Today we started with breakfast at home then we were off to The United States Air Force Academy. In Colorado Springs, CO. We went to the visitor center and saw a 14 minute film about the Academy. It was really quite exciting. The tour of the Cadet Chapel was beautiful. Mary's son Brian graduated there. After four years they have a BA degree and rank of 2nd Lt. Joe picked up some cool gifts for his boys at the gift shop.
We then rode to Pike's Peak Cog Railway that would take us to the top of Pikes Peak. It's about a 45 minute ride. The only problem was we didn't have reservations and didn't even know we needed them so we missed out. We signed up for standby but they only had one seat available. Oh well another trip someday maybe?
Now the exciting part
. Since we missed the trip to Pikes Peak we went to Miramont Castle and museum which was close by. You really need to see the pictures of this place. It was originally constructed in 1895 as a private home. It later became abandoned and was going to be demolished. The selling price was $60,000 dollars. The whole town went together and rebuilt and refurbished this place and there were even projects done by Boy Scouts for their Eagle Badge. Okay it was absolutely beautiful. Victorian furnishings and all. It is now valued at over 5 million. What I didn't know was that it is haunted. Joe is NOT a believer of ghosts and such where I am. I just didn't have any expectations of seeing one here. Mary, Joe and I were already through the basement which is a huge display of miniatures. Little houses full of dolls and furnishings, Extremely impressive! We were on the second floor and self toured most of the place. It is huge. When we entered the one sitting area the hair on my arms and the back of my neck stood straight up. I had goose bumps. In one area was an original built in bench about 12 foot long and there sitting on it I could vaguely make out the outline of an older woman. Joe and Mary saw nothing. I saw an outline sitting on the bench. It was a woman. I can't explain it but I "felt" her there also. Meanwhile The goose bumps on my arms and the hair standing up on my arms and neck were even more visible. Like static electricity. I heard this "voice" in my head that said "fix the pillow" I looked beside her and there was a small pillow that had fallen face down
. I set it up and there was a beautiful picture on it with the Navy and some date around the turn of the century, actually almost 2 centuries ago. The top was still a little floppy and she said "fix it right". I said "yes ma'am" and redid it so it stood up straight. Mary kind of shook me out of it and told me to ask her name. So I did and she said Marie Frankcolon de Beaulieu. I laughed and said that was almost as bad as my name. She said "and what is that". I told her my full name and she laughed. She was short maybe 5 foot or under and in a long brown dress and was sitting on a maroon pillow. There were NO PILLOWS on the bench at all except the one small one I fixed. We were going to leave and Mary and I saw a book on the table about experiences people had with ghosts in this house. They were even recently. Some went back many years. We went up to the exit and three ladies were working in the gift shop. We told them about the experience and her name and they said that she was the wife who lived there. I explained what she looked like and they told us that was her. They told us that she probably did sit there because that was where her husband hung his extensive art collection. She would sit there and stare at it for hours. Another thing we didn't know. They said the guys from TAPS were going to come to the place but it was around Easter and they have to reschedule. We went back down and looked around some more and took some pictures. In one picture there was a glow where I saw Marie sitting on the bench
. Joe said that it was the flash but I argued that it was right where she was sitting. I thought the glow of the camera would have been in the center of the seat not off to the left side. Have a look and decide for yourself. We walked around a little more and took some more pictures and had some strange feelings and heard some strange noises in the main dining hall. We felt funny (a little dizzy) going in one specific area. Mary felt it too. So we went back and forth and it kept happening. I also heard a sound like a heavy boot stomping and some strange wooshing sounds. Joe didn't hear or feel anything. Joe actually found a picture of Marie and it was her that I saw and felt. We saw two pictures on the wall, one above the other with what looked like blood dripping from them. Those photos turned out. Have a look yourself. Sent chills all over our bodies again. Joe said it must be something from refinishing the frames that dripped. The hair on my arms and neck stayed up until well after we left the castle. I had shivers for about the next hour or so. (Some big strong biker huh?) Let us know if you see anything in the photos.
(OK Steve here it is) We stopped for ice cream at Patsy's. I had a small mixed soft serve. So did Mary and Joe had 2 scoops. Rocky Road and Butter Pecan.
Next we went downtown to visit the local pubs and some of the local stores
. One pub was called Thunder and Pennys. Story here is that around the late 1800's the owner of a brothel would ride his coach around town pulled by two Elks named Thunder and Penny and drum up business. The brothel is now the pub. Then off to a store where a sculptor sells his artistic creations. They had miniature street life depictions of buildings and alleys and real life looking little scenes. They were awesome. Have a look. We stopped at another bar called Meadow Muffins and then tried a new pizza place in town that everyone is raving about. They even did a local story on it in the paper. It was called Rustica Pizzeria. They have Artisan wood-oven hand tossed pizza. The owner was a retired fighter pilot named Dave Brackett and his lovely (and tall 5'11") daughter, Jeanette was the manager. She waited on us and was most pleasant and patient with us out of towners. If you are any where near this place located at 2527 W. Colorado Ave, in Colorado Springs, CO. you just HAVE to try this place out. I give it a 5 star rating. Thin crust, hand tossed and wonderful. We also had a tomato, mozzarella and basil appetizer. Awesome!
Have a look at the pictures of the hand carved dragon from one store and the stained glass butterflies from another. South Side Jonnies was the last pub we stopped in for a soda before we returned home. They had a Jazz Band but we didn't stay that long enough to enjoy it. Tomorrow we must resume our long ride homeward bound to PA. We returned to Mary, our hostess' home, to a relaxing night in the hot tub again. Wonderful! This is probably one blog you won't forget. I know I won't.
Daniel and Joe (and Mary)