This would turn into a very special day; in different ways—not all GOOD...
At 7:35 we enjoyed our breakfast at Hyatt Place Colorado Springs/Downtown ←after a very good nightsleep in room 218.
Those bagels we spread with cream cheese for lunch snack.
Oatmeal with almonds...
Around 8:15 a final photo of part of the hotel and off we were, since today would be a very busy day!
On May 16 of 2015, I'd saved some information and link about Royal Gorge Bridge in Cañon City, Colorado.
I'd planned to fly one year to Denver, renting a car and driving down with Pieter...
But as so often with our own planning, other things got in the way.
Next year we went to Europe and I drove around 4,000 km or 2,485 miles to the South of France for attending the wedding of our friends' daughter... AND always we combined such trips with visiting Dad.
In 2017 we went on a Mississippi Cruise, also a longtime dream.
In 2018 we went on the Rocky Mountaineer through Canada... One of our BEST vacations ever!
In 2019 we went on the Danube Cruise with Viking and visited Dad a final time...
In 2020 we self published our book: modern mushroom growing 2020 harvesting ←
We stayed near home for the remainder and went to the Smokey Mountains, Cabin Stay in Tennessee and toured Charleston, South Carolina.
By 9:43 we were on road 3A near Royal Gorge Bridge, overlooking the Cañon City area where we'd grabbed us a bag of mandarins for consumption in the car, at a Walmart Supercenter.
Their blue shields are easily recognized and it got done in no time!
Another view and Colorado is such a beautiful state.
Weather as usual was perfect!
Yay, around 10:03 we were almost there at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park.
Do you see the bridge over the gorge?
An old locomotive 499 Rio Grande.
As a matter of fact I'd saved the link for Royal Gorge Train on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad ←for enjoying the Vista Dome while having dinner on their 2 hour ride.
But now it did not quite fit into our schedule... as much as both of us love travel by rail!
BUT instead we did ride on the Royal Gorge Gondola ←click link
From the Gondola, looking down into the gorge with rail road along the Arkansas River
Start the 19 second video below by clicking in center:
This short 19 second video I've captured from our Gondola, looking down.
You actually can see that Royal Gorge Train pass below, along the Arkansas River!
We were 1,000 feet or 304.8 meter above the Arkansas River and sliding over a distance of 2,400 feet or 731.5 meter across.
Had ordered us the tickets on line ahead of time...
No senior discount, all in age 12 & up it was US $ 30.00 per person.
But with that, you had access to their theaters and everything.
Looking down from the Gondola upon the Arkansas River
At 10:35, I captured our gondola from outside as we'd disembarked onto the platform.
Around 10:40 walking down towards the bridge, I spotted this white Yurt, seen to the center/left in photo.
If you look up Royal Gorge Yurts, you will find many, as rafters love to camp right next to the Arkansas River.
Something that came from Mongolia... Never stayed in any of them; have you?
How lucky we were again; mostly sunny and 31°C or 87.8°F at 10:46
It would rain in Cañon City, Colorado in the afternoon.
Around 10:59 we'd walked down to a level where the Royal Gorge Bridge suddenly popped up.
We both took our time walking, at that altitude.
Frankly speaking, I've felt for the very first time some chest tightness.
My nephrologist asked me in June, if I had palpitations... Yes, when I climb or do strenuous things I do!
Knowing your limitations, is so important and of course, I did carry bottled water inside my leather back pack; for both of us and we did sit down on a bench along the road a few times.
Pieter can no longer walk fast since his heart attack and open–heart surgery on September 3, 2010, let alone doing so at such high altitude.
Pieter was in awe about those enormous steel cable–bundles.
It was kind of hard to aim with my iPhone over the bridge's edge, for capturing the Arkansas River.
Deep down you can see the Arkansas River and the railroad track to the right, running alongside.
Start the 23 second video below by clicking in center:Around 11:10 Pieter is walking across this wooden plank bridge.
And yes, the bridge moves a bit from the wind and people walking across!
You can clearly hear the wind and also see that thick bundle of steel cables above Pieter's head...
Can't avoid that shadow of me but wanted to show the text that is burned into those planks:
BRIDGE & PARK
Established in 1929
Clear detail: IN 1929
Just a few months before Pieter got born...
