Page 14 of 15 FirstFirst 123456789101112131415 LastLast
Results 131 to 140 of 147
  1. #131

    Default

    Up until this time I was not aware that my ticket was valid for the bridge for another week, and I headed straight for the bridge... where of course I arrived too late for anything worthwhile, and was advised to come back the next day.

    Back at the motel, I extended my stay for another night.
    That sums up the experience of being on the road for me. It's not often that I think about it but occasionally I am reminded and realise how I miss that freedom!

  2. #132
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,820

    Default Great pictures !

    I have really been looking forward to seeing these pics from the train since having a sneak preview of them when we met in Denver. I so wanted to find the time for the train and bridge but it was not to be, and it goes on my "To do" list.

  3. #133
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,976

    Default Royal Gorge Bridge

    It was early when I arrived at the Royal Gorge Bridge reserve and animal park. I had no idea there would be so many attractions. I had expected to just find the bridge. One could easily spend most of a day there.



    My early arrival meant I was able to get a parking spot right by the gate, which was a great help, as there is a lot of walking to do, even just to get to the shuttle bus. However, I arrived well before the bus started running (off season), so spent my time (and money) in the visitor centre / store / cafe.

    The first attraction which caught my attention was the railway straight down the side of the canyon, down to the river.... right where the hanging railway bridge is, and right below the bridge.


    Not something to do if you suffer from vertigo.


    Looking up from the riverside terminus.


    The hanging railway bridge, just below the terminus.


    At the railway bridge it is possible to climb down to river level.



    The train goes up and down ever so slowly, but unless you are in the front carriage, the view is mostly blocked by the carriages in front and cages all around. Each section of the train has room for four adults - standing.

    Definitely worth doing, and I was thinking just how cool it would be if you could meet and (maybe) catch the train back into Canon City. Or perhaps even just see it pass through.

    t.b.c.

  4. #134
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,976

    Default Royal Gorge Bridge cont.

    Back up the top I decided a ride in the cable car, which I had seen from down below, would give me yet a different view of the gorge.



    However, when I got there, the next car was full, and it was something like 90 mins or more, between cars. I decided to take the bus across the bridge.


    It appeared to be well anchored.

    Having crossed the bridge, the bus did a circuit of all the attractions, which include an animal park where one of the great attractions is a whilte bison.



    I was assured it is not an albino.

    On this side of the gorge there is an extra attraction where one can (for a price) 'bungy jump' over the gorge. They'd have to pay me! Actually, the cable to which the person is attached does not go down into the gorge, but swings right out over it.

    Next it was the theaterette, where a film is shown on the history and building of the bridge. Very interesting and informative. There are also displays of the bridge components and construction.



    On the way back across the bridge, the lovely lady who drove the bus stopped for me to be able to take this photo of the Arkansas river, more than 1000' below.



    By now the wind had blown up, and as I watched the cable car come back across the gorge, seeing it sway in the wind, I decided that this was not the time to test my motion sickness tendency. So that went by the wayside.

    All that was left was to drive over the bridge.

    Back at the gate the attendant gave me the ticket to pass through to the bridge. Slowly does it.... the only hazard on the bridge are pedestrians. I had waited for all oncoming vehicles to exit, before I entered. But this was no guarantee, and two-thirds of the way across my worst fear became reality... a car came onto the bridge from the other direction. The bridge is wide enough for two vehicles to pass, but only just. I thought our mirrors were going to touch. Fortunately he too had slowed to a walking pace, and we managed.

    I did not see, and doubt they would allow an RV on the bridge. The open shuttle bus is really quite small.

    Yeah!! driving over that bridge was a buzz... the highlight of that visit.

    It was mid afternoon when I headed back to Colorado Springs. As I turned back on to highway 50, I carefully noted which way to head home.

    * * *

    That is of course, what I should have done on the previous day.

    At that time I was running late. I wanted to be home before dark. The weather looked threatening. And I was very tired. Not a good combination to be driving. Without concentrating, I had turned onto highway 50 the wrong way. When I had gone some ways, and I was not recognising any landmarks, I knew I was on the wrong road. I looked for a pull-off, but by now I was in the gorge, driving along the river, and there was nowhere to stop and check a map or fiddle with my satnav. There was quite a bit of traffic on this road. When I finally saw a driveway in time to slow down and turn into it, I had reached Howard, just on 40 miles in the wrong direction.



    It was a most scenic route, but with light rapidly fading, this is the only picture I have, and it was taken through the windscreen. There are more pictures of the beauty of this area in post #61 of this thread

    * * *

    Back at the motel, I packed up ready to leave early the following morning. All the reports on TV and the internet indicated that the Trail Ridge Road was open, and this time, I was not going to miss out.

  5. #135
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,820

    Default Looks great !

    Definitely on my "to do list".

