|Well hello there! Do you happen to have any lettuce?|
Roger here... We continue to enjoy our time with Chuck, Cindy and Sophie. This post takes us to some very unique places. But first, watch this video of a deer leaping over fences during one of our morning walks.
Olympic Training Center.... The USA Olympic Training Center is in Colorado Springs. I love the Olympics. So do Cindy and Chuck. Dianne considers it extra uninterrupted time to do genealogy research. Cindy did the background work for us to take a tour of the facility.
It was a cloudy day so the timing was great for a tour that was mostly inside.
After watching a short film about the facility, our guide, Chris, led us outside to a mezzanine surrounded by the flags of countries of our planet.
One of the training rooms has the capability of altering various atmospheric pressures so that the athletes can train appropriately for the host sites. Another space has two zero-gravity treadmills which allow athletes with broken legs to continue training without putting undue stress on the fracture.
The dormitory facilities can house up to 260 athletes between the ages of 17-24. The nutrition center for the athletes allow for specific diets for specific sports. The facilities are funded through donations and television rights. No government money is used in the operation of this state-of-the-art facility.
There are five other training center locations across the country. In this center we toured the facilities for mens' gymnastics, wrestling, pentathlon, volleyball and others. During one of my drives to hike in the mountains, I encountered a group of Olympic cyclists riding up one of the mountain roads. All of the para-Olympic training takes place here in Colorado Springs.
The common area for weight and endurance training is housed in the building shown below.
It was a memorable experience to see where many of the best athletes in our country train.
Tunnel Trail redux.... This was one of our favorite earlier hikes prior to the arrival of Chuck and Cindy. We thought they would enjoy it.
Chuck is walking toward the first tunnel at the start of the trail.
Tequila says, "Hey, I think we have been here before. I seem to recall chasing some lizards.
Since most of you have seen the pictures from this hike in a previous post, I will just add a few pictures of our hiking crew in no particular order.
|The Walk of the Ants|
Back at our motor home Tequila found an appropriate place to rest her weary head.
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.... The stop here yesterday was a highlight of our stay in Colorado Springs. Chuck's nephews, Andy and Alex, drove down from Denver with their wives and young kids to meet us at this very unique zoo. All of the exhibits were built into the slope of Cheyenne Mountain. When it looked as if we had reached the end of the displays, it was time to change levels. The options were steps or elevator.
The giraffe compound near the front of the zoo was exceptional. These guys are obviously "fake" giraffes. However....
the display of "real" giraffes was amazing, mainly due to their proximity to the people. Dozens of adults and kids were simultaneously petting and feeding lettuce to multiple giraffes. The animals had a huge outdoor area in which to roam. This is the best giraffe exhibit I have ever seen.
During our visit we saw all the typical zoo animals: Lions and Tigers and (grizzly) Bears, oh my! They were all easy to see, but in very large outdoor areas. There were many spaces that allowed for face-to-face contact. Get a load of this male lion just two feet from my face (behind glass).
What a magnificent animal!
A definite plus was that most of the animals were animated and active. Sleeping in a corner behind a rock was a rarity.
Dianne here: Cindy and I couldn't tell whether or not the lions could see us through the glass, but then a man walked near with a service dog and this male lion immediately zeroed in on the dog. If that glass hadn't been there, I'm sure that dog would have been an afternoon snack for the lion. It was creepy!
When we weren't gazing at the animals, we were gazing at the city of Colorado Springs below and the Rocky Mountains above. The entire zoo felt as if it was a part of the mountain.
Oh, and we finally saw that moose that we could not find during last year's travels to Canada. Too bad that it was behind a fence, but what an interesting and gigantic animal.
We all laughed out loud at the representation of a rhinoceros peeing to mark its territory. This was a big hit with the kids (and adults, too).
I must rate the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo as one of my favorites. It is well worth an entire day of exploration. The fact that we were able to enjoy it with friends and their family (including some very cute young children) made this a memorable day.
Stay tuned for more adventures from Colorado Springs.
Pet Pictures of the Day.... Chuck and Cindy's dog, Sophie, tends to disappear in the background of many of our pictures due to her dark brindle coloring. I finally got a decent picture of her resting at our campsite.
I took this picture of Tequila at the same time. It has turned out to be one of my favorite photos of our loving girl.