Royal Gorge Bridge

We had a marvelous day of sight-seeing, rest, and relaxation yesterday. It was good to take a break from driving. We're staying at a very nice KOA. You know I'm often complaining about KOA's. One positive about the KOA's is that they are nearly always available at any place, no matter how remote. These folks were very accommodating when we needed to reroute, and we ended up spending an extra night here. It was a good thing we spent the extra night because the bridge took up half a day's time. Had we spent just one night, we wouldn't have been able to spend as much time at the bridge.

This is our campsite.

A brief thunder storm was moving in when I took these pictures, but there was still plenty of time to sit outside and take in the view of the valley.

Zooming in, we could see the uprights and steel cables of the bridge. You can see it about 1/3 down from the top of the image below.

The KOA provided a shuttle to the bridge and back. The bridge park itself was a spendy proposition, but we got a AAA discount. Mike coughed up the coin to ride the zip-line across the expanse of the gorge. We headed straight for the gondola ride across (included in the price of admission). While we waited, I was able to get this first picture of the bridge.

We rode across with four guys from Sweden. That was kind of fun.

The zip-line was located on the far side, and so Mike got off, and I rode back across in order to video him as he came. And, no, I am not a zip-line kind of gal. I'm not afraid of heights as long as there's a barrier, and the zip-line was above my pay grade...955 feet above my pay grade to be precise.

We spent too much time gabbing with the Swedish guys, and not enough time looking. I had the gondola to myself as I headed back the other direction. Here was a shot looking straight down. Sorry about the reflections off the glass.

That's the Arkansas River and there were rafters below.

Looking in the other direction, I was able to get this expansive view of the bridge. Incredible, huh? Consider that it was built in 1929. What an engineering marvel!

Here's another shot looking in the opposite direction.

Mike and I worked out a plan where I'd text him when I got back, and he'd text me when he was next in line for the zip-line. It was hard to see him take-off, but I ran the video and caught him as he came across. You can see the video below. It's very difficult to see when he takes off, but keep watching just below the rock line and a little to the right of center. About 20 seconds into the video, you'll see him come into view. If you can't see the video, then click right here.

Well, don't you know he was talking fast when he got back to my side. From there, we walked across. Here's how it looks starting out.

Here's some information about the general area. Pike's Peak is visible in the opposite direction, but it didn't make much of a picture.

The bridge is suspended by bundles of cables. They start out in bundles of around 30 wires, and then come together to form this large cable that extends across the gorge.

From there, we could see someone crossing on the zip-line, and I've indicated one of the gondolas with a red arrow.

This sign described a bridge on the railroad below. Honestly, I couldn't pick it out, but the information on the sign was interesting.

Here's a pano of the entire area. Mike photobombed my pano. He was taking his own pano.

This was carved into the planks at the middle of the bridge.

From the middle, and looking down, you can see the Arkansas River with the railroad running along its right side. Many of you encouraged us to take the train, and we thought about it long and hard. No doubt it is a memorable experience, but having just driven more than 1200 miles in 4 days, we weren't up for any more riding as a captive audience. It turned out to be a good choice for us because we thoroughly enjoyed a relaxing day spent mostly at our RV. We will most certainly be back here at some point in time, and the train will be on our list for then.

There were flags of all the states along the sides of the bridge, also known as "America's Bridge."

We hastened to find Oregon's flag where we took the requisite selfie. It was quite windy up there, but plenty warm to be out in shorts and short sleeves. (Not representative of my new haircut.)

Our shadow selves were so excited to see Oregon's flag, they opted to sing the Oregon State University fight song. Yes, it was embarrassing. We should have left them at the KOA.

In places, one could look between the planks to the river below.

Heading back, we could see the visitor center off to the right in the image below.

Here's some information about the Arkansas River below. Until yesterday, I'd never heard of the Arkansas River. After reading this sign, I can see that it's time to show a little more respect.

And, honestly, how many times do we have to go over this? Please put your fishing poles away.

We were just about bridged out by this time, and so we stopped into the cafe for some really terrible sandwiches, which were about 90% bread. While we ate them, this guy kept staring at me. I think he's really PO'd about his body.

