Monday, July 21, 2008

Birthday weekend

Yesterday was the DM's birthday, so we had another adventure! This time we traveled an hour downriver to the Royal Gorge Bridge. I hadn't been there in more than 15 years, and the DM loves crazy touristy places, so off we went.

It certainly has gotten touristy since the last time I was there. A tad expensive, too... but still... Where else can you involve yourself with an impressive list of claimed superlatives AND kitsch, all in the same day?

We walked across the bridge: the highest suspension bridge in the world. (1,053 feet above the Arkansas River.)

A view of the bridge, with the gorge and the Arkansas River below.

We rode the aerial tram: longest single span tram in the world. (2,200 feet long and 1,178 feet above the river.)

We rode the incline railway: steepest in the world. (45 degree angle of travel.)

View from the bottom of the gorge (via incline railway).
The line across the upper corner is the bridge,
the little dot in the middle of the sky is the tram

We DID not ride the skycoaster, this crazy bungee thing that swings riders out over the top of the gorge. No, thank you. (Although the DM said that if it had been less expensive, he might have thought about it. I might have disowned him.)

It was a ridiculously hot day (95 F +, methinks), but we had a good time. Neither of us is much for heights, which was the irony of the day, but together we were somehow braver than normal. I still wasn't big on looking down.

The most superlative giggle of the day came from this sign, at the head of a PAVED trail to the tram loading area. Put us both in mind of Audrey II.

I'm not sure what might be more dangerous than cactus in that particular habitat (primarily piƱon-juniper scrub and lots of cholla and prickly pear), but okay. We kept our guard up.

Bird list from the bridge: swallows, swifts, and vultures. Whaddaya expect?


  1. OBVIOUSLY you don't know 'fear of heights': I don't even like La Veta Pass!!! LOL (I drive on the left side of the double yellow line whenever possible...returning from the Alamosa side!) Ugg

    However, I did recently discover that I CAN get to Salida without having to endure any serious heights: follow 69 to 50...easy money! I'll never miss your famous weekend art-fest again!!!

    I cannot believe how brave you are; I feel the urge to retch and my knees get week just LOOKING at your photos...nice as they are.

    who will drive hundreds of miles out of her way to avoid the likes of Monarch or Wolf Creek Pass.
    No Way!!!

  2. Sorry Beverly, but I'm chuckling. Only because my not-so-good relationship to heights gets worse each year. I can give you a long list of roads NOT to take in Our Beloved State.

    And probably I shouldn't tell you about going over Independence Pass in truck with only 3 functioning brakes.

    Breathe. 69 to 50 is great. :-)

  3. Well, I just turned perhaps I have age as my excuse! LOL don't tell me your story about Independence Pass and I won't tell you my story of the time I visited The Black Canyon of the Gunnison; innards roiling before we even got there...and all I could do was barely get out of the vehicle; knees so weak all I wanted to do was sit in the pavement with hands wrapped firmly around the yellow lines on the pavement. UGG!!!

    You mention 'breath!'...that is something of a mantra to me when driving even over La Veta Pass. [sigh] There are times I think I'm such a kook...

    Lovely blog these days...your new digs and the DM must be agreeing with you! Sweet!!!

  4. I will say THIS, Beverly.... you are not the only one with the "not me, no way" reaction.... but you so far ARE the only one brave enough to admit it publicly. You would get a kick out of how many clandestine emails I am getting with just that sentiment. You go, girl!

    And thanks for the "atta girl." It's crazy here (we've been under roof replacement construction disaster for a solid month now)... but we're hanging in there!