Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 4

11 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 4 Saturday

9/12/2020 

I started today’s activities with a visit to the Weisbrod Aircraft Museum located adjacent to the Pueblo Memorial Airport, and it was close to my motel.  This is a great aviation museum with 40+ beautifully restored aircraft and lots of other aviation artifacts and memorabilia in two large hangers and outside.  The museum’s show-piece is a Boeing B-29 by the name of “Peachy.”  I just wish our Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum at home had more of these rare WWII aircraft in it’s collection.  

Now I drove into downtown to visit the El Pueblo Museum.  This museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history and culture of the ethnic groups from the southern Colorado area.  It also has an archaeological excavation scene depicting the original 1842 El Pueblo trading post site, and a re-created scene showing what the El Pueblo Trading Post & Plaza would have looked like in the mid-1840s.

A few blocks away, and adjacant to the Arkansas River,  I visited the Pueblo Railway Museum located in a part of the old original Pueblo Union Depot.  The museum displays artifacts and memorabilia discribing the railroad history in and around the Pueblo area from the 1880s to the 1940s.  The musuem’s outdoor  displays include historic steam engines and other rolling stock from the 1940s    Pueblo has continued to be a major rail center, and at one time or another as many as five different railroad systems served the city.

Next I drove over to inspect the Steelworks Center of the West which houses the Steelworks Museum and the Steelworks Park.  The Pueblo Steel Mill, Located just south of downtown Pueblo, was founded in 1881 and has been productive thru many turbulant times.  Today with only a fraction of the number of employees it once employed, the mill still produces a smaller quanity of steel products from rcycled scrap metal.  Interesting tours of the mill are still available to visitors that focus on preserving the history of the coal and steel industry in the Southwestern United States.  DiVoran remembers the day her grade school class made the trip from Canon City to Pueblo for a field-trip to the (working) steel mill.  What a thrill that was for the kids.

Now I headed west on US-50 toward Canon City.  On the way I stopped in Penrose long enough to take a photo of the Estes Model Rocket factory.  My son, Billy, and I have fond memories of building and flying model rockets over the years.  We even introduced his son, Jacob, to the sport when he was a teenager.  My, how the time does fly.  It seems as if it was only yestarday when the three of us were launching model rockets from the local school yard.

I arrived in Canon City in time to meet DiVoran’s cousin, Lois, at the Museum of Colorado Prisons (Old Max) for a tour.  The old Colorado Territorial Prison was built in 1871 and served as such until 1935 when it was converted to a women’s prison.  A new prison was built in 1993 and the old prison was renovated and opened as a museum.  The museum displays artifacts and memorabilia of the Colorado Prison System from 1871 to the present day.

After the prison tour, Lois went home to pick up Hank,  and I took a drive over the famous Skyline Drive.  I always get a thrill when driving over that one-way (no guardrails) 3-mile long  ridge road over looking Canon City.  Built by the Colorado Territorial Prison inmates in 1905, it has been a little-known tourist attraction over the years.  I found this really great video of the drive on the internet.

I met with Lois, Hank, Carol & Rob for dinner at the Quality Inn where we had a some really good food (beer battered fish and ‘O’ rings) and a wonderful visit.  After dinner Lois and Hank invited me to their house for home-made brownies and Otter Paws ice cream.  I couldn’t very well turn down that offer now could I?  While enjoying that dessert Hank’s son, John, came in for a visit.  Before I knew it, the night was late and I headed for the motel.

—–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 4”

  1. Onisha Ellis November 23, 2020 at 11:02 pm #

    The drive video made me anxious just watching it. Can’t imagine driving on it.

    Like

  2. divoran09 November 11, 2020 at 10:03 am #

    very well done. I took the drive.

    Like

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