It’s been rather uneventful here at the homestead for the last several days. Stilla has mostly been playing tour-guide for son William and his girlfriend Jasmin who are visiting from Germany. I usually stay home and putter around while Stilla is out showing them the local sites or doing more shopping. I guess our visitors want to stock up on such things as brand-name clothes, shoes, handbags, etc., which can be found cheaper here in the States.
Now don’t get me wrong, I like shopping as much as the next guy… but I’d rather be shopping at places like Cabela’s, Bass-Pro Shop’s, or Western Outfitter’s. So I find things to do here at the house while they’re out and about.
Although, I did go with on a few excursions. For instance, we went to the grand opening (late in the day) to the first Trader Joe’s that opened here in Colorado Springs. We also visited Fort Carson and wandered through the PX. One evening, we did drinks and appetizers at my youngest daughter, Joleen’s workplace, The Famous Steak House, and then went out for an evening at SouthSide Johnny’s. (Click on the green-font names for more information)
We also hosted a small get-together (pizza party) at the house one evening complete with fireworks that someone had brought.
William and his girlfriend Jasmin wanted to experience camping in the RV so we pulled in the slides and lifted the jacks on the Urban Escape Vehicle to go visit the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park near Canon City, CO. We left on Monday and came back on Tuesday. There are several RV parks near the Royal Gorge but most are already closed for the season. We found the Prospectors RV Resort which is open year-round.
It was a little more expensive than we like.. it was a little over $40 for 50 amp full hook-ups. We met the nice owner’s who had just purchased the CG at the beginning of the season. We wish them all the best in the future… nice campground.
It was pretty empty in the CG. But it looked like they had some seasonal workers and a few others that were preparing for a cold Winter stay with skirting and insulation.
Since it was later in the day on Monday after we settled in at the campground, we decided to drive back into Canon City for sight-seeing and dinner. We’d save the Royal Gorge Bridge for tomorrow.
Before going into Canon City, we took Skyline Drive, which is a ~3-mile one-way paved road with drop-offs on both sides. Go to the link for more images of this cool, scenic and somewhat scary (for some) side trip.
Along the drive from the main highway to the bridge we saw evidence of the fire that almost destroyed the bridge last year. If you missed that in the news: I linked more info on that here, and here, with some images here.
Here’s the view driving into the parking lot.
You can see the fire damage on the back of the coal car. Good thing the locomotive survived.
And here’s the new Visitor Center/Entrance to the bridge.
They were charging $16 a person to walk onto the bridge. It’s usually more expensive but they’re charging less since everything else burned down. The gondola across and the cable car down into the gorge are gone.
The old cable cars that used to take people down to the bottom of the gorge is out-of-service. I overheard a park representative telling another tourist that it requires $9 million in repairs and may not be fixed. Here’s a picture of the track.
We walked across the bridge.
Here’s Stilla and I on the bridge. I’m wearing the doggie front-pack I blogged about in an earlier post. We bought it in Florence, OR back in September.
Will and Jasmin took some photos of the gorge below through gaps in the planks.
Have to include this pic… one of my favorites.
A shuttle service takes people back and forth across the bridge all day. How do you get that job?
The gondola is gone but we could see evidence of reconstruction.
There’s a lot of rebuilding going on. This is the South side of the gorge.
We walked on up to the Sky Coaster.
We chickened out and didn’t do it. There was a moment when Jasmin and I were ready to go 😉
We walked back to the Visitor Center building and had lunch on the newly renovated deck.
They even put a fire place and heat lamps on the new deck. Pretty nice!
Many folks probably don’t know that you can stop at the parking lot and take a trail down to an overlook for good views of the bridge and visitor center. This is good if you can’t afford the entrance fee.
We returned to the CG and hooked up the Silverado for the return trip home. Will and Jasmin have plans for the evening.
Tomorrow we plan on driving up Pikes Peak, so stay tuned…