While we waited for the shuttle to come, I noticed this "Legacy Wall."

Here's what the sign says.

Indeed, inside the visitor's center were some pictures of the fire and the aftermath. Below, you can read the legend accompanying the pictures along with some information about the fire. Consider it was only rebuilt five years ago. (Remember that you can make the image larger by clicking on it.)

We also spent a little time in the gift shop where I scored the first refrigerator magnet and shot glass of the trip. Mike also scored an "I survived the zip-line" t-shirt. Ya gotta have this stuff, you know? Life is short.

It was early afternoon when we got back to the RV. I did some laundry and baked this Dutch Apple Pie for Two. We had it after dinner with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Very tasty.

It seems a good time to point out that we bought this larger truck camper because our first truck camper had no comfortable place to sit. This one has some nice reclining chairs. Let's just see how that "comfortable seating" effort worked out for us.

Well, at least someone is comfortable.

I'll end by showing you a couple of pictures I forgot from our time in Vernal. While we were out doing our shopping, we passed by these two beautiful bushes all in bloom. The flowers look, for all the world, like hibiscus, but the foliage on the plant did not. Whatever they are, they were beautiful.

We're moving on this morning. We want to stop in again at the grocery store. On our last shopping trip, I'd done some meal planning, but neglected to think about items we need to replenish. So there are just a couple of more things we need. Also, Mike wants to pick up a diesel can and some straps. We'll fill the diesel can with fuel and strap to the flat bed trailer. We always, always, always carry extra diesel, and we've never needed it. For this trip, we didn't because we're already hauling gasoline for the ATV's. I pointed out there was room on the trailer to also carry some diesel fuel, and so Mike will make it so.

It's a short day of driving to Taylor Park Reservoir today, and we'll be spending six days there. It'll be our first opportunity to ride ATV's and it's the whole reason for this trip. I'm hoping to have some fun days ahead to tell you about. It is a remote area, however, and so it's possible there will be no internet access. If you don't hear from me for a few days, that will be the reason. We'll catch up when I get back into cell phone range.

For now, thank you to all who have left comments and shared personal stories about your own camping and road trips. I really love hearing what memories are generated as you follow along.


Lyndsey said...

The bridge is amazing. Huge respect for Mike's heroic zip wiring across the gorge. I love zip wires but not at that height! I'm sure Smitty and Sadie will give you a little room on the comfy chairs if you ask nicely but it might cost you some cat nip.

Julierose said...

Fascinating stop you made! That bridge is amazing...I wouldn't have gone on that zip line either--yikes!! Great photos...your cats know how to do R&R lol hugs, Julierose

Cathy Smith said...

It's turning out to be a great trip!
Those flowers are "Rose of Sharon" which is in the hibiscus family. Several years ago I went to Disney's Animal Kingdom park and ended up in a roller coaster cart with three guys from Germany. It was the Kilimanjaro ride (think the Matterhorn does Africa). They squealed like little girls the entire ride! I couldn't stop laughing at their sheer exuberance. So, I can truly appreciate your encounter with the Swedish lads.

quiltzyx said...

Wow - the Royal Gorge bridge area is spectacular! And it looks like Mike really had a zipping good time too. :)

My Dad & step-mom lived in Colorado Springs for a while. When I visited, Dad & I rode the Cog Railway up to Pike's Peak. What a beautiful ride through "quaking Aspens" to the top. When I checked to make sure I had the correct name, I discovered that it is currently closed for renovations until 2021.

Gail said...

Thanks, great pictures. CO is a part of the country that I've seen little of.

Anonymous said...

Beautiful photos, but oh my, you're soooooo much braver than I! I would have had to stay back to babysit the kitties ... can’t do heights! I love your travelogues though. Candy

Sally Trude said...

Dearest Barbara, I watched the zipline video three times and never saw Smitty. And are you going to cook your couch potatoes?

Respectfully, Molly

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

I'm speechless!
xx, Carol

WoolenSails said...

What an adventure, would love to see places like this, hopefully Bill will retire before I croak, lol.


Janarama said...

