27 Nov 2010 Leave a Comment
Joel found an indoor airsoft range/play area in the Springs that he’s been wanting to go to. His friend from CAP (who is also an airsoft nut) spent the night and came with us. This place looked like trouble (or G for awesome, Joel says) from the start. Razor wire?
I think that is meant to add to the military dimension of the facility. Offerings to the gods of war, broken guns?
That’s just silly. The guy running the place had a safety briefing that went like this: Wear your face mask at all times, if you take it off – you are stupid. If you are hit, call your hits, if you don’t you are a piece of crap with no honor. If you are dead, don’t talk to your team, dead men don’t talk. Give your opponent the option of surrender, but don’t just stand there wasting time, give it and hit it. Have fun! Joel found out they could use their own ammo, which saved them $15 or so since I think they used 5,000 bb’s. Here they are gathering their stuff together.
Joel bought a moly vest and finally got to use it, he was so happy (yes, that is the happy face.)
I left the boys to shoot each other and wage a war against newbies and took the girls to an art gallery (talk about a difference!) We just wanted to see this one exhibit called ‘unwound’ where the artist used string, yarn and other rope type items.
There was also an exhibit using items bought from the Habitat for Humanity store that was interesting.
If you pass by this graffiti wall in the Springs you passed by the railroad arts depot.
There is a nice restaurant in there that we will have to try one day. We ate lunch and headed up to Manitou to tour Miramont castle.
Miramont means ‘look at the mountain’, which is kind of hard to do when you are on one.
The owner, Father Francolon, had the house built in 1895-97 on a parcel of land that was once owned by Col. Chivington (Sand creek massacre.) The Father came to Manitou for his failing health, probably not a good idea to press stamps in wallpaper that were dried with arsenic (to hold the color fast), but those crazy Victorian people did lots of weird things (might have been the lead crystal and the arsenic wallpaper.) For one thing, they used lots of architecture designs and thought a room with only 4 walls was atrocious. There aren’t many straight lines, 4 walled rooms, or balance of architecture in the castle, instead there are hexagonal (and every other kind of -agonal) rooms, angled doorways and windows, curved lines, and styles from Shingle-style Queen Anne, Romanesque, English Tudor, Flemish stepped gables, domestic Elizabethan, Venetian Ogee, Byzantine, Moorish, and half-timber Chateau, wow. The house went from home to the Father and his mother to a sanatorium for the Sisters of Mercy (arsenic wallpaper was probably not a good idea for that either.) Then in the 1940′s it was divided into apartments for returning WWII soldiers and from there fell into disrepair, so much so that the city was going to raze it. Fortunately the historical society stepped up and bought the property and began to restore it. This weekend it was decorated in Victorian Christmas attire and we had the pleasure of sitting and listening to a variety of dulcimers play Christmas music while munching on homemade cookies.
The bottom level has a miniature (dollhouse) version of Colorado Springs and the Manitou Springs fire department museum.
We came in on the carriage house level, nice door, and wound up the stairs.
We passed the parlor, sitting room, kitchenette and kitchen.
There was a little alcove room and then the chapel area.
I love this small library off the chapel, cozy.
When Father Francolon left Colorado he left the house and most of the furniture, but took most of his art collection and statuary.
Another stained glass window, going up some more stairs.
Mother’s room, and the gold leaf ceiling in the gallery area.
Moorish keyhole windows, Father’s room.
They tore down a wall in restoration and found the servants staircase and only had to replace 7 steps; 4 flights of winding stairs for servants to use and not be seen. Up some more stairs to the tower and gift shop. Some of the apartment doors remain up there and the walls are reduced to the original stone and beams.
The servant quarters were up here, but I don’t think they were too drafty. The castle had indoor plumbing, electricity and heat when it was built. We exited the tower and went outside to the garden, which is quite dead right now.
We still had about an hour to waste, so we drove to Focus on the Family and played there. We picked up Joel and Jensen and they were comparing notes on how G the site was, what they could have done better (not forget their walkie-talkies next time) and how they could start their own airsoft range. They talked for a hour and a half on the way to Cici’s about a business plan, gun rentals, square footage rental, insurance, loans, assets and debits and oh my. Also on the way to eat Jensen, who is a first responder in CAP, used his honed skills and EMS bag to treat Joel’s war wounds (with band aids.) That’s why you want to wear long sleeves. We ate pizza, dropped Jensen at home and got home just in time to take James’s call. His coffee shop, Green beans, got wi-fi and he was trying it out, it worked great. I’d like to say I went to the gym, but I’ll put that off until the morning…pizza + treadmill = yuck.