This Wildlife Refuge used to be an Army chemical weapons manufacturing facility (hence the name...) but in the 1990's was restored to be a home for over 300 species of wildlife, including deer, bison, coyotes, red fox, rabbits, ducks, birds and one of our favorites, prairie dogs! Before entering the Wildlife Refuge, we walked through the museum to learn the history behind this 17,000 acre property.
It was so strange to think that during the 20th century, you might have to sport one of these bad boys on the very property that now provided a home for so many animals.
Ryan loved looking at the chemical weapons control panel.
I took a moment to appreciate the Army switchboard, thinking how far women have come since the days when this was one of few jobs "acceptable" for a woman.
After we left the museum portion, we got back in the car to drive through the wildlife refuge. We had barely crossed through the gates when we spotted a few rabbits and about 20 prairie dogs hanging out near the trail. Similar to the deer at Red Rocks, they were not the least bit affected by our presence. (Unlike the rabbits, who scampered away.) They almost seemed to pose for the camera. They were talking to each other and carrying on. Ryan and I had so much fun watching them do their prairie dog activities!
I've always really loved ducks, and the Wildlife Refuge had seven different species. We were instructed not to get out of our cars, so I wasn't able to get very good pictures, but I loved seeing them all in the ponds on site. We also saw a few mule deer, but they were pretty far away as well.
We also caught a glimpse of some of the bird species as they flew across our path.
On our way out Ryan pointed out the window in time for me to see a GIANT hawk nest in the trees. We soon realized that there was one in every tree in this area of the refuge. It was quite a site.
|Ryan loved when the buildings were "labeled" to explain their history.|
They are in the process of restoring two old trollies for downtown tours. I can't wait to come back and see the city this way.
We wandered down the walking trail a bit and found some really beautiful art under the highway. Ryan & I immediately saw the message - We are all equal. Nature included. It was really a striking statement.
A little further down was the Centennial Gardens...
We headed back to the center of the park just in time to see a kayaking class in progress. We grabbed a seat and enjoyed the breeze as we watched them navigate the river.
They live in an area that was just a short walk from a little lake with a mountain view. It was so pretty, and the weather was perfect.
|The picture truly does not do it justice.|
To be continued...