19-22 April 2015; Everybody Left Me!; Stuck by a Train; Getting Reacquainted with the Rocky’s

Wow…it was not much after awaking on Sunday morning that I realized…everybody is gone!  Terri in WI, all our friends that were here for the symposium, gone!  What is a guy to do??  Well, as mentioned previously, I had a mission to at least find a store that had space heaters.  The search continued…on the phone, on the web, and in person.  I finally ended up at “ACE is the Place.”  It is one of the few stores that do not send items back to the vendor if they are not “seasonal.”  I’ve not ever had a bad experience at an ACE for the most part.  The people that they employ know their stuff.  The gentleman that helped me had me come back into the area where the keep their non-seasonal items, and I ended up with this L’il gem:

It does not have a 360 radius, but our old one only blew out of one side after about three months anyway.

It does not have a 360 radius, but our old one only blew out of one side after about three months anyway.

It is 750/1500 watt, has tip over protection and overheat protection.  Works like a champ!  I have not had to run the hurricane nearly as much since I brought this thing home...and only $24 after my ACE honored 10% discount.

It is 750/1500 watt, has tip over protection and overheat protection. Works like a champ! I have not had to run the hurricane nearly as much since I brought this thing home…and only $24 after my ACE honored 10% discount.

That took until about noon, so I decided to head down to one of my old favorite fishing and dog training lakes…Ice Lake, which is real close to the housing area that we lived in when we were stationed here.  It is where the kids each caught their first fish, and when we returned in ’01, where we taught our yellow lab Bailey how to swim.

The exact spot where Terri, Zoe (our black lab) and I taught Bailey how to tread water.

The exact spot where Terri, Zoe (our black lab) and I taught Bailey how to tread water.

They have made some awesome improvements here since we left.  The Santa Fe Trail traverses the Academy property, and is great for hiking, running, and biking.  It was such a nice Sunday afternoon, I was awestruck that I was the only person in the huge parking lot on the other side of the tracks (more on that later.)

Monument Creek with water in it.  this was not an often occurrence when we were here before.  I hiked the trails for a couple of hours, then headed back to the truck.  As I was headed back, a train seemed to park itself right over the RR crossing that is the only way out of the Ice Lake and trail head parking lot.

Monument Creek with water in it. This was not an often occurrence when we were here before. I hiked the trails for a couple of hours, then headed back to the truck. As I was headed back, a train seemed to park itself right over the RR crossing that is the only way out of the Ice Lake and trail head parking lot.

Hopefully you can make out the train.  My nemesis!!

Hopefully you can make out the train. My nemesis!!

I sat in the truck for a bit, and took care of some e-mail.  Then took another walk…the train certainly has to be moving soon, right?  I called Terri and told her of my “predicament,” and she said, “I hope it doesn’t park there for the night!”  Never happen thought I.  Talk to you soon!  But, after another hour, the thing had not moved. This train stretched FOREVER.  I decided to walk to where I could just make out a couple of engines.  After about a half hour walk I reached them…bupkiss!!  Wrong end of the train.  This area has very heavy train traffic, and we’ve noted that most of the trains have two engines in the front and two in the rear.  No one to ask when they may be moving.  Now what?

I know, I’ll call my old mates at the USAFA Security Forces…they will know what up!  Wrong!  I told the young man my situation, and he said, “you’re not supposed to park there!”  What??  A huge parking area, trail head, and no signs indicating not to park there…what do you mean.  “Sir, trains park there all the time, you either need to wait it out, or have someone pick you up…an we won’t tow your car for being there after dark” (undertone, because you are a big dummy!)  Hmmm…I’m alone, in the FamCamp, and have no one to pick me up!  Not even an offer for a courtesy ride…my, things have changed.

A work mate of mine happened to call, and I explained my situation.  He readily hopped on his computer to look for a BNSF dispatch number.  I also called Terri to see if she could find anything out.  I called their after hours customer service number, and apparently this company is based in India…?  It just so happens that the number I had called transferred to their call center there, and they only handle BNSF road traffic.  Now what?  Terri called me back and said she was able to finally get hold of a dispatcher, and they would tell the train to move forward.  As I was getting off the phone with Terri, I heard a train whistle.  Great!  Maybe these guys were just waiting for a Southbound to pass…for 3.5 hours!!  That is what the case was.  After all 143 cars passed by Southbound at a blistering 5 MPH (I counted every one) the North bound train started to move.  FREEDOM!!  Whew…won’t do that again!  At least I got to see some wildlife on the way home:

Right across from Falcon Stadium and near the FamCamp.

Right across from Falcon Stadium and near the FamCamp.

On Monday I was tied up all day with work (not a bad thing by the way), so what about Tuesday??  Well, let me tell you.  The Academy has five fine trout fishing lakes.  I spent many an hour fishing them over the years.  The bonus is that you only need an Academy fishing permit, no Colorado license required.  $21 for the season, or $7 per day…I’ll take the seasonal permit please!  What a great day as depicted below:

Majestic!

Majestic!

As were the trout.  I caught a 24" just before this one, but was too excited to take a pick.  This was at Kettle Lakes, near the South entrance to the Academy.

As were the trout. I caught a 24″ just before this one, but was too excited to take a pic. This was at Kettle Lakes, near the South entrance to the Academy.

It was awesome…the flightine was active as well…planes all over the place, as well as gliders and parachutes.  Side note:  No fish were injured in the making of this production…all were released back for others to enjoy.  I think I was the only one doing catch and release.  The few other folks that I saw took home their limits.  Too bad the colors didn’t come through on these Rainbows…they were very colorful.

Shy or water??  This is actually a reflection of the sky in the lake.

Sky or water?? This is actually a reflection of the sky in the lake.

The shot immediately following, showing the land.

The shot immediately following, showing the land.

Could not get enough of the view!!

Could not get enough of the view!!

I departed the Kettle Lakes after catching quite a few, and decided to grab a bite at the Coach, then headed to Deadman’s Lake which is on the opposite end of the Academy near the Cadet Area.

More success!

More success!

My trusty #6 Panther Martin proved its worth again today...just like 25 years ago!

My trusty #6 Panther Martin proved its worth again today…just like 25 years ago!

There were deer, ducks and geese in and around the lake the whole time.  I was not alone any longer…what a blast enjoying the wonderful creation!

A little closer to the mountains this time.

A little closer to the mountains this time.

Later that afternoon, a great friend of mine, Jeff Weber and I got together and he met me at the Coach and we caught up on life.  Jeff and I were stationed in Montana together, and he and I have kept up over the years.  He works for a contractor in Denver, and is also in the reserves at Peterson AFB, so it worked out great that he was on an active duty day and headed over after work.  I’m looking forward to hopefully finally meeting his wife and kids while we are here.

The other great news on Tuesday was that the RV park called and said I could stay in the spot that I am in for the duration if I so choose.  I may change that however, as I took a walk tonight, and found spot 51!  It is all by itself, and overlooks a deep ravine to the NorthEast, which is full of wildlife.  We will see if I can snag that for the remainder.

Today was mainly a work day (glad these work days are happening while Terri is gone!)  I did sneak out for lunch to Deadman’s Lake and caught a few more trout.  What a way to take a breather!

I also have to figure out how to clean the Coach…it is a mess on the outside.  The park prohibits washing, so I will have to see if I can find a good dry wash product.  The Lucas Oil product I have works well for touch-ups, but is not designed for a full cleaning…we will see.

That is it for now folks…mostly a photo montage I guess.  I hope you enjoy it a fraction of what I did!  As always, we hope this finds you Happy, Healthy, and Living Your Dreams!!!!!

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