    On this side of the gorge there is an extra attraction where one can (for a price) 'bungy jump' over the gorge. They'd have to pay me! Actually, the cable to which the person is attached does not go down into the gorge, but swings right out over it.
    That will be the "Skycoaster", that is apparently the highest in the world when taking into account the river is 1200ft below you as you swing out "Superman style" while laying in a harness on your stomach.

    This was supposed to be Simon's "surprise treat" I had in store for him but alas, it was not to be ! And no, a team of wild horses wouldn't be able to drag me anywhere near that thing, Lol ! The cable car though, that I would love to do.

    I did not see, and doubt they would allow an RV on the bridge.
    You are correct in thinking that.

    Looking forward to more !

  6. #136
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,976

    Default Trail Ridge Road - Fifth attempt

    How time flies.... it is over a month since I posted last. High time I finished this trip, especially as I have just booked the next. LOL

    When I left Colorado Springs that Saturday morning my single focus was on the Trail Ridge Road. The Weather Channel indications were for clear weather. This time I would not be stopped.

    Proceeded through Denver and Boulder without stopping. Traffic was moderate and progress was good. That is, till I got almost to Lyons. Road works meant traffic was reduced to one lane, and for miles it was stop start traffic. Took close on an hour to get through that area, before we were able to move again, and onto Estes Park.

    It was at the park entry kiosk that I was told that this was the National Parks free day. Every man and his dog was there! This, together with the roadworks in Lyons, meant that I was much later than I had planned. Needless to say, with the crowds, the progress through the park was at a snail's pace.



    This time, unlike the previous Monday, the weather was clear and the view was great at Rainbow Curve, more than two miles above sea level.



    It was interesting to see whence I had come.



    It was from here-on that I was in my element. This is what I had waited for so long, and right now, way up there, nothing was going to stop me. It is hard to put into words the euphoria as I continued on my way. This incredible landscape on top of the world. This road!













    It was not hard to pretend I was the only one up there..... but sadly, only in my imagination. There were absolutely hoards, and at some of the more popular viewpoints and the Alpine Centre, parking was at a premium.



    It seems that the Centre is about as far as most went, and from there on the road seemed to be all mine.... along the rest of the ridge and down the hairpin bends. (Still a puzzle as to how Dave got a 30ft motor home through them.)



    It was all awe inspiring. After so many unsuccessful attempts, I had not been disappointed.



    As I stood here and looked at the snow on the ground, it was hard to comprehend that snow on this side would end up in the Pacific, and the snow just a few feet away would make it all the way to the Atlantic, thousands of miles apart.

    With all the hold ups earlier in the day, I realised I was not going to be making it all the way to Grand Lake, if I wanted to get out of the park before dark. So when the shadows started to lengthen I turned around.... to relive the joy of that road all the way back.



    [I was not able to do any of the short walks to see the splendid views, but if you followed the link above, you will be able to see great photos and descriptions of those places.]

    By the time I got back to the Fall River Visitor Center it was just on dusk, and dinner time. Had a great meal of fish and chips with a cup of refreshing tea, at their restaurant. Since they had wifi, took the time to check email etc. as well, and once refreshed and relaxed, was able to continue the drive back to Denver. It was almost 10pm when I arrived at the Flying J, where I parked, and slept like a log.
    Last edited by Lifemagician; 01-17-2010 at 05:28 PM.

  7. #137
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,976

    Default To Rapid City....

    After the accomplishment of the previous day, I spent the Sunday relaxing in Denver. I had had three full days, and with three more ahead of me, it was good to have a day off. Not that I was actually being compelled by anyone to do what I was doing, but sometimes it can be tiring just to meet your own expectations.

    Monday morning I awoke early had breakfast and when I received a phone call, set off for a meeting with the one and only SouthwestDave and family. Driving instructions to the hotel were clear and straightforward, just that he had not driven it himself, and his chauffeur had known the territory. I did not!! With the help of my trusty(?) Garmin, map and asking on two seperate occasions, I finally completed the 15 min journey in just on half an hour. That hotel is tucked away by a cloverleaf flyover with an exit which is most obscure. Miss it, and there is a good detour before one can get back.

    The family was at breakfast when I arrived. The gentleman himself was watching for me, and made me most welcome. Introductions all round were followed by lots of chit-chat and sharing notes, photos and brochures. About an hour later their pick-up arrived. We said our goodbyes, and I followed their driver to get me back onto the interstate.

    By now it was after 10am, and I had planned to make it to Rapid City. Still doable, if it had not been for the accident up ahead and the subsequent detour, which added the best part of an hour. When I got to Cheyenne it was time for lunch back at the truck stop I had previously visited. This time I had to wait for a table. Not sure if this was a sign of a popular place, or the only place.

