Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 6

2 Dec

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 6 Monday 


Let me tell you about the hotel I stayed in last night.  The Broker Inn was built as a private hotel in the mid-1900s to serve the elite in the Boulder, CO area.  It has since changed hands several times and has finally ended up being operated by the Choice Hotels chain, which is how I happened to stay there.  Most of the hotel’s interior still retains a good bit of its original decor, especially in the lobby area.  It is beautifully arranged to portray an early Victorian atmosphere with rich dark woods, thick carpets, and lots of stained glass.  

Leaving Boulder this morning I headed 15 miles southeast on US-36 to visit the Broomfield Veterans Memorial Museum located in the North Midway Park area.  This museum displays artifacts and memorabilia related mainly to local veterans, from all branches of the service, dating from the Civil War to the present.  The museum also has a small library containing some 2500+ military/history books and veteran related videos.

It was only a few blocks to the where I visited the Broomfield Depot Museum located in the Zongs Spur Park area of town.  This museum is housed in the original 1909 C&S Railroad depot and displays local railroad artifacts and memorabilia about to city and county growth as they are related to the railroad’s influence in the late 1800s.

Next it was only a 5 mile drive north on US-287 to visit the Miners Museum located in Lafayette, CO.  The small house was originally built in the 1890s for miners working in the Gladstone Mine just north of Lafayette.  After the mine shut down the house was moved to its present location and later turned into the Miners Museum.  Historical mining artifacts tell the story of the pioneering heritage of this town and the surrounding area during that time.

It was another 6 miles northeast on CO-7 & County Line Road to where I was able to visited the Spirit of Flight Center located adjacent to the Erie Municipal Airport in Eire, CO.  The Flight Center was closed but their website tells me that this organization restores unique civilian and military aircraft to help educate the public and future generations with regard to the evolution of civil and military aviation.

Next I headed east 15 miles on CO-52 to visit the Fort Lupton Museum located just east of the South Platte River in Fort Lupton, CO.  The museum is housed in the old 1929 city library building, and displays artifacts and memorabilia related to the history and heritage of Fort Lupton and the surrounding area dating from the 1800s.

I wanted to visit the Vintage Flying Museum located just east of Fort Lupton, but they were closed.  Their WWI vintage flying machines are some of the only remaining examples of what the LaFayette Escadrille flew against the Germans during the “War to End All Wars.”

Instead, I headed north 10 miles on US-85 to visit the Fort Vasquez.  This historic site was built by Louis Vasquez & Andrew Sublette in 1835, and served as a trading post for fur traders, Native American tribes, and mountain men.  Abandoned in the mid-1840s, the fort was restored in the 1930s by a WPA project and finally became a museum since 1958.

Now I headed north another 20 miles on US-85 to visit the Colorado Model Train Museum located in Greeley, CO.  This museum consists of over 500 locomotives pulling trains thru 80+ (scale) miles of train track.  The tracks wind thru hundreds of miniature scenes, making up the 5,500 sq. ft. layout.  The large building also houses a full-sized restored 1919 C&S caboose which is open to guests for their inspection.

Now it was another 10 miles north on US-85 to visit the Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum located in Eaton, CO.   This is one of the most unusual museums I have visited recently.  The museum displays 1400+ (Guinness Record) restored (running if applicable) various types and styles of vintage washing machines from the U.S., the UK, Europe, and Australia dating from 1865.

It was another 45 miles to Cheyenne, WY where I found a Chick-fil-a.  I selected one of their grilled chicken strips dinners for my gourmet meal in my motel tonight.  I recorded the day’s activities and by then I was really ready for some rest after this day’s journey.

—–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

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