Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Royal Gorge & Beyond

The last couple of days of mundane tasks such as laundry, cleaning - and driving 450 miles – were jazzed up a bit with a day trip on our favorite “Green Dot” roads to the Royal Gorge Bridge.

The Royal Gorge is perhaps the most unforgettable and most impressive part of this visit.  Its sheer red granite cliffs drop over 1,000 feet straight down to the Arkansas River, which has its beginnings just a few miles upstream!!  This feat of nature is enhanced (??) by a barrage of civil engineering feats - including aerial trams, incline railways and the impossibly delicate suspension bridge, which feels like a rickety old seaside pier!  The Bridge is one of the world’s highest suspension bridges at 956’ high and was built in 1929 at a cost of $350,000 (over $18 million in today’s dollars).   

You can look down at the river from the Bridge –

Royal Gorge & the Arkansas River.
Or take the funicular to the gorge’s bottom where you can stand alongside the river and look up at the bridge and the sheer cliffs - 
Rafting the Gorge.

The suspension bridge from the river - Waaaaaay up there!!

The Gorge and the Bridge were something to see, but I have to admit that I was just a bit disappointed.  It was not quite what was remembered from a visit 45 years ago – including all the commercialism that I know goes with the visit;-(  But, the clock was kinda special – 

Colorful timepiece.

BUT – as is always true – the journey there and back was our real treat.  Finding one of those outstanding “Green Dot” roads – the trip home gave us some wonderful sights and thrills.

The bird was there to welcome us.

Glad we didn't have Magic on this stretch of road!!

A view from a scenic backroad switchback.
The drive from Colorado Springs to Abilene, Kansas (home of Eisenhower and his library) was a loooong, flaaaaaat one;-(  Magic quickly left the base of all the “Fourteeners” (mountain peeks above 14,000’) and took us through the flat lands of eastern Colorado and western Kansas along I-70.   Besides the flatness – the many miles of dead looking corn fields were quite depressing.

I (we) like Ike.

Today's 8 hour drive.  All flat - mostly brown.  This was one of a few green patches.

Now in the middle of our country, new experiences await – which we shall report on shortly.

See you soon – Elizabeth & Gary from the Wheat Lands of Kansas

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