Saturday, March 28, 2009

Snowclad Prairie, Schools and Lowry AFB

A mish-mash of themes from today's ride as the title suggests.

After re-doing the valve checks on Brigitta, my 1987 R80 Beemer, I headed out for an extended ride after a quick lunch brought home by my loving wife who'd been out with my youngest son, shilling for the Cub Scouts.

First, I wanted to see how much snow landed on the prairies to the East of Denver. I headed out on Quincy road as usual and a brisk 20 minutes or so later arrived at Tom Bay Road where the entrance to the International Operating Engineers Union Local #9 is located. I like this spot as it allows one to pose a motorcycle with the lonely looking eastbound road in the background, cutting across a vast looking prairie.

Looking East on Quincy Road

I headed West back toward the city and rode North on Tower Road heading as if going to work at the UAL Training Center. I was hoping for nice views of the front range foothills and distant mountains but the haziness of the day precluded that.

Johnson & Wales on the other hand, a private university founded in 1914 with four major campuses nationwide. I'd seen their dorm buildings surrounding their main campus as I traversed Quebec Street while going to and from the UAL Training Center. This time I went into the campus and got this shot of the main building.

Treat Hall, Johnson & Wales University

Here's one of the proud graduates of this august learning institution. I post this as an indicator of the "not necessarily bad" influence from a blog I frequent called "Twisted Roads". Normally, the fact the young lady is a graduate would not have been enough to rate inclusion in a posting, but the team she works for is the Philadelphia Eagles, and inhabitants of the same state as Mr Riepe.

Her name is Kristie

OK, back to the regularly scheduled content.

I next wandered down Quebec Street to capture a picture of what had appeared to me to be a giant ironing board. How little did I know, since its in fact "modern art" and part of the Lowry Redevelopment Complex. No, it's not a freudian reaction to the above picture, just a coincidence!

I've no idea what it really is supposed to represent, it kind of looks like an aircraft wing but...

From the above location though, I spotted a really large aircraft hangar as I exited its vicinity. I found myself at the Wings over the Rockies Aircraft Museum and the sight of the restored B-52 Strato Fortress Bomber pulled Brigitta and I over for a picture.

I wandered along the side of the enormous Hangar #2, Hangar #1 was used to house the aircraft museum in case you're curious. I saw this old remnant of when all the building around me used to be part of Lowry Air Force Base.

I continued riding along the side of this large hangar and finally posed Brigitta at its center entrance.

I continued on, wandering about the historic district of this redevelopment area belonging now to the city of Denver. I spotted the old furnace stacks of the base's old steam plant. It's been converted and refurbished into loft apartments now, but you can still see its origins.

Circa 1960's

Today, the below building is called the Grand Lowry Lofts, but it started back in 1937 as a WPA building, was used to house Army Air Corps officers during WWII and was also used later by President Eisenhower as a summer vacation retreat during his administration.

Photo courtesy along with info: LINK

Sustineo Alas (I sustain the wings).
Distinctive Insignia of U.S. Army Air Forces Technical Training Command.
Source: Joseph M. Massro, Distinctive Insignia of the U.S. Army Air Forces 1924 - 1947 (International Publishing Co., San Antonio, Tex).as, (c) 1987

The above crest adorns the walls of the Grand Lowry, I found it an interesting piece of air force heraldry.

I headed on home after some more wanderings about the Lowry complex. A nice ride, about four hours of riding and picture taking, added about 100 miles to the monthly mileage count.


Jack Riepe said...

Dear Charlie6 (Dom):

I found myself wiping a tear from my eye as I read that you were including the athletic version of performance artists in your blog, and attributing this influence to me.

I feel somewhat like a proud father. Yesterday, I learned that I have Bob Skoot going on photo excursions in the red light district. Conch recently threw in a few shots of spring break on the beach and mentioned my name too.

I had thought that this element of motorcycling had been lost forever. I'm glad to find myself at the center of a resurgence in pulchetude appreciation.

You boys certainly know how to take the ball and run with it.

Regarding modern art... I grew up just outside of New York City and have been taking the train there since I was 12 years old. In the heart of Greenwich Village, 50 yards away from Cooper Union, is the Astor Place Cube. Go here to see it:

The first time I took Leslie into Manhattan, we walked past this. I asked her if she liked it. Stiffie replied that it was okay. I leaned against it and shifted it 180 degrees. (It revolves.) She shreiked.
I asked her if she like it better that way.

Good blog tonight. Did I tell you that snow on the ground makes me suicidal now?

Fondest regards,
Twisted Roads

Charlie6 said...


your influence definitely seems to be spreading!

re the cube you and Leslie visited, that must have been hilarious the look on her face when you shifted the block! : )

re the snow shots, take a deep breath or better yet, a deep swig of your favorite alcoholic beverage and you'll feel better.

LumpyCam said...

Great write-up, and I love the pic of your R80 with the B-52.

chessie said...

I appreciate this kind of writing. The dialog is friendly, the amount of investigating you've done RE: the sights you've shown us is fantastic. Love to learn snigglets of information about time and places...

Charlie6 said...

Lumpycam and Chessie, thank you both for your commentary and kind words....

Hamhock said...

I was also there for a while. Nov-1079 through Jan-1980. I foolishly chose a field in maintenance -- because the course was only 6 weeks long. It was a nice base. I liked being there.

Charlie6 said...

Hamhock, thanks for the comments...the area sure has changes since those days.