Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 1

21 Oct

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 1 Wednesday

9/09/2020

I packed a wool vest and a lined jacket and headed for the Orlando airport.  The Southwest flight to Denver was uneventful as it was cloud cover the whole way.  But the passengers were rewarded with fresh mini-pretzels, small cinnamon cookies and ice-cold water.  It was 39 degrees in Denver when I arrived with snow on the surrounding mountains.  I was witness to an unusual sight after picking up my rental car.  As I headed for the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum I noticed that all the houses in the sub-divisions were covered with snow, but there was no snow on the driveways or on the streets.  I guess the sun baked road surfaces had melted the snow as soon as it hit the pavement.  

The Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum is located within the former Lowry AFB, and displays some 40+ beautifully restored aircraft and lots of aviation related memorabilia.  I am always glad to see the history of aviation restored and displayed in this manner.  I believe it helps to preserve the evolvelution of aviation in our country for future generations

Next I headed a few miles west to visit the Denver Firefighters Museum.  The Volunteer Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 was formed in 1866 and was the first in the Colorado Territory.  This museum is located in the former Fire Station No. 1 built in 1909.  The four-gallery museum displays over 30,000 artifacts and memorabilia.  Beautifully restored displays include fire fighting apparatus such as early 1800s hand-pulled & pumped fire fighting equipment as well as modern day fire engines and trucks, covering the history of Denver firefighters dating from mid-1800s.

Now I drove another few more miles to visit the Forney Museum of Transportation located in historic downtown Denver.  Established by J. D. Forney in 1964 with a single 1921 Kissel Tourister the museum has expanded, over the years, to cover the history of transportation.  This museum’s collection is absolutely amazing.  It consists of over 600 artifacts which include all types of transportation devices such as bicycles, buggies, wagons, motorcycles, firetrucks, automobiles, steam engines and the Fornair airplane.  

After experiencing that amazing collection, I found the Molly Brown House Museum located in downtown Denver.  The museum was closed, but Wikipedia informs me that the house that now houses the museum was built in 1887 for Isaac and Mary Large.  It was sold to James and Margaret Brown in 1894.  In 1902 it was used by the Governer of Colorado  while the Governer’’s mansion was being remodeled.  Margaret became known as The Unsinkable Molly Brown after surviving the sinking of the RMS Titanic in 1912.  The house was purchased in 1970 by Historic Denver, Inc and restored to its original Queen Ann style architecture and opened as a museum.  I took a photo and moved on to the visit the Cussler Museum.

The Cussler Museum is located in Arvada, CO and displays some 100+ beautifully restored classic cars collected by the novelest Clive Cussler.  I had the opportunity to talk to the Curator of the museum, and he told me that the Denver collection was only part of the  Cussler collection, as there are more cars in a museum in Arizona near the Cussler home.  I was thrilled to get a chance to see a few of the classic cars mentioned in the Clive Cussler novels I have read over the years.

As I made my way toward the motel, I stopped at a local Walmart for a styrofoam cooler, water,  and morning breakfast supplies.   I also picked up a couple of pre-packaged “Heat & Serve” dinner meals to enjoy in my motel room.  I was tired and hungry from the day’s activities, so I just crashed in the room and recorded the day’s activities.  Then I watched some TV while I enjoyed a good hot ready-made meal.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2 Responses to “Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 1”

  1. Onisha Ellis October 29, 2020 at 9:42 pm #

    Your trip certainly started off with excitement…snow!

    Like

  2. divoran09 October 21, 2020 at 7:42 am #

    Well Done!

    Like

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