Centennial Airport Tour today – fantastic!

I can’t believe what a crazy mix of things we saw and experienced today!

The 3 carpools met a Centennial Airport where we​ ​were met by a great tour guide who is ex military and clearly loves aviation!  She had quite the dry sense of humor too!  We learned about the about the history, development, and  current operations of the property and the airport in a  lecture room and it was actually pretty interesting stuff, but a lot of information.  When she wrapped up she said “Okay, so we are done with the “Death by PowerPoint, now on to the bus!” (​there was t​hat dry sense of humor I was talking about!, we loved it).

On the​ir​bus, we drove all over the airport, looking at various hangers, airplanes, fueling areas, and runways.​ ​We were fortunate to see several Naval F-18 approach​ ​and land, the Children’s Hospital Helicopter take off, drive by hanger number 7 that belongs to ​Denver’s own ​“#7”, and Greg Norman’s plane parked on the airfield. And who knew that there is a go cart track on the east side off the airport !

For lunch we decided on the Avalanche Grill that is located very near Centennial Airport.  There we saw and heard several more F-18’s land, looked out over the golf course and beyond that a great view of the mountains. It is always hard to figure out how ​we got to ​certain subjects

during ​our conversation​s​ and this one is no exception. There was a great exchange between S, T, and D about Smelt fishing in the Minnesota/ North Dakota/Great Lake region I think?  Funny conversation and so great that the 3 of them connected over an odd little fish.
The Family Sports Center ​where the Avalanche Grill is located, ​houses 2 ice rinks that the  Colorado Av’s practice on.  They were not practicing today, but a bunch of guy​s​ were on the ice, and enjoyed walking throughout the building watching kids play etc…so much to see. 

By then it was time to get outside and walk!  We explored the an Open Space Park near  Parker Road along Cherry Creek for about an hour.  We enjoyed a great walk near Cherry Creek through Cottonwood trees and grasslands.  It was warm but the wind and shade from the trees kept us pretty comfortable. When we crossed the creek there were little tiny fish in the water and the subject of Smelts came back up.  D, who was in great  form to day, very sharp, said just a few minutes later “It’s hot…I’m Smelting” 

I do have to go back to the begininng of the day.  My morning carpool included T and B. B was talking about  no longer working.  He said, sort off in passing “I don’t get to work and drive, but I’ll never screw anything up!”  That must have really struck a cord in T, because he turned, looked at  B, and said “Amen”, then gave him a high five.  Another great connection! 

Castle Café for lunch and exploring Castlewood Canyon

 

We started our day with a coffee and snack break but  weren’t there for very long, just enough time to get caught up and have some snacks. We had a nice table on the patio. Everyone was pretty silly at coffee. There was lots of laughter, with T leading the charge as usual.
We then headed for Castlewood Canyon out by Franktown. We came in through the west entrance, which led us to not only the old homestead, but what is left of the dam as well. We loved the old house ruins. We were able to rebuild the whole thing in our minds.  T figured out the fireplace, while D figured out where the main door would have been. We found out that the plot of land was homesteaded in 1874, but the concrete house wasn’t built until 1920, which means they were right there when the dam broke in 1935, (and it just about destroyed downtown Denver). We learned that there were  waves 20-30 feet roaring down the canyon.

As we walked around the back, someone had written in chalk on the back of the building. The writing was a boy asking his girlfriend to homecoming. This opened up a discussion on dating and relationships. When D asked T why he wasn’t married his line was ” I tried it twice, wasn’t very good at it, and three strikes you’re out”!
We made our way back to the van for water ( De even asked for some, and E didn’t even argue). We then made our way to the visitor center for a bathroom break. While we were there we looked around, talked to the ranger, and enjoyed the a/c. We then strolled down to the overlook. We found a sign telling us a bit about the canyon. According to the sign, the canyon was formed by rocks that washed down from Pikes Peak. The rocks mixed with the sandy soil and water created a cement like mixture that formed all that capstone. Pretty cool stuff.

After his adventure we went to  Castle Cafe in Castle Rock for lunch. It’s an old hotel bar that has been turned into a restaurant. It has a western theme, including tie hooks at the bar for patron’s horses.  Everyone was happy and full by the time we left. They were playing old county music which D was really enjoying.

It was a  fun day.  The interactions between everyone were terrific today. It’s obvious how much they enjoy each other’s company. Can’t wait to do it again!