It was a great morning! We got to sleep in until 7:00 a.m. They boys reassembled at Mountain View Methodist Church in Woodland, Colorado to begin their day. Some of our host dads met us and served as guides for our hike up into Pike National Forest. The hike was not too strenuous, but served as a great way to burn off some energy and some calories – uffda! The skies were slight hazy due to some forest fires here in Colorado. The boys were definitely noticing the thinner air. One boy even commented, “Where’s the air?” The boys were well-hydrated all day today and had a great adventure hiking their way into the forest and back.

As we were coming down from our hike we encounter a group of fellow hikers. They were asking the boys questions about who they were and what they were doing. The hikers request a song and, of course, we obliged.


Upon the completion of our decent, we boarded the bus and head back to the church for lunch.

Following lunch, we had a uniform check. This is when the boys bring in their garment bags to have them checked for the proper hanging of their concert uniform. The check did not take too long, so one is to assume they are doing a good job of caring for their concert uniforms. Once their uniform was checked they had free time. Some boys hit the playing field while others played some games on the bus.

We then boarded the trusty bus again and headed out to the Garden of the Gods. On our way, we stopped to fuel the bus – only 139 gallons this time! That gives us about 4.6 MPG coming across Kansas. If you’d like to contribute to the fuel fund…just kidding. But, seriously, during this stop I took some time to interview John, our last of the three first-year tour boys.

The Garden of the Gods is a beautiful place! And, thanks to alum, Chris Hess’ trivia, we now know there are 336 parking spaces. Stewart lead the boys on a short hike where they saw some amazing natural structures, including the kissing camels. We really confused Thomas with this one. After he realized the kissing camels were a rock formation he told us, “you need to clarify that these are rock camels and not real camels. I’ve been looking for real camels!”

After a brief visit we, once again, boarded the bus to head to the United States Air Force Academy. The short, 30-minute drive, brought us to the North Gate and then to the Barry Goldwater Visitors Center. The boys went directly to the store to spend some money. After hat pins, coffee mugs, hats and more, we walked the paved trail to the glorious Cadet Chapel. This chapel is the most visited man-made tourist attraction in Colorado and you can see why…

Choirs are not allowed to sing in the Cadet Chapel, but we could only imagine how wonderful it must sound.

With growling tummies, we boarded the bus and headed to our first restaurant of tour – Cracker Barrel. This has become one of the favorite places to eat for our choirboys. They especially like to get Stewart’s Root Beer! We like taking the boys there because there seem to be more healthy food options for them.

With full tummies, now, we headed back to the church in Woodland Park to…one second…just got and email…”Your choir performed at our church last night, and it was incredible! You all can be so proud of what you are doing! Hope the boys had a good time relaxing and having fun today. Sure hope you make a return trip to Woodland Park in the future.” WOW! Thank you for that email, Rusty! Folks, we hear this so much when we are on tour. All of our parents should be very proud of what their sons are doing! These are some pretty EXTRAORDINARY boys!

We arrived back to meet our host families around 7:30. The boys are now “home” and spending time with their hosts. Tristan and Louis were the last to leave. A deer was grazing in the field so they found an apple and tried to get the deer to eat it. It was pretty cool to watch as the deer are so tame here.

That’s all for tonight. Doesn’t look like there is an episode of Jake and Sam’s Vlog. Oh, wait, what’s this in my messages…Episode 3 just came in. Hold on folks, this is riveting vlogging…

To be continued…

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