March 17, 2010

Colorado, Day 3, Part Deux...

So, it was off to Cañon City...

We decided to spend the afternoon at the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park... Slogan: Goodbye Earth, Hello Sky. Or something like that.

Despite the slight chill in the air, we enjoyed our visit. First, we rode the incline railway. Here's a brief description of the structure from its website:

Built in 1931, and traveling at a 45-degree angle, the world's steepest Incline Railway is still considered one of the most difficult structures ever built. Here, timeless granite walls loom all around as you descend over 1,500 feet to the canyon floor, a mere 50 feet at its widest. Looking up, the Bridge appears as a delicate ribbon cutting across the sky.

Or, something like that.

So, the incline railway was a bit rickety for my liking. And, quite frankly, a little cramped completely claustrophobia inducing. But, the kids LOVED it. That is, until we neared the bottom and came to the realization that the apparent temperature was significantly cooler than it was at the top. Brr. Oh, and I pretty much lost a few years of life when I looked up and saw the teeny-tiny stairs along the track to the top, which I can only assume are there for the times when the train breaks down and leaves no other option. Gulp. In short, it felt darn good to step off the little blue train car...

After that harrowing incident really fun experience, we decided to peruse the gift shop. Sassy picked out the first of what ended up being many small bags of rocks and gems from Colorado. When we entered the park, we were told that the aerial tram hadn't been operating all day, which was a bit disappointing. While we were in the gift shop, they announced that the tram would be in operation for the final trip of the day, so we took the opportunity to ride!

The tram is the longest single-span tram in the world, spanning 2,200 feet over the gorge. It's coined to "feel as if you're walking a tightrope across the very Gorge itself. With no net."

Or something like that.

I tease, I tease. The aerial tram was cool. We were able to roll Little A's stroller straight inside, which was a plus. We opted to take the tram on a one-way ride, and then hike over to the bridge, where we could cross back over to the park. To me, the tram didn't feel scary at all. It felt like sitting in a very large glass elevator traveling 1,700 feet above jagged granite rocks. you know, run-of-the-mill stuff...

Once we were off the tram, we hiked through a small animal park on our way to the bridge. Sassy enjoyed looking at the bison and had plenty of questions about the Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep that eluded us at Garden of the Gods.

We made our way to the south end of the bridge, with plans to walk across to re-enter the park. The bridge was built in 1929, and it felt like it when we walked across. Well, to be honest, everything about that bridge felt grand and sturdy except the 1,270 wooden planks that made up the floor. That was NOT what I expected to see. When I learned that you could choose to walk or drive across the bridge, I envisioned the concrete highway surface that we are used to seeing as flooring to major bridges. I did not intend on seeing my life flash before my eyes with each plank crossed, or the gorge looking further and further still with each downward glance.

The girls were a bit unenthralled with the whole bridge experience. By this time, they were feeling the effects of changes in sleep schedules and lack of afternoon naps. Tyler, of course, loved the bridge. To him, it was an engineering feat to be revered.

Or, something like that...

I will say that the sky was gorgeous, whether you looked at the deep blue east or the barely sun-kissed west. Breathtaking!

Once we crossed the bridge, we ventured back to our car and set off in search for somewhere to eat dinner. We stumbled upon McClellan's Brewing Co. and decided to give it a try. Tyler and I both LOVE Irish food, and we had high hopes for an authentic menu. Tyler went with the bottomless fish and chips, which were stellar. Slightly disappointed with the selection, I went with the Corned Beef and Vegetables, which were okay. I wasn't a big fan of the mustardy, brown-sugary brine on the meat and veggies. I think it was just not what I was used to on my corned beef. I don't know... Tyler claims to have had one of the best beers he has ever had in life, so it was a successful meal in his eyes!

By the time were were finished with dinner and completed our drive back to Colorado Springs, it was again time to turn in and get some rest so we would be ready for another busy day ahead.

1 sweet tweets:

kendra said...

Wow you guys sure did have an amazing trip! I would LOVE to visit Colorado some day. I would actually love to move there, but my husband HATES the snow, so its out.

I don't like heights and I don't like small spaces, but I did enjoy your pictures and recounts of those adventures! And how cool you got to meet MckMama!!