Journey to Crested Butte

2018-09-27-18-28-2 - Drive toward Crested Butte - dash camThe final leg of our destination in Colorado is now close.  We saw the Aspen trees in their yellow glory while at Pikes Peak and now we’re seeing more of their beauty traveling within an hour from Crested Butte.

2018-09-27-18-28-22_Moment - Drive toward Crested Butte - dash camMy next few posts will discover this beautiful, quaint town nestled among the gigantic Rocky Mountains.

NORMAL2018-0I thought I would give you a little windshield tour with my dash cam as we travel toward Crested Butte.  I’m glad you are coming along.

 

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Salida’s local flavor

Travel to Salida, COTraveling U.S. Highway 50 from Canon City to Gunnison presents a another picturesque opportunity.

Travel to Salida, CO with train and river

K89B3293 Rocks point to sky opening near going to Salida

K89B3270 Rock jet going to Salida

K89B3259 Road, river and rail
Road, river, rapids and rail create unique views along U.S. 50 highway traveling toward Salida, Colorado.  

We stopped along the way and enjoyed some of the peaceful flow of the Arkansas River near Salida, Colorado.

K89B3348 River before Salida
Arkansas River flows parallel to U.S. 50.

K89B3364 Yoga pose at river before SalidaFollowing our little respite from the travel we continued on and were surprised by a wonderful little town called Salida. K89B3412 Home of hi-altitude cattle sign at SalidaK89B3222 Salida entrance sign - creative districtWe decided to travel to the historic section and were greeted by some wildlife grazing around residences and businesses.

K89B3439 Salida hotel and mountainI enjoyed the quaintness of the town and the older structures.  I wanted to research Salida a little further and discovered the town has the Arkansas Headwaters Recreation Area – considered one of the United State’s most popular locations for whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Arkansas River.  (Wikipedia)

 

Salida has also been called one of the best mountain towns in the U.S.

Known as the “Heart of the Rockies,” this mountain town has long been a hub of tourism, transportation and industry in the region.

The city sits at an elevation just over 7,000 feet, but it is surrounded by a number of 14ers (mountains exceeding 14,000 feet).

History of Salida

What is now Salida was first named South Arkansas.

K89B3437 Salida building and main historic streetIt was one of many mining towns in the region as gold, silver, copper and iron.K89B3441 Salida and Rio Grande cabooseIn May 1880, the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad bypassed an existing settlement just to the south, in Cleora, and arrived in the town.

It was renamed Salida, which means exit, as it was at the gateway to the Arkansas River canyon. The town quickly prospered. More information is available at https://on9news.tv/2RAbsBA

So when you’re traveling some of the mountains in Colorado, take a respite in Salida for a unique experience.  You may not want to try the Arkansas River during the winter months though.  😊

Blessings along the way!

Ron

 

Beauty among thorns

Cactus near SalidaHave you ever wondered as you look at a cactus,

Staying at arms link to prevent the prickly touch.

How they flourish in the drought and void

As they grow they don’t need much.

But how do the flowers adorn the plant?

The beauty among the instrument of pain.

Yet they grown and the beauty they present

They don’t let the thorns overcome their plan

To attract those passing by to stop and look,

Regardless of the thorns that try to overcome.

Life is full of thorns along the way,

Don’t focus on their intent of pain

But keep an eye for the beauty within.

As the flowers grow brighter when receiving the rain.

 

Blessings along the way!

Ron

 

Missed the train

Royal Gorge train through Canon City-2

Well, we missed the Royal Gorge train while traveling through Canon City, Colorado recently; although that wasn’t on our agenda.  It would have been a nice ride if we had the time.  Maybe next time, right?

 

I wasn’t readily aware of the influence of Canon City concerning history and the railroad.

Royal Gorge train through Canon City-1According to Wikipedia, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad is a heritage railroad located in Cañon City, Colorado. The railroad transits the Royal Gorge on a 2-hour scenic and historic train ride along what is considered to be the most famed portion of the former Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad (D&RG). The 1950s-era train departs the Santa Fe Depot in Cañon City daily. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Royal_Gorge_Route_Railroad

In the late 1870s, miners descended on the upper Arkansas River valley of Colorado in search of carbonate ores rich in lead and silver. The feverish mining activity in what would become the Leadville district attracted the attention of both the Rio Grande and Santa Fe railroads, each already having tracks in the Arkansas valley.

The Santa Fe had tracks in Pueblo and the D&RG had tracks near Cañon City, Colorado, some 35 miles (56 km) west. Leadville was over 100 miles (160 km) away through the “Grand Canon of the Arkansas,” a mountain valley 50 miles (80 km) in length at a consistent and railroad-friendly water grade of one per cent.

