Getting to visit Colorado’s “Natural Wonder” was an amazing experience. The Royal Gorge showcases the Arkansas river, and reminds me of a mini Grand Canyon. The weather was the perfect complement to the reddish-brown ridges, a brilliant blue backdrop.
This picture is from over 1,000 feet up. We couldn’t get a shot that even came close to capturing the actual depth. Now, I have a thing about heights and confined spaces. On my “not” to do list in life was to ride an aerial tram. However, since it was included in the park price ($$$) and I want to set an example of courage to my kids, it was our first stop. To say I was scared out of my mind was an understatement. The Royal Gorge Aerial Tram is the world’s longest single span tram. 2,200 feet of joyful riding dangling 1,178 feet about the beautiful Arkansas river. Peaceful rocking of the tram in the wind. Wait, that peaceful part was a joke! My family thought it was awesome, and on the upside… any other aerial tram I ride will be smaller than my first!
Once we reached the other side? Incredible! An excellent perk of coming off-season is having the place practically to yourself. No sounds but the wind and water far below. After the tram, we enjoyed the wildlife. It was surprising how close the deer let us get, unphased by us trying to “quietly” cross the icy snow patches to get a picture. There is also a wildlife park which housed American Bison. I love bison and was delighted at this surprise…there was even a white one!
The Royal Gorge bridge is 1,053 feet high and is the world’s highest suspension bridge. After the tram, the heights weren’t a big deal! You could feel the wind shifting it slightly as we gingerly stepped onto the wooden planks.
Finally, the best part…the Incline Railyway…the world’s steepest incline railway. Notice a “world’s” theme here? No joke, this is 100% grade at a 45 degree angle. 1,550 feet down into the gorge. The temperature dropped drastically at the bottom, but the ride was worth it. If you ever get a chance to do this with your kids, jump at it. So cool.
People often think of Colorado as forested mountains, and that is a big portion of the rest of the state. Here in the lower Eastern part it is sparse and there lies a particular desolate beauty. The lack of becomes the focus of. Seeming simplicity, but every corner an intricate detail waiting to be noticed. The slogan here is “Goodbye Earth. Hello Sky.” Appropriate, don’t you agree?