USAF Academy and Garden of the Gods

I’ve been enjoying a few days of staycation with my parents visiting my wife and I in Denver. We skied Winter Park on Sunday, snowboarded Monday at Copper Mountain. Yesterday, we took a day trip to Colorado Springs. Our first stop was at the United States Air Force Academy with a brief walking tour at the Visitor Center and the Cadet Chapel. I’d never been to the USAF Academy, but it was pretty cool. The campus was on spring break, so there weren’t many cadets around. However, we did walk through the visitor center and then followed the short walk to the Cadet Chapel.

The Chapel was beautiful. The architecture is stunning and it’s clearly the center-piece to the campus. Odds are that you’ve seen photos of it before, although you may not have known what it was. The sharp a-frame steel structure is painted white and was meant to symbolize the surrounding mountains. Inside the Protestant Chapel, the massive ceilings are complimented by the stained glass that traces the steel supports. The room is bathed in blue from the glass with highlights of yellow, orange and purple.

The altar is simple and clean with a massive room sized organ at the back. The pews are long and simple. It’s a beautiful place. It ended up being a simple place to take photos of and have them turn out great.

Our next stop was Garden of the Gods, another beautiful and bizarre geological landmark. It was dedicated in 1909, and has been free to the public ever since. The trails are mostly paved around the towering structures and a simple and easy walk. This was my second visit, but I was able to spend a lot more time enjoying it thanks to no severe thunderstorm like my first visit. Garden is actually a real challenge to take photos of. The towering rock formations have very little around them to provide a sense of scale. The brilliant reds in the rocks stand out to the contrast of the blue skies, but otherwise, tend to blend into the brown pigments of the surrounding scenery. If you’ve never seen it before, it’s absolutely worth a visit. If you’re in the mood to photograph it, I imagine sunset with shots from the west would provide stunning results.

I have a gallery below with a selection of photos from the Academy as well as Garden of the Gods. Enjoy.

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