Colorado Sketchcation: Day 1

Hello! I have recently returned from an eleven day trip to Colorado! The real reason for the trip? I was a bridesmaid in my friends' wedding. But, I figured if I was flying out there (for the first time!) I may as well take myself on a little tour. After asking friends (thanks facebook!) and doing some research, I settled on a course that was doable from the Denver/Boulder area. Did you know Denver and Boulder were practically adjacent? That was news to me.

Day 1: I woke up stupid early (East Coast Time), and flew into Denver. After picking up my rental, I immediately drove to Colorado Springs. Pretty mountain sightings started early; I could see them from the airport.

The weather continued to be gorgeous and the mountains continued to be breathtaking as I drove south. I was going to be in Colorado Springs for a few days, and on the way I wanted to stop at the Air Force Academy to sketch the famous Cadet Chapel. Before I got there, I found a place to pull over and sketch the hills in the distance.

After pulling into the Air Force Academy (and realizing GPS was worthless to me because it couldn't tell which roads had "CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC" signs on them), I drove around attempting to find signs for the chapel. Eventually I found a visitor's center to park at, which was a short walk from the Chapel.

Turns out, I was visiting on the same day as the cadet's Ring Dance! This means everyone was very fancy, and taking photos in front of the chapel. It made for a very festive sketching environment. (And I even fixed the back of a gal's dress for her because I'm incapable of minding my own business. She turned to her boyfriend and said "YOU HAD ONE JOB!" but in a good-natured sort of way so I don't think I got the guy in any real trouble!) Luckily, the chapel was being kept open for photos because otherwise I would have JUST MISSED being able to go inside. I was told upon entering it was technically closed, but I could come in for a minute to take some photos. And I was so glad that I did! I wished there were time to sketch the interior; so beautiful! Wonderful to catch it at the end of the day, with the light streaming in from one side, too.

After I finished I drove around the campus a bit more (in part because they didn't make it clear which way the exit was!) and then headed down to Colorado Springs.

When you're a painter, who is traveling with the idea of painting as you go, it's always a good idea to try and get lodging where you can sketch from where you're staying. This Airbnb definitely delivered!

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