What a weather, such perfect light also.
Holding onto my cap with that strong wind!
That is visible from the Georgia flag where I'm posing...
Oh and we spotted several rafters down there on the Arkansas River!
We sat down on a bench and ate our bagel as a lunch snack...
Both of us still walked some 4 km or 2.5 mile.
That line to the right is from the Gondola ride!
So it actually is a bit less the distance walked.
But at such an altitude, with some climbing as well.
It was now time to get moving as I needed to drive back to the main road and into New Mexico, to the next special stop, something I'd looked forward to since May of 2017...
Lower right corner you can actually see the bridge and also the Gondola.
I had to drive the same Road 3A back onto US Highway 50 and continue along the Arkansas River.
Canon City Colorado – Rocky Mountains – Arkansas River ←click for video of our exact route on Highway 50, except he did bypass Royal Gorge Bridge.
Now we're driving another stunning scenic route along the Arkansas River towards Salida Colorado – Rocky Mountains – US Highway 50 ←click link for video of our exact route!
After passing through the town of Salida, Colorado we hit the highest elevation for the day at 2,745 m or 9,005 ft.
We continued south on US 285 towards Taos, New Mexico.
Here comes State Trooper Cary from Saguache County, Colorado.
He stopped me on CO 17 at mile point 92, and he gave me a ticket for US $ 174.50 for speeding 80 miles per hour where I was only allowed to go 65 miles per hour.
On this entire trip, I've had only ONCE an attack of back spasms.
Chronic Kidney Disease stage 4, diabetes type 2 and hypothyroidism is not a wonderful combination to live with but it also is the very reason I was driving there.
NOW or NEVER as things only get worse...
Once those spasms happen, there is no way I can focus on the odometer...
Just holding the steering wheel and toughing out the severe pain.
Good thing is, they never last long!
Trooper Cary asked if I needed an ambulance.
He was too young for understanding that hell no, I would not want to abandon my 93+ husband with his heart conditions and no ability to drive!
Pieter is driving locally; low speed and on roads he knows very well.
So I swallowed and accepted this FIRST ever speeding ticket in almost half a century of driving.
Not applauding it, but as I often say: "IT IS WHAT IT IS"
To the lower left you see Lake City, Colorado.
That's where blogger friend Janey from Thick and Thin (air) ←(click link) has been spending her summers with her husband for more then 20 years.
Janey no doubt knows this region rather well!
At 15:15 we were here in La Madera, New Mexico
Clouds were building up for evening rain.
La Madera, New Mexico, same spot different direction.
By 16:02 I was on the The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge in Taos, New Mexico ←click link
Took this photo from the bridge, looking into the Rio Grande River below.
View of the entire bridge as seen from the Rest Area Road where I'd parked the car.
Walking up close to the road, Pieter did not join me, due to the rocks and very uneven terrain.
It is mind boggling such a DEPTH!
Indeed a huge Gorge with the Rio Grande River somewhere deep below.
So rocky and the dramatic clouds with the mountains in the distance make it unreal looking.
Viewing the other way, with mountains again.
There was a small parking area where people that traveled from the opposite way, had parked for walking towards the bridge.
Rio Grande Gorge Bridge
Start the 29 second video below by clicking in center:
Just giving you an overview while being on the Gorge Bridge and doing so by standing in one of the balconies on each side of the bridge where you step kind of OVER the edge.
The Gorge Bridge trembles when a car comes driving across... that's what you hear me say in my dialect 😉
MOST BEAUTIFUL STEEL BRIDGE
NEW MEXICO STATE HIGWAY COMMISSION
AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF STEEL CONSTRUCTION, INC
Now stepping back over the guard rail, onto these stones that are held in place by a metal mesh.
Back in the Rest Area Road at 16:43 where Pieter captured me.
Now, on the road to our Hyatt Place in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
After first stopping at Speedway gas station in Santa Fe, here I am at 19:06 parked at Hyatt Place Santa Fe ←(click it) on 4320 Cerrillos Road
By 22:51 we had a thunderstorm!
But that makes sleeping even BETTER...
Such a day needed an exit with loud thunder 😉
Stay tuned for more...
Enjoy this 2 minute Relive video of that days adventures: