Monday, July 11, 2011

Ghosts, Gorges, and Flamingos - We got a Raft of them

We left Pueblo at 7:30 and started on a loop that went into the mountains west of Colorado Springs and ending in Manitou Springs which is near Colorado Springs. The first stop was at Royal Gorge, near Canon City. With a width of 50 feet at its base and a few hundred feet at its top, and a depth of 1,250 feet in places, the 10-mile-long canyon is a narrow, steep gorge through the granite of Fremont Peak. It is one of the deepest canyons in Colorado.
The bridge deck hangs 955 feet  above the Arkansas River. It is a suspension bridge with a main span of 938 feet. The bridge is 1,260 feet  long and 18 feet wide, with a wooden walkway with 1292 planks. The bridge is suspended from towers that are 150 feet  high.

A train takes sightseers along the river. You may be able to make out the tracks alongside the river. The river does not look 40 ft. wide from where I took the picture.

A cable car takes visitors across the canyon.
Puffing back up the hill from the edge of the canyon.
No matter where we drive we see beauty.

This looks like a Stealth aircraft taking off.
Looks like it is solid rock.
Steep rock slides looks white. It is rock rubble.
Rushing creek down a canyon which leads to an old mining town, St. Elmo.

To comprehend the size, notice the school bus pulling a trailer full of rubber rafts in the foreground

Rafting is very popular on the Arkansas River
We saw many rubber rafts today. Very popular here and with good reason. The river is really good for it.

This "Ghost Town" has a few residents to sell to the tourists and rent 4 wheelers to ride in the area.
It was founded in 1880 aqnd at its peak had nearly 2000 residents. It is about 19 miles off the main road, 5 miles are hard packed dirt.
The town is on the national register and the local historical society is working at restoring some buildings

We ran into a hard storm an hour before we got to Manitou Springs
We saw a few unusual things today. 2 pack llama's
a blue bird that may or may not have been a Bluebird.

We also saw this herd of wild pink Flamingos
The grand finale of unusual sightings.
Tommorrow we will climb Pike's Peak in a cog train and tour the "Garden of the Gods"
It was a good day, and our room is nice tonight. We are staying here again Tuesday night.

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