Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Royal Gorge Train and Bridge

Today I'm going to show you pictures of the most stressful day of our vacation!
It started innocently enough. We took a train ride through the Royal Gorge. The Arkansas river runs through the Gorge, and it was beautiful riding alongside the river.

Here is one of the old cars on the train. They use old refurbished cars, so it kind of feels like stepping back in time.

This was our car. The top was covered in glass, which gave us a good view. We rode it in the morning, so didn't get anything to eat, just had something to drink.

A view of the train going around the curve.

There were several rafters in the river that day.

Another view of the train.

Apparently, in the early 1900's a wooden pipe line was put through the gorge to supply water to a neighboring city. It was built by prisoners and they had these little shacks built every so often. They were called warming shacks, as the prisoners were allowed to go into them occasionally to warm up. We were told that no prisoners were hurt during the work, but 30 escaped during this time. We could see remnants of this line along the walls of the gorge.

This is the Royal Gorge Bridge, from below.

After our train ride, we drove to the Bridge.
When you park and walk in, you are greeted by this clock. It is one of 3 clocks like it in the world. It runs on water power and tells the time, date, month and year.

Now we will move on to the stressful part of the day. I may have mentioned a time or two (or three) that I don't like heights! I was about to encounter a little height.

Here is the bridge from the side. At this point my stomach was already getting that sinking feeling, but I didn't want to admit defeat!

Walking across! I took just a few pictures, because I was intent on just getting across. Cars can drive across also, and 2 of them did while I was on it. This meant moving closer to the side... It also makes the bridge shake as the cars cross!
Bob later told me I looked like Dustin Hoffman's character in Rain Man. Head down, fast shuffling steps! I reminded him that at least I made it. A man who appeared to be in his early 30's got about 1/3 way across and started talking very loudly about what a stupid thing this was to do, then announced to his family - "That's it, I can't take it, I'm going back". So, I felt good for doing it!
I should mention that this bridge goes nowhere. There are a few attractions on the other side, but you need to go back across, so I had to do it again.

You can also use this tram. No - I didn't do that!

This is a view of the gorge from the side of the bridge. Look how far down that river is!

Andy took this picture and showed it to me when we were done. This is taken through one of the cracks between the boards on the bridge, looking to the river below.

So, I survived! I'm glad I did this, but once is enough in my lifetime!


Connie said...

Beautiful pictures. Brave soul!
I love your new blog.

Heart2Heart said...


Please stop by my blog for a special blessing from God.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Kayren said...

I started reading the blurb that showed up on my dashboard where it said 'stressful' and I had already read the title, and I knew right away it had to be the heights.

I went to the Royal Gorge Bridge with my grandparents and my sister in the summer of 1983. We were on the way to San Francisco for an FBLA conference, and my grandparents were driving me so we could travel the country some, and then we would meet up with our group once we got there. At the time cars weren't allowed to cross the bridge. You didn't mention that it shakes when you're on it, or maybe you were shaking so bad you didn't notice. :)

We didn't do the train ride. If we go and take the kids, which I hope we do (and Hubby will sympathize all the way with you), we would definitely do the train.

No tram for me though...hanging up there like that is a bit much.

Mary said...

You're awesome, Girlfriend and very brave. I also dislike heights and would NOT have done this, especially the tram. Bridges and I don't get along. I crossed a very small swinging bridge once but that was enough for me.

Glad you faced your fears and enjoyed it. The photos are amazing. Love that clock.


Daveda said...

Beautiful pictures! This place looks amazing! Good for you! I don't love heights myself and hats off to you friend...I can only hope I would be so brave.

Congratulation on your award over at Heart2Heart.

Andrea said...

All I will say is "I totally understand."

Mike Golch said...

when it would come to the bribde,I'd chicken out I this thing about height.

Leigh of Tales from Bloggeritaville said...

BEAUTIFUL shots, though admitidly I need to go and puke now. Heights-I have a fear and after this post I realize how extreme. It made me sick to think of walking on that. Girl, you have got GUTS! I like that in you!
Great pics and good for you for conquering your fears. I would have been left crying on the other side. Honest.

Demara said...

Bob had me lmho at his comment about you and Rainman..hehe...too funny!

And THAT sure was HIGH up!!

~*Michelle*~ said...

Oh my! I am so proud of you......I am not a big fan of bridges, so I can't say that I could cross that one......

.....but maybe I would, because with God, we know everything is possible, right? I think He would be pushing me on it like a cat going towards water, though! LOL

Brave woman!

Just Mom said...

Are you kidding me?!?!?! I would never have walked across that bridge.

Good for you. :-D

Brooke said...

good for you - challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone! :)

Rebekah said...

Those are awesome pictures! I would love to go on a train ride like that. But I'm like you- I wouldn't have liked that bridge. Eeeks!

Pat said...

totally awesome! You're one brave gal, but look at what you would have missed if you didn't go for it, and look at what we would have missed.
I absolutely love the "rain man" comment...I can just picture it because that's just what I would have looked like!
I'm loving this trip!

Kim said...

I get vertigo just looking at the photos! You are so brave!

Betty W said...

That sure is waaayy down! Even in the pictures it´s scary.
Loved the photos!

septembermom said...

Good for you Mari! I'm glad that you got through that walk. Amazing pictures. I would have been nervous too!

Grandma Elsie said...

Oh Mari, I sympathize VERY much, I have always had trouble with heights. Could not climb the cherry trees when a kids no matter how bad I wanted a ripe one.
I have just bought Max Lucado's new book, Fearless . It says ,
" imagine your life without fear ".
I can use all the help I can get.
Elsie <><

Heather C said...

My hubby would have LOVED to see that! :) Beautiful shots!

Saija said...

Wow! you are brave ...

have you seen that walkway at the grand canyon? the one that is plexi glass or something and it must feel like you are walking on air as you look down - straight down? *shiver*

Cherdecor said...

You deserve some kind of an award for crossing that bridge! I would have been scared to death.

Raise Them Up said...

Oh, Wow! The pictures from that bridge are amazing! I have SO enjoyed your vacation posts. Thanks for sharing with us!

Linda said...

You are a brave soul Mari for crossing that bridge...and then back again. It looked do-able to me until you showed how far down it was to the river! And then with cars driving on it and shaking the bridge...yikes!

Good for you for doing it though! Now you can say you've done it and never have to do it again! I'm proud of you!