Multitude of sites - gorges, sand-dunes, mountains

Trip Start Apr 08, 2005
Trip End Apr 09, 2006

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Flag of United States  , New Mexico
Thursday, August 18, 2005

We drive through a deserted town (Canon City) made famous by many old westerns which were filmed here.

The Royal Gorge Bridge and Park is our first stop today, approx 1 hr south of Colorado Springs. The bridge was built in 1929 for $350,000, the cost today which would exceed $15 million. The Park has a multitude of activities and attractions such as an incline railway (45 degree angle), aerial tram, skycoaster etc. We choose an hour pass which is ample time to drive the quarter mile over and back the bridge and do a spot of shopping!

The Royal Gorge is known as the Grand Canyon of the Arkansas river, the Arkansas river runs wild through a 40-50 foot channel, while 1,053 feet above hangs the Royal Gorge Bridge, the highest suspension bridge in the world. The gentle yet undeniable swaying of the bridge ensures Ad is glad we choose to drive across and not walk the bridge!

As we travel through Southern Colorado, we are impressed with America's roads, the quality is excellent, even through the Rocky mountains they have a 2 lane highway and albeit windey, the surface is smooth. We are treated to excellent scenery along the highway, with the Rocky mountains as a backdrop, evergreeen trees, the highway runs alongside the river, which is packed with canoers.

En route to New Mexico, we pass numerous hot springs, clothing optional... and no, we didn't venture in!

A couple of hundred miles or so later we do stop at the sand dunes and St. Louis lake amid the desert! Its an extraordinary countryside, acres of desert, some fields of crops, deep and wide valleys, overlooked by high mountains. We drove for 44 miles at one stage of pure straight road, before finally making a slight, very slight, turn. We don't try any sandboarding at the sand dunes, this time - gotta protect this girl from the big bad world!!

Unfortunately, we are late arriving to Colcorado National monument in New Mexico, instead we drive around Sandia mountains. Our lovely and clean Nissan Altima is tested out by taking a twisty dirt road up into the mountains, the alternative was a tram ride up the hill - driving more fun!

There is a strong Spanish/Mexican impression on the houses in New Mexico. This is also evident in the people. It's like being back in Mexico! It's hard to believe we are still in the United States.
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