    The rest of my trip to Rapid City was straight forward... or at least as straightforward as any leg of a road trip can be. Route 18 to Hot Springs (a good two lane road, not much traffic) and 79 up to Rapid City. But true to form, and making decisions on the run, somehow I ended up in Custer. Would have been a lovely place to check out, except, by now it was dark. Not sure if taking 36 across to 79 was then the brightest thing to do, as it wound its way ever so slowly through Custer State Park. From what I could make out, it would be a really beautiful drive in daytime, but right at that moment, I just wanted to get through it.

    Arrived safely in Rapid City, albeit a little tired. Almost 10 hours later I awoke completely refreshed for another day... another adventure.

  8. #138
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,976

    Default ....and Sioux Falls

    Before setting off to Sioux Falls, I had to go and see the Centre of the Nation.

    As I went to head out on I-90, the ramp had only just opened again, and there was a sober reminder that some have greater problems than I.



    Headed west on I-90, off at Whitewood to the Belle Fourche visitor centre.



    The lady there was most helpful, giving me a map to the actual cairn and survey marker. Strangely, she mentioned that lots of folk prefer to go and see the real marker. At the same time she almost sounded as if she wanted to talk me out of going there, mentioning that it was a 'long' way (20 miles) and that there is nothing to see. I had difficulty equating her nothing to see with real marker. She obviously did not regard it as something.

    And once again I did what might be regarded as a silly thing. When I saw that the Centre of the Nation was actually one of the points of interest in my Nuvi, I decided to let it take me there. By now I was up to challenging it to 'get it right'.

    I won the challenge....... again!!

    Yes folk, it actually took me to the correct lattitude, but on highway 85,



    and not old highway 85.



    This added further (unnecessary) miles to my journey as I backtracked onto the gravel road.



    And there it was. The path to the flag and marker.....



    The roadside cairn with the sign which a previous visitor put there, and the authorities decided it good enough to leave. I stood there wondering how I was going to get through the barbed wire fence, when I saw the little hooks.



    And by the look of the absence of grass and the well worn path, this spot obviously sees more visitors than those at the visitor centre are prepared to admit.

    The short walk, dodging the cowpads and grasshoppers took me there.



    Time did not allow me to wait till the shadow moved. Those visiting in the afternoon, would not get that shadow across the marker.





    I am so glad I made the effort. Definitely worth the drive.

    It was now lunch time, and I had 400 miles yet to Sioux City, it was going to be a rush trip. Fortunately it was nearly all on I-90, and besides a little roadwork, was smooth sailing the whole way.

    On Wednesday it was I-90 to I-35 into St Paul. Somewhere along the way, I took this photo. I cannot remember exactly where, neither do I know of the significance of this. Was hoping someone who reads this may know.



    Since it was early afternoon when I arrived in St Paul, I took the opportunity to seek out the new bridge over the Mississippi. The collapse of the old bridge happened just after I left St Paul last visit. It was good to be 'home'. I hoped to get some rest, as well as organising everything for the last leg to LAX and that long flight home.

    But for now, it was goodbye to the trusty Dodge Caravan. 33% of its total mileage had been added in the last five month... i.e. 27992 - 95% of which was done at 62mph or less, and 100% at or below the stated speed limit. Am yet to work out fuel consumption and associated costs.

  9. #139
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    South of England.
    Posts
    10,820

    Default T 38 Jets.

    Great photos and text Lifey !

    And Yes, the Hotel was a pain to find as some of the reviews on it show ! It was great to have met you and shows the "power of the Internet" when an Englishman and an Australian who have never met can arrange to do so in America, remarkable ! Lol !

    You certainly had a clearer day than us on Trail Ridge road but we didn't get the same amount of people, it was very quiet.

    I had fun finding the location of the Jets as at first glance I thought there were only two of them, but it would appear to be in Owatonna, Minnesota.
    Last edited by Southwest Dave; 01-18-2010 at 02:35 AM. Reason: Info, broken link

  10. #140
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia
    Posts
    6,976

    Default Thank You

    Oh good, thanks, Dave. I knew it was on that last day, but had no idea where I photographed it. Did not stop, just took it out of the window as I passed, and only noticed later that it looked like only two. Next time I come past there I may take a better one.

    Lifey who knows there will be a next time.

Similar Threads

  1. Planning a summer solo motorcycle road trip
    By Santos in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 08-08-2016, 12:55 AM
  2. Budget Summer Road Trip - 2 Weeks
    By Suds in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 05-22-2009, 08:30 PM
  3. planning a summer road trip....
    By Lostfan in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-26-2009, 09:18 AM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-19-2009, 11:54 AM
  5. Florida Road Trip - Sep 2009?
    By NeilR in forum Planning Summer RoadTrips
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 01-14-2009, 08:34 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
  • Find the Perfect Hotel
    Search RoadTrip Motels
    Enter city name

    Loading...



  • MORE STORIES