Monday 11 September 2017

The Royal Gorge

    Royal Gorge is another gem we found; a deep canyon on the Arkansas River near Canon City, Colorado. At the bottom the gorge is very narrow at a width of about 50 feet but it is its 1250 foot height that makes it so memorable. As we approached we stopped the van on the side of the road and got out because we were rapidly being approached by a herd of wild yet somewhat contented looking mule deer. They were obviously quite used to human presence and it soon became evident the reason for this familiarity was that they were fed by our species. Not wanting to break with tradition we dug through our lunch and Gavin and Adam immediately chose to surrender their carrots.

      The deer approached cautiously at first but once they discovered we meant them no harm and food was involved they came right up to us. Adam was a little fearful at first but when he saw they were gentle and willing to eat right out of his hand he enjoyed it and even started petting them. It was a heartwarming scene for me to see the boys feeding and petting the deer and I asked myself, “Can you get this close to nature in a book, even if man did have something to do with it?”

      The flags of all the states, in the order they became states, adorned the rails of the 1260 foot long bridge traversing the canyon so it was an education just crossing to the other side. The deck of the bridge was approximately 1000 feet above the river below so I found it somewhat preposterous that there was a sign warning, “No Fishing from the bridge.” Exactly what kind of tackle would one need to make this work?

      Once across the bridge we found a rock ridge that Gavin and Adam insisted on climbing, exercising their new-found favourite activity. Hindsight being the wonderful thing that it is pointed out to us just how insanely dangerous the allowing of this activity had been. The back side of the ridge they were climbing leveled off slightly for several yards then dropped straight into the canyon – 1000 feet! Maybe as parents we should have exercised a bit of authority and found somewhere else for them to play. Oh well, wait for a couple years until we get to Delicate Arch!

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