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

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