For two railroads to occupy a river valley ordinarily was not a problem, however, west of Cañon City the Arkansas River cuts through the Royal Gorge, a high plateau of igneous rocks forming a spectacular steep-walled gorge over 1,000 feet (300 m) deep and 6 miles (9.7 km) long. At its narrowest point sheer walls on both sides plunge into the river, creating a nearly impassable barrier.  Sharing is not an option along this route, which created some challenges for the two railroads.

Royal Gorge train through Canon City-3While stopping for fuel I head a train whistle and all of a sudden it was just behind the gas station.  I barely arrived in time to get a couple of photos and a short video clip.  It was neat seeing the train with it’s open cars and the fancy looking ones as well.  I’m sure you’ll enjoy taking a trip on the Royal Gorge Route Railroad if you travel through Canon City.

I also didn’t get to travel to the Royal Gorge itself but here is a link to some photos and further information.  http://bit.ly/2qr3XBG

Don’t you just love the sound of trains.  I imagine they are beautiful traveling through the Rockies.

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Watch out for Rex!

 

Another unique concept we see while traveling through Canon City, Colorado is ———wait for it!

Canon City dino-1

Public art of dinosaurs?

Yep, and a long-horn sheep.  Colorful at that.

Canon City ram

Canon City even has a Dino Daze Instagram Contest to find the 11 sculptures around town. Details are at http://www.canoncity.org/residents/public_art.php.

Canon City dino-2

Canon City dino-3I wondered why the sculptures are placed around – particularly dinos?  As I researched a little further, I noticed the Colorado area is known for dinosaur fossils.

According to the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, fossils of well-known species of large dinosaurs have been discovered in this area over the last 120 years. Many of the dinosaur fossils discovered at Garden Park area are on exhibit at museums around the country, including the Denver Museum of Natural History and the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C.

Fossils of two-legged, plant-eating dinosaurs, dinosaur eggs, and dinosaur tracks have also been discovered in the Garden Park Fossil Area. In addition to dinosaur bones, Garden Park contains 2 significant, rare plant species, Brandegee wild buckwheat and inch milkweed.

Garden Park is a BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Area of Critical Environmental Concern, a Colorado Research Natural Area, and a National Natural Landmark. More information is available at https://www.blm.gov/visit/garden-park-fossil-area.

Glad you are with me as we experience this together.

Blessings along the way!

Ron

 

Canon City characters

Canon City wall art

While traveling through Canon City, Colorado, we just happened upon a couple of places I thought would be appropriate for today, October 31.

Canon City wall art - close-up“The Coolest Store in the Universe” caught my attention as we passed by.  I would have liked stopping to check out the store but we didn’t.  Now, I wish we had.  It’s named for mountain wookies and you can gather more information at their website:  http://mountainwookies.com.

Canon City is a nice town as one travels through the Rocky Mountain area.  I readily noticed some of the local culture influence, which I’ll share in my next post.

One of the back areas just off of the main stretch on U.S. 50 also caught my attention.  I just had to turn around to check out the old train cars.

Canon City inactive train-3

Canon City inactive train-1

Canon City inactive train-4

Canon City inactive train-2

Canon City inactive train-2a

Long sit the trains of yesteryear,

Silence now, laughter and chatter cease.

They rocked and rolled, along the track they roamed,

Where they went is mostly unknown.

Unless you talk with those of the past,

Asking them about their journey,

What they saw and what they heard,

But – wait – they are gone and only the remnants remain.

The busted windows for the wind and rain,

The elements of the earth remain.

They become pieces of art for others to behold,

Although we may not know what new stories are told.

But we still enjoy the relics that may not last,

They remain in our minds and some reminders of the past.

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Scenes along the way

Highway toward Canon City-1Don’t you just love the open highway?  That’s my thought traveling toward Canon City, Colorado.  I’m glad you are riding along with us during our recent journey. We will continue traveling in Colorado and will stay a little while at Crested Butte.  We’ll then travel back south into New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.  Stay with me!

Here are some little images as you look out the window.

Highway toward Canon City-2

Highway toward Canon City-3

Highway toward Canon City-4

 

Where do you want to go,                                                                                                                    As we travel along.                                                                                                                                And behold the beauty,                                                                                                                          Of life itself, of earth and stone.

I’m glad you’re here,                                                                                                                            To share your thoughts;                                                                                                                      It won’t be long                                                                                                                              Before we make another stop.

We won’t stay long just so you’ll know,                                                                                  Because we have places to see and more travel to go.

It’s sort of like a journey in life,                                                                                                          As we travel along;                                                                                                                                We’ll make some stops,                                                                                                                          Regroup, rest and recharge.

Life is a journey – we behold its beauty,                                                                                            But we can only rest for the moment, as life moves on.

Highway toward Canon City-5

Blessings along the way!

Ron