amazing to observe even at this 30.000-foot level what it takes to safely move the President from one event to another.  It is both inspiring and saddening.  As a nation, we seem to have figured out the security requirements, but it is so sad that so much is required.  Of course, many of the security requirements have grown out of former failures and inadequacies.  For instance, there is an advanced life support ambulance that is part of the motorcade.  I believe that requirement was added after the Kennedy assassination, or possibly after the attempt on President Reagan’s life.  Who knows who all the other folks are that travel at breakneck speeds in all the SUV’s and vans that accompany the President wherever he goes by motor vehicle.

We still have a few more days here.  I have a few projects to complete before we get underway again.  The most daunting is trying to figure out why we have been getting an intermittent “check engine” light on the motorhome.  I am starting to run out of things I am able to check.  This could cause a plan change.  More to follow.
Sunset At Buckley Air Force Base
Meadowlark just outside our motorhome
 CORRECTION:  In my last post I captioned a picture of a Golden-fronted Woodpecker as a Yellow-bellied Woodpecker.  The former is the correct name of this bird.  I apologize for the error.


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