Thursday, June 21, 2012

Father's Day

Father's Day we headed down south to take the train through the Royal Gorge.  I had wanted to take DH and the kids to the Rockies vs. A's (A's is a childhood favorite), but tickets for a "premium" game were close to a house payment (plus the Rockies aren't so watchable these days), so I canned that idea.  I saw an ad in the paper a few days before Father's Day for the Gorge and thought that might be fun.  DH seemed to like the idea so I booked the tickets.

We drove the two and half hours down to Canon (pronounced Canyon, but I can't find a ~ to put over the first 'n') City.  Matthew was totally psyched - driving on the highway and a train!  Just seconds after we snapped this photo the train blew it's horn and freaked us all out.

At 100+ degrees it was great that the cars were air conditioned.  The train offers concessions as well as a three-course meal, which for the six of us, was akin to the Rockies game.  So we enjoyed overpriced sodas in "collectible cups" and a leisurely ride up the Gorge; two hours round trip.

It's been ages since I've been to the Gorge.  My previous trip as a young child was up on top, going over the high suspension bridge.  Not enjoying bridges, let alone single-lane bridges, or being able to see through them, it wasn't the best experience for me.  They have since added some "rides" that swing you out over the Gorge, including a ZipLine, which my 15 y.o. daughter wants to do, with a father who is willing to let her do it.  Ahhhh . . . hun, can we talk?

The river that runs through the Gorge, the name of it escapes me now. . .Arkansas?. . .is ranked as a Class Four for rafting.  There were tons of rafters heading down the river, but because of the extreme drought and higher than average temps early in the season, the run off is far from Class Four this year.  My husband rafted down this river when it was running at its peak and let's just say I'm glad I didn't know what it looked like before he went.  He has pictures and the river looks nothing like this.  Comparatively, now it's a lazy stream compared to when he went; the rapids were pure white, the water was much, much higher and you could tell was running fast.  F.A.S.T  Still it looked like the rafters were enjoying themselves and were grateful for the frigid water given the temps, even in the Gorge.

The sheer walls of the Gorge, and its narrowness made me wonder not only how they managed this rail link through it, but why!  Why would they pick this route to get to Leadville?

These giant rocks, would be completely submerged in a normal snow-pack and run-off season.

A wooden pipeline built in the late 19th/early 20th century, can still be seen along the opposite side of the Gorge.  How they managed to get that there, I have no idea!  Engineers are nuts!  And add gold-fever to the fuel and it's insanity!

It was a wonderful, relaxing trip and I'd love to come back down in the winter when they run the Santa trains after Thanksgiving.  It would be cool to do the evening run and then stay overnight, given the drive time and the navigation of possible snow.

Happy Thursday.

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