Home of the Peacekeepers
We're in night acquisition mode. While many roadtrippers assume it's over when the sun goes down and everything closes, we know better. Some monuments and attractions are lit after hours, worth visiting and photographing.
But a word of caution -- be careful when venturing near our nation's military installations, especially strategic US Air Force installations. Once open for leisure exploration and free tours, today base security is very tight. Many are still in perpetual lockdown mode. For example, the fraidy cats at the US Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colorado, were not letting the public inside when we drove by in 2003 -- entrances were blocked, and exits zig-zagged.
It was 11 pm when we spied three missiles in a very public display at the entrance to a Wyoming air base. The F.E. Warren Air Force Base is known as "Home of the Peacekeepers," and here were a trio of gleaming ballistic deterrents just outside the security checkpoint. We pulled up to ask the armed guard if it was okay if we took pictures of the missiles. The young soldier looked us over, then said it was okay as long as we didn't photograph the base entrance.
We pulled around and set up our tripod and camera to record the ICBMs. Then another soldier, obviously the first one's superior, trotted up out of the darkness. He warned if they saw any cameras pointing at the checkpoint obstacles or any flash bulbs discharging in their general direction, they'd confiscate our cameras.
We carefully snapped, and cleared out ASAP.
There is a free museum on base -- the Warren ICBM & Heritage Museum, but we couldn't tell whether this is still open to the non-military public. It wasn't open at night.
Only a mile or so south of this well-protected missile park, security is extremely lax at Little America. Emperor the Penguin is unguarded in his glass display in the hotel lobby.