Near Canon City, Colorado is a place called the Royal Gorge. It is cut 1,053 feet deep by the Arkansas River; it is only a quarter-mile wide. Although not lacking for superlatives, the folks at Royal Gorge say you can cross it on the world's highest suspension bridge, view the Royal Gorge from the world's longest single-span aerial tram or from the steepest incline railway.
A plethora of related (and unrelated) amusements are arrayed around the Royal Gorge Bridge. You can ride a carousel or scale-model train, visit the petting zoo, learn how to load and shoot a flintlock rifle at the Mountain Man Encampment, or view Colorado animals at the Wildlife Park.
Mrs. LZ and I both did do almost everything else in the park though. First after paying the admission to this park (which without it) gives you scarcely even a view of the Royal Gorge Bridge, you are allowed to go on just about everything in the park. So the first thing we attacked was the Ariel tram that goes across the gorge to the other side. As you can see it is very much like a tram large gondola at a ski slope, but instead of going up, it just went across the gorge.
After we got over to the other side, we saw the Skycoaster. For an extra fee, they'll send you soaring suspended in a harness 1,200 feet above Royal Gorge and the Arkansas River on this Royal Rush Skycoaster. And... even though I thought about doing this little adventure for a very short time, before having viewed some young people actually doing this Skycoaster; both common sense and a terrified Mrs. LZ made me re-think that momentary lapse of judgment.
This is the highest suspension bridge in the world. You might say; “Enough said”; except that it gets even better... with this ride ("Sky Coaster") they call the scariest in the world as you swing over the Royal Gorge! This thing (as soon as she saw it) Mrs. LZ, said; “You are NOT going on that thing are you?”
But,I think that might have been more of a direction than an actual question to me though.
But at any rate, I decided NOT to try it out. But it did remind me of the time we were in Acapulco, Mexico and Mrs. LZ who was tired of playing and laying in the sun, decided that she was going to go up to our hotel room and get a shower and into some non-beach wear clothes, only to then see this idiot go by the hotel parasailing, who looked exactly like me. Go figure! But I think Mrs. LZ had that memory in mind and decided not to let me out of her sight while we were on the side of the Gorge that had the infamous “Sky Coaster” on it.
While on that side of the Gorge, we got to watch a shootout in the Old West town over there. It was sort of fun and I guess they have actually shot some western movies in that area too. It was kind of like being on a Hollywood movie set for a circa 1960’s western movie, except that the actors were no Clint Eastwood’s, even though they could have been called "The Good, Bad and the Ugly”.
They pulled a couple of attractive ladies out of the audience to participate in this quasi remake of "High Noon."
But I didn’t really hear anyone yelling out “Oscar” or “Writer” after the show’s conclusion. But at least there was some polite applause at its conclusion.
After spending as much time as we wanted to on that side of the gorge, we decided to walk back over the bridge where we found the line for the world's steepest Incline Railway. This in fact looked like a multi-leveled screened in angled elevator. In fact I think it was made by Otis. But it was still a lot better than trying to scale down (or especially climbing up) the cliffs of the gorge. That was actually the only time we had to really queue in any lines for longer than just a few minutes for the whole time we were in the park.
It was actually a lot of fun once we got down in the gorge and to be able to see the white water rafters “close up” cruising down their river trip. It was also nice to see the bridge from the bottom side. It gave you a whole new perspective of how far it actually was from the bottom of the gorge all the way up to the area where the bridge crossed the gorge. The only thing that would have made it even more fun would have been if the train would have been going through the gorge at the same time we were down there.
This is another one of those places that is not too close to a big city, but Canon City, Colorado is not too far from the bridge and the city (of Canon City) had most things you would want to have if you were on the road traveling here. But as you can see from the pictures, the views were just spectacular. (As always, you can double click on any photo I’ve posted anywhere on these posts and look at a larger view of it.)"Common looking people are the best in the world: that is the reason the Lord makes so many of them."
~ Abraham Lincoln