On Tuesday morning, those who braved the early morning hour boarded the bus for a tour of the Spruce Mountain Cattle Ranch. In 1871, the land now recognized as Spruce Mountain Ranch was once a section of terrain on the "Ben Lomand Ranch which consisted of thousands of acres. Besides being a successful dairy operation, the land was cultivated for oats, millet and hay. Since then, the Ranch has changed hands numerous times. Today, Tom and Lois Ames have allocated 100 acres to a housing development "Spruce Mountain Estates."
The remaining acreage was creatively and uniquely renovated by Tom and Lois. Their ultimate goals are to sustain a purebred Angus seed stock operation, as well as create a distinct landscape and resort-like atmosphere for family, guests, and potential customers to enjoy.
On Wednesday morning, many boarded the early bus again for a tour of the Air Force Academy. The Air Force Academy is unique in its dual role as both an Air Force installation and a university. The 10th Air Base Wing provides logistical, medical, fire response, security, civil engineering, family care, and medical support across the 18,000-acre installation for a community of approximately 25,000.
CH2M HILL has served as operations manager of the U.S. Air Force Academy for a number of years. Our staff there manage all of the facilities and on-campus equipment. We were treated to see our staff running the Zamboni machine at the Academy ice hockey rink. Our tour of the USAF Academy was led by Dave Brewer, our current manager of the operations contract.
On the way back to the hotel, we drove through the Garden of the Gods, a spectacular red rock canyon park located just outside of Colorado Springs.
In 1871, General William Jackson Palmer founded Colorado Springs while extending the lines of his Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. In 1879, General Palmer repeatedly urged his friend, Charles Elliott Perkins, the head of the Burlington Railroad, to establish a home in the Garden of the Gods and to build his railroad from Chicago to Colorado Springs. Although the Burlington never reached Colorado Springs directly, Perkins did purchase 240 acres in the Garden of the Gods for a summer home in 1879. He later added to the property but never built on it, preferring to leave his wonderland in its natural state for the enjoyment of the public. Perkins died in 1907 before he made arrangements for the land to become a public park, although it had been open to the public for years. In 1909, Perkins' children, knowing their father's feeling for the Garden of the Gods, conveyed his 480 acres to the City of Colorado Springs. It would be known forever as the Garden of the Gods "where it shall remain free to the public, where no intoxicating liquors shall be manufactured, sold, or dispensed, where no building or structure shall be erected except those necessary to properly care for, protect, and maintain the area as a public park." Can you spot the climber on the rock wall? While most of us were touring on Wednesday, a group of diehard golfers were enjoying an outing at the beautiful Arrowhead Golf Club in Littleton, CO. It was just as billed: a spectacular experience in the red rock area south of Denver with a “40 year old club that was 320 million years in the making.” After a somewhat breezy morning start to the round, seven players were challenged by a number of stunning elevations and undulations; but, most of all, concentrating on golf while enjoying the breathtaking surroundings. A good time was had by all including Cliff Thompson, Mike Doleac, Harry Reeder, Dan Sterley, Rick Luebbers, Carol Anne, and Vern Nelson.
Patti Wiedemann, Joan Marske, Babs Suhr
Sharon and Mike Anglea