Travels with Bentley

Travels with Bentley
Bentley - our Heartland Bighorn

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Sunday, May 29, 2016 - KOA Colorado Springs, Fountain, CO - Canon City & Royal Gorge

Sunday, May 29, 2016 - A Day at Canon City & Royal Gorge

We were up early this morning so we could head to Canon City.  I made some breakfast burritoes and froze them before we left.  We pulled out a package of them and heated them up in the microwave this morning.  They were pretty good and the pre-preparation made it nice and quick.  Before we left I put some chicken and noodles in the crockpot for when we return later today.  I found the recipe on Facebook.  I tried it once at home last week but did not fix it in the crockpot.  Marc, Kamron, Misti and Haleigh were there and they all thought it was good.  I thought it would be something easy to have cook while we are gone and with little to finish up when we get back.

As we traveled toward Canon City we began to see more mountains with several of that were snow topped.  We traveled through the Cheyenne Mountains as we left our campground.  The mountains were beautiful and of course I took way too many pictures.  I tried to pick out the better ones to insert below. 

We passed this large rocking chair in front of this restaurant.  Surprise Dacy - you got included too!

As we drove through Canon City we saw the Colorado Territorial Correctional Facility.  It looks like it is built right into the rock behind it.  I don't know if it is but looks like it all goes together.

We drove through Canon City however we did not stop, we will do that on the way back.  We want to get to Royal Gorge early to beat the crowds if we can.  We noticed a sign for Skyline Drive on the way out of town and noted we needed to be sure and drive it on the way back.  

As we neared the Royal Gorge turnoff we started seeing lots of adventure rafting tours and zip lining information.  The girls both think this sounds fun and it probably would be but we told them we didn't feel comfortable taking them on or permitting them to do either of these.  We felt this was something the parents should decide on.  They were pretty understanding and didn't balk.

As you near the Royal Gorge entrance you drive through kind of rough and brushy looking countryside.  Dean and I faintly remember there being lots of small deer in this area last time we were here (about 17 years ago).  We did not see one although there were a number of crossing signs up. Fortunately we did arrive pretty early and was able to park right near the visitor's center so it was very easy to come and go if needed.  
Our parking spot at Royal Gorge - right in front of the train engine and car.

After we finally got our tickets (for some reason the first booth's cash register would not take either of our credit cards, so we had to move to the next cashier and it worked fine), they told us to head out and immediately to the left to the gondolas that will carry you across the gorge.  The gondolas are 3 cars that each carry 8 persons, with one car running from each side.  We didn't have to wait too long at all.  
Gondola car to the left and two zipliners coming in.

Gondola car as it is leaving for the other side of the gorge.

Our selfie, by Dacy!
This was a great way to see the scenery a little differently than you can from the bridge.  It didn't take too long to cross over but it was a little eerie looking straight down at the river below us.

The gentleman overseeing the loading of the gondolas told us this was the best way to get to the other side.  If you walk across the bridge, you have to walk uphill quite aways to get to the gondolas to cross back over - and he was right.  It was very steep hills!  Sure glad we chose to follow their instructions.

As we left the gondolas we walked below the gondola area and watched the zipline for awhile as well as another feature they have there called the Skycoaster.  The zipline is across the entire gorge - 2 at a time.  The Skycoaster allows for two people to be strapped into an apparatus that holds them with arms and legs outstretched hanging from a belt.  Then the Skycoaster shoots them out over the gorge and it goes back and forth until it stops.  I think I might either be sick or pass out if I rode this!  Not for me.  The girls were not even too excited about it.  A few pictures I took below the gondola loading dock.

Pictures from above were taken after we got off the gondola.  The first two were standing underneath the gondola station, and the last one was taken from near the same area back towards the bridge and the skycoaster, which is located on the right.

The next level has a theatre where they tell about the building of the bridge over the gorge.  The girls were not interested in hearing it so we passed this up.  They had a live band playing some blues and 50's music.  They were quite good and I could have set and listened for awhile.  :)
snack area, outdoor seating and the theater is to the right. 
Dean and I with the bridge and the stage where the band was playing behind us.
All of us with the bridge behind us.
Panoramic View from the Gondola Station.

We finally made it to the bridge.  Even though I've been over it more than once it is still an awesome sight to me and really interesting that they can build such amazing things when you are dealing with a gorge of this size.  We stopped several times on the way across to take pictures, look down, read notes along the bridge side.  Here are several of those below:

The river and railroad below the bridge.
The day before we visited, the main conductor of the railroad train, a young woman somehow fell off the back of the train as it was backing up.  We heard this on the news the night after we were there. The train was shut down until further notice.  I pray for her family and her co-workers.

You can see the gondola on the right at the first drop from the far right.


Yeah, right!  Can you imagine enough fishing line to reach the bottom?  You'd need a good weight just to make sure it got to the bottom.

You are encouraged to find your state flag and take a selfie - so that's what we did!

If you enlarge this I think you will see zipliners going across the gorge.

At the far side there was a sign telling a little information about the bridge and the girls posed for this picture.

We were relieved to make it back up to the Visitor Center where we first entered the park, and set outside for a few minutes.  We took one last selfie here at the water clock just outside.

Of course we had to do some souvenir shopping before we left.

From Royal Gorge we headed back down the entrance road to a picnic area so we could have our lunch that we brought with us.  Sandwiches, chips and a snack.  While there a couple came in and set at the table beside us.  The girls told me they were from Kansas too.  They noticed the license tag when they pulled in.  So I asked them if they were from Kansas.  They said yes, they were from Junction City.  We visited with them through most of our meal.  They gave us a couple of tips and we told them about Skyline Drive.

After our lunch we headed to Canon City.  We were soon at the turnoff for Skyline Drive.  What beautiful views from this very narrow one way roadway that leads back into a residential area of the town that is near the old downtown area.  By the way as we were driving Skyline Drive, I happened to notice our lunch neighbors waving as we drove past them.
At the top of Skyline Drive.  

We drove down mainstreet of the old Canon City area and then we drove over to their riverwalk along the Arkansas River.  

Downtown Old Canon City
We saw a few rafts and kayaks.  There were small riffles in the water but we didn't get to actually watch any of them pass through these areas.  The girls were busy picking up "pretty" rocks.  

From there we decided to head back to the campground.  There were some nasty looking clouds back our way and sure enough a pretty good rain had gone through while we were gone.  

Once we returned to Bentley the chicken noodle mixture was smelling pretty good.  I had thrown 4 chicken breasts in 2 cans of cream of chicken soup, 32 ozs. of chicken stock with 1 stick of butter.  I pulled the chicken breasts out and quickly shredded them, then added the chicken back into the soup along with a bag of frozen Reames noodles.  We cooked them about 30 minutes or so - Reames has a quick cooking (10 minute) variety.  The recipe says to let the noodles cook 2 hours.  I probably should have left them another 20 minutes or so but they were still really good.  I think we all had a second bowl.

Afterwards, Dean took the girls up to the pool and I stayed here and worked on the blog.  Was glad to get two days worth updated.  I would like to finish this tonight along with a post for Monday and today but not sure I'll make it that far.

It was another great day in Colorado Springs area.

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