Speaking of tourist traps, there was one more thing I wanted to do before we got too far from Colorado Springs. Back in the 90's we paid the price and went in to see the Royal Gorge. Cliff, who doesn't like heights, remember, watched me walk across the suspended bridge and back, and then ride across in the aerial gondolas. It would have cost $40 for the two of us, which is well worth it if you've never seen it. But we had. What I wanted to do was ride the train that travels alongside the Arkansas River at the bottom of the Gorge: We've done the Durango & Silverton train twice. The second time was actually rather boring. The same is true of the Jeep tours we've taken in Colorado: First time was amazing, second time was nice, but there's just something about the first time you see or do something that can never again be matched, no matter how hard you try.
The Royal Gorge train was only a two-hour ride, and I loved it. I think Cliff enjoyed it too, although that was one of his bad back days. I wanted to be there for the 9 AM trip, but I couldn't hurry Cliff out of the motel too quickly. His back needed time to wake up. When we pulled up at the station to buy our tickets, the train was just getting ready to leave, but they waited for us, thank goodness. Otherwise we'd have ended up spending the whole day there, or else we would have gone on without a train ride.
We were assigned seats on the train, but there are also open cars that allow you to get a good view of things. We stood out there during most of the return trip.
I found it relaxing, watching the water flow by as our train went onward.
This wooden pipe carried water to Canon City for over 70 years, until 1974.
Cliff always enjoys seeing people on a float trip.
There's the bridge I walked across in 1994. Looks tiny from the bottom of the canyon.
Once off the train, Cliff took time to inspect this old relic.
With a final look over my shoulder at the train we had ridden on, we headed toward the car.
It was almost noon when we got in the car, and then we were off to Gunnison.