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Wyoming Wanderers: An Outdoor Rec-venture

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Sarah Post
  • 90th Missile Wing Public Affairs

If you have been thinking about what adventure to go on next, look no further than the 90th Missile Wing’s very own Outdoor Recreation.

Recently, I took a trip with ODR to a butterfly pavilion just north of Denver. The trip was a ton of fun, and was an easy option to get out of the dorms and explore.

I arrived at the ODR building on a Saturday at 7:30 a.m. to sign a waiver, meet the rest of the trip goers and the guide. There were eight of us total and after we signed some paperwork, we loaded into the van to start the day. The drive to Westminster was almost two hours, which gave us plenty of time to get to know each other and talk in the van. When we arrived at the butterfly pavilion, our ODR guide signed us all in so we could begin enjoying the butterflies.

I did not know what to expect arriving at the pavilion, but I thought it would be just an indoor garden with a lot of butterflies. Instead, there were multiple exhibits to look at and learn from. The first exhibit was filled with glass tanks that held insects like beetles, stick bugs, praying mantises and a few different large spiders. In this section, visitors also could hold a rose-haired tarantula. Some of the other people I came with participated in that activity, but my fear of spiders kicked in and I stayed far away from Rosie the tarantula.

We visited a marine life exhibit next, filled with tanks of aquatic plants, coral and fish. There was a fish that looked exactly like Dory from Finding Nemo, and the anemone that Nemo lives in. This section also had open tanks where we got the chance to pet starfish and a few different types of crabs, which to my surprise, did not try to pinch me. The next exhibit was the butterflies, so we followed the paths and double doors into a beautiful indoor, tropical garden.

The indoor garden is 7,200 square feet and houses over 200 plant species from around the world. Hundreds or more butterflies call this garden home. We followed the walking path, just becoming overwhelmed at the number of beautiful butterflies flying about. They were small, large and every size in between, and made up every color and shade of the rainbow. Some of the larger butterflies would land on us, and some were lucky enough to have the butterflies sit on their shirts for a long time. After walking around, we sat on the benches in the garden in hopes of a butterfly landing on us. One Airman in attendance had a butterfly land on the side of his face, and another on his nose.

We finished in the garden, and headed to the final exhibit, the gift shop, and then went to lunch together. Following lunch, we started our trip back to the base.

This was my fourth trip with the ODR program and again I finished the day in a good mood and looking forward to the next trip I go on with them.

ODR hosts trips for Airmen, family members, veterans and retirees, as well as specific  trips only for single Airmen. They release their trip schedule every two months, with trips planned out two months in advance. They host everything from day trips to week long excursions, for beginners or advanced explorers. For those interested in attending one of these trips, visit the ODR building, located on Randall Ave, to sign up!