Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Colorado Day 1

Between the loss of a dear friend AND the excitement of another dear friend giving birth to her adorable twins, my emotions have been through the ringer. I haven't even had a chance to post about my fabulously fun Colorado trip or Ella & Jackson's Day of Fun!

So here we go:

I have two cousins that I love so much that now live in Colorado Springs. So my family (mom, dad, Grandma, Uncle Tim, Ella and I) packed up and headed for a visit.

My family roots go DEEP into Colorado. My dad's side of the family is from there. So one of the things my parents wanted to do was to show me some family history, where my grandparents and great grandparents lived and where they worked.

Day 1 was packed full!

The first thing my parents wanted to do was show me where my Uncle is building a cabin up in the mountains. My parents have been up there many times over the past few years to help build it from the ground up.

The gorgeous view driving to my Uncle's cabin.

My grandma!

The next stop was The Royal Gorge!

My Great Grandad worked on the building of this bridge and drove the first truck across it when it was finished! Pretty amazing, huh? Too bad I didn't get any of those brave genes!

Next history stop was Canon City! This is Canon City from a road called Skyline Drive that goes up into the mountains and is only wide enough for 1 car and is a drop off on both sides. My parents got a kick out of taken me on it. They have been on this road many times in their early married years and they had fun watching my reaction as I freaked out.

Canon City is significant in my life because it is where my Dad, Grandad AND Great Grandad were all BORN! It was so fun to go to that city and see where my Dad and his dad and his grandad spent their daily lives!

This is the house that my Great Grandparents owned. My Dad said he spent countless hours playing in this yard! And now years later his Granddaughter was doing the same thing!

I wish they stilled owned it because it's adorable!

This is one of the original rose bushes that my Great Grandma planted. At the time, the entire bed was full of them, but this was the lone survivor.

This is the motel that my Great Grandparents owned. Sadly, now it is an auto shop! But back in the day, this was the place to stay. This was the main house and then it had all these little cabins that surrounded the main house.

This building was the community bathroom.

The final very, VERY fun thing of the day that I got to do was take a tour of Cheyenne Mountain!!

This is the mountain that is in the movie Deep Impact. It's hard to explain, but it's an operations center where the President can go to run the country if we are under a nuclear attack. It's so top secret that you have to have a connection to get a tour and I have a very sweet and handsome connection...

My cousin Jerry!

I was so excited about taking this tour for months!

This is the tunnel that leads down 2,000 feet inside the mountain to where everything is! It's so incredible. I wasn't allowed to take pictures (which for me was very hard) so I got this picture off of Wikipedia.

I saw lots of very cool things, like the doors to the offices of the National Security Agency, the FBI, the CIA. Of course, I wasn't able to go past the doors, but just seeing the doors and imagining the crazy things going on behind these doors was enough to give me goosebumps.

The Operations Center itself lies along one side of a main tunnel bored almost a mile through the solid granite heart of the mountain. The tunnel is designed to route the worst of a blast's shock wave out the other end, past the two 25-ton blast doors that mark one wall. The center was designed to withstand up to a 30 megaton blast within 1 nautical mile.

After the tour, we headed back to my cousin Jennifer's house. She so sweetly let Ella and I stay with her so we could get extra quality time together.

Day 2 to follow...

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MamaCass said...

That is so fun Janelle! I loved hearing about your family's history there. You need to talk your Uncle into letting you have a girl's weekend at that cute little cabin. I would move to Colorado in a heartbeat if my husband would let me. I love that state. That is so cool that you got to tour the Cheyenne Mtn too!

Amanda said...

It's so awesome that you got to go in that mountain! I bet you were dying without your camera.

Holly said...

IN MY BACK YARD! YOU WERE IN MY BACK YARD! Well, not really, but awfully close, Sister, awfully close!

Next time!

And that is so cool about your great grand dad and the bridge I can't wait to tell my Chris. He will be very impressed.

I have always wanted to tour NORAD. Did you go to the North Pole or the zoo? If not next time, we'll meet you there...'cause we have clearance...ha ha ha!

Danielle (Life with the Hewitt Family) said...

We LOVE Colorado Springs! You and your family do have deep roots in Colorado...that is really neat about the Royal Gorge Bridge and your special tour sounds so exciting! Glad you have a good trip!

Lindsee said...

I LOVE all your pictures...you know how near and dear Colorado is to my heart! :)

And, how cool about the mountain. You have my interest peaked way high. I want to see it now, too!



Sunni at The Flying Mum said...

That cabin is amazing! Wow! I love all the pictures--it's beautiful!

Helen said...

That is awesome! I am totally jealous, of the trip ('cause I've never been to CO), and the family history you got to explore ('cause mine is pretty much all in Dallas, so almost everything is G.O.N.E., except the church my great grandfather built, which is now a Christian Scientists' church - I'm sure he's turning over in his grave, but I digress...). What a great trip for you!!

Julie Robles said...

Ooh, looks like so much fun. I have to break out the cocoa at the first glimpse of a photo from Colorado! Fun fun!