Exploring Colorado

August, 1997

After Rod's meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers, we explored Colorado a bit and wound up in the ski country near Vail where Jeff had worked for a year.

We enjoyed the mountain views.

Our main purpose (or excuse) for going to Colorado was Rod's meeting of the American Association of Physics Teachers in Denver. Rod's development of a major physics education resource that he had named "HyperPhysics" had received a good bit of attention, and he did a poster presentation of the present status of the resource which he had developed in HyperCard on the Mac. This meeting was a watershed event in the development of HyperPhysics because it had become apparent that HyperCard as a Mac-only application was going to go the way of so many other proprietary computer environments and disappear after a few years. In this meeting he attended a workshop on development of instructional resources in HTML, the native language of the World Wide Web. One speaker characterized HTML as the "clearing in the woods" of these disappearing environments because it, as the language of the web, was going to be protected and stabilized for use on all platforms. The World Wide Web had basically been established in about 1992, and Rod had been working on the HyperCard version since about 1990 and watching the development of the Web. With this Denver meeting it became clear to him that the way to go with HyperPhysics was to convert it to HTML. It was extremely fortunate that HyperCard and HTML were very similar in structure, so even though the conversion was laborious, it worked very well. Rod put his first version of HyperPhysics in HTML up on the Web in 1998. August 12.

The informal AAPT meetings were a great benefit to Rod because he could do poster presentations and demonstrate HyperPhysics to interested individuals. Besides the useful workshops at these meetings, he got a lot of time to just talk to people about the development of this physics instructional environment.

Rod had begun distributing the HyperCard version of HyperPhysics over the last couple of years. This is the August 1997 version which he took to the Denver meeting. That experience put him in good position to begin producing an HTML CD version in 1998 when he had made the conversion.

Sara, Lara and Amanda Nave with Rod and Brenda.

While in Denver we got to make a visit to Dave and Vicki Nave and their three active growing daughters at their home in Broomfield, a suburb of Denver. We went out to dinner with the family at a Pizza and Wings restaurant.

We enjoyed exploring the Denver area. Dave and family were in this northwest suburb of Broomfield.

August 16, 1997

Rod looking at mountains to the north of Lookout Mountain Park. The park is about 12 miles west of downtown Denver and looks down on the town of Golden. It was a lookout point for the Ute indians, and is the burial place of "Buffalo Bill" Cody.

This incredible collection of mailboxes was near the Park.

We got this nice view of bison in a pasture as we drove west from Lookout Mountain Park.

Rod at the summit of Loveland Pass. The pass is about 50 miles west of Denver, off of Interstate 70. The road over the pass is fairly dramatic, and at nearly 12,000ft, you feel the effects of the altitude.

August 17, 1997

We had driven on westward on I-70 through Vail and to Avon with its access to Beaver Creek. We wanted to see some of the places Jeff had worked during his year out here on the ski slopes. Brenda had booked accommodations for us at the Fairfield in Beaver Creek, up on the mountain above Avon. We explored Colorado in all directions from there.

After a drive westward from Avon on which we saw a lot of big hot-air balloons, we backtracked along I-70 through Vail to gain access to the Shrine Pass Road. I don't remember how we found out about it, but we traveled that dirt road for some views of the Mount of the Holy Cross.

Above, Brenda stands at the Shrine Pass Overlook with a view of the Mount of the Holy Cross in the background. On the side of the highest peak in the center of the background, you can see a vertical white strip of snow which fills a crevice on the mountainside. During the winter, snow also fills a perpendicular crevice to make a huge white cross on the side of the mountain.

Above is a photo of the snow cross taken in 1900 from Wikipedia. At left is the plaque with Psalm 104:24 in honor of this view. It is mounted on a rock at the overlook.

Continuing our Colorado exploration, we drove down Hwy 9 through Breckenridge and over the Hoosier Pass where we found this nice lake. We liked the snow-patched mountains.

We enjoyed a trip along this stream through the mountains. At right, the railroad follows the same stream.

Rod with his Arkansas hat, standing by the Arkansas River in Colorado on our loop back toward Avon on Hwy 24. The highway runs along the Arkansas River from Buena Vista to Leadville.

Below is a view of a little town across the Arkansas River. I'm thinking our route was Hwy 9 and then 285 to Buena Vista, then north on Hwy 24 through Leadville and to I-70 close to Avon.

August 18, 1997

We headed down Hwy 24 and over to Canyon City to visit Royal Gorge.

Rod took video and still shots of the river far below the high Royal Gorge bridge. It took a telephoto lens to resolve the raft in the rapids on the river far below.

Brenda with a view of the Royal Gorge suspension bridge.

August 19, 1997

We drove eastward on I-70 to Vail and decided to explore Red Sandstone Road which goes up the mountains to the north of Vail. You can see the road leading out of Vail up the mountain, and Red Sandstone Road takes the right fork at the first branch up the mountain. Note all the ski slope paths to the south side of Vail, which lead up the higher mountains to the south.

It was a very pleasant dirt road through green grassy areas and lush evergreens. It wasn't long before we met a group of horses and mules that seemed to feel that they owned the place. Perhaps that was with some justification - it was we who were the interlopers.

The horses being obviously quite tame, Brenda got out with the camera just in time to see this horse stick his head in the car window to see if Rod had anything good to eat. They were obviously experienced moochers and were apparently hanging around the road for just this purpose.

Brenda receives Sarah Craig Award

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