You take us all along on some very interesting adventures. I had to laugh after you were talking about your comfortable seating. It seems Smitty and Sadie wholeheartedly agree. LOL Looks like Mike enjoyed his little ride across the river. I wouldn't be brave enough today to try it, but when I was in my mid 20's (several decades ago), I went parasailing in Mexico and it was a total blast.

Sharon said...

Welcome to my home state, Colorful Colorado! Enjoy!

Dots said...

I watched the video of Mike zip-lining across. Wow! Pretty cool! Very high up, over open long way down view. He is a brave soul. Kitties look at home in those chairs, too. Glad you both are enjoying your travels.

Kate said...

I'm playing catch up today on blog posts. Hopefully you've had great luck on your travels since you found that lucky penny. What a rough start to your trip. Hope the ATVing as been really fun.

Calicojoan said...

Your not far from my backyard. We went to see the bridge a couple of years ago after they get it back up and running after the fire. It's beautiful, but I sure do miss the old time carousel and the hummingbird exhibits. There is something about it, that's just not the same anymore. Zip-lining is really fun, but I want to go on that thing they launch you on where you swing out over the canyon! LOL!!

QuiltShopGal said...

Looks like a nice KOA Campground and a wonderful place to visit. I'm 100% with you on the zipline adventure (I'd definitely pee my pants), but glad Mike enjoyed it. Kitties look pretty happy.

Della said...

You are truly blessed to have such fun times in your travels. Hubbs and I often speak of getting a camper and doing exactly what you are doing, except we would have two ornery Beagles with us instead of cats, but I'm sure it will continue to be a dream. We like being home too much I guess. So I feel lucky to enjoy your travels on my computer. Look forward to your daily posts. Happy trails to you and Mike.

kc said...

Oh, THANK YOU sooo much for going up there for me! And for taking me along! I would have had.... well, never mind, I'm sure you know....your pictures are plenty fine for me to enjoy the view from the comfort of our sofa. We couldn't even go up to Pike's Peak, on the ROAD, because of my fear. I had looked for video on YouTube, found it, watched it, and decided that was good enough. I would have been disgusted with myself if we had paid our $15 each, to go up there and then I wouldn't be able to make it, so we'd have to come back down. Plus, what on earth would I do when I got to the top?? I couldn't leave the store, up at Grandfather Mountain, in NC, so just no point at 14000 feet!

Kitties look plenty relaxed, how do the chairs do for y'all? It surprises me that there's that much room for 'em! Apple crumble looks awesome. IF you get this in time, apparently, peaches are in season in CO right now. We had some awesome ones from the farmer's market just last week. I think they call 'em Palisades peaches. There was weed there too, but we didn't get any of that.

Driver is thinking about purchasing a Margarita Trail passport; reminds me of a certain night in FL with good friends and good spirits... :)

Have fun on the ATV!

QuiltGranma said...

Sitting here in our uncomfortable chairs and couch that came with our 5th wheel about 20 years ago, I am drooling over your two comfortable chairs that kitties are enjoying. Are they recliners???

Connie Wolfe said...

My husband and I are nearing the end of a multi state RV trip which he named "The Great Nor'easter". During that time, we and most other RVers that we've met have experienced multiple issues, too. The most recent was complete power loss at the state park, Robert Moses in Messena, New York. All of us were given the option to move to the island side of the campground which was scheduled to close after the Labor Day Weekend. Our site is right on the water and is just beautiful. My husband recently came across a saying on one of the many webs he follows. "The only thing that consistently works in an RV is the owner.
Hope this helps your perspective for the remainder of your trip. Thanks for sharing it with us.

Danette said...

Thanks for the informative post. Once I retire, my husband and I would like to travel the country in our RV. I'll keep this bridge in mind. Although, since I live in PA, I definitely would be traveling cross country. I'm looking forward to it. I just have to get my kitty cat wanting to travel. She's a scaredy cat and may have an asthma attack if we take her with us.

gpc said...

Engineering marvel, indeed. What an amazing place to see. I will try to dig my fingernails out of my chair arms now, where I am holding on for dear life.