United States
Buckskin Joe

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3 travelers at this place:

  • Day10

    Day 10 - A Bridge Too Far (& TOO High)

    May 1 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 7 °C

    Freezing start to the morning, but by 9.00am, the sun was out & everything heated up.

    After a leisurely morning, we headed out for the Royal Gorge Bridge & Park. We had booked our tickets on line & upon arrival felt pleased with ourselves that we had saved $8 each on general admission. Our smugness was slightly diminished when we informed that the gondolas had been suspended due to high winds. I was secretly pleased.

    The Royal Gorge Bridge is 955 feet above the Arkansas River, 1260 feet long, 18 feet wide & made up of 1292 planks. Most incredibly is that it was built in 1929.

    As we approached the bridge, my bum went funny & my legs turned to jelly. Jackie strutted around without a care in the world. Eventually I managed to take a couple of photos & even attempted a selfie, which was bloody awful.

    We successfully reached the other side & went to the Theatre where we were shown a film about the construction of the bridge. The builders were utter lunatics with not a safety rope or harness in sight. For someone trained at ‘Working at Heights’, I was shocked.

    We had a wander round the park, scoffed at the idiots doing some sort of bungee ride, then realised the gondola was now working - oh joy. As we walked up to the gondola station to get a ride back over the gorge, I had to stop for a nervous wee. The gondola arrived at the station & a parks employee cam elite to say that they needed to suspend the gondola operation because the wind had got up again. I was half annoyed, but also half relieved.

    As a result we had to walk back over the bridge. We had lunch in the RV & monitored the gondola, but it didn’t start up again. Matters were made worse when I realised that I had forgotten to wear my Fitbit again.

    After lunch, we drove down into Cañon City, we drove past the Colorado State Penitentiary, which had a museum, but it didn’t take our fancy (Not enough notorious inmates). I have since read that Cañon City prospers not so much from tourism as from prisons. It has a dozen prisons, including a top security superman prison with 500 of the nations most dangerous including the Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols & Al Qaeda ‘Shoe Bomber’ Richard Reid. Amazingly we didn’t see the other eleven.

    Instead we drove up & down Main Street. We didn’t feel the need to stop & get out so we drove 8 miles south to Florence an old historic oil town. It was much more attractive than Cañon City & was full of Antiques Shops. We went to the Rocky Mountain Bank & changed a $5 note for 25 cent coins.

    On the way back we stopped at Pathfinder Park for a photo of John Charles Fremont, The Great Pathfinder. We arrived back at our KOA campsite just after 3.00pm, realising that we were were in a different time zone, presumably when we crossed into Colorado the previous day. We loaded up the washing machines & dryer with our dirty clothes & 25 cent coins, then just relaxed in the sun in our camping chairs with a couple of beers.

    We did have a couple of disasters that evening:-

    1. We snapped off the catch on the window beside the cooker whilst trying to let the cooking smells out.

    2. Whilst watching the rest of After Life, I ‘clumsily’ knocked my glass of red wine off the table onto the seat & all over my shorts. The red wine didn’t stop there, it dripped down into an electric panel, which set an alarm off and lights to start flashing. Luckily they eventually stopped & we had 18 dishcloths.

    FITBIT = 5,507 steps / 2.56 miles

    Song of the Day - Vertigo by U2.
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  • Day10

    Day 9 - The Lonliest Road.

    May 1 in the United States ⋅ ☁️ 6 °C

    Woke up to a few grunts & snorts....it was the zoo next door. We had filled up the grey waste tank & were unable to empty it, because I had been too tight the extra. Jackie was forced to shower in the campsite block (she won’t be doing that too often - all her clothes got wet).

    After breakfast, we set out for the Boot Hill Museum leaving the RV still hooked up & Jackie ‘s damp clothes drying in the sun. En-route we took photos of various statues around Dodge City, then just after 9.00am we visited the museum.

    First we watched an informative 13 minute video that told us all about the history of Dodge City. It was established in 1871 by a cattle rancher & soon cowboys were driving their Texas Longhorn cattle from Texas through. Buffalo hunters moved into the area & the town grew with the arrival of the Santa Fe Railroad. Bars, brothels & gambling dens soon sprang up & became pretty lawless. Some of the prostitutes had brilliant names such as Squirrel Tooth Alice, Big Nose Kate & Big Emma.

    Shootings were a daily occurrence & the dead were often buried with their boots still on in the cemetery on the hill, hence it acquired it’s name ‘Boot Hill Cemetery’. The 1st recorded burial at Boot Hill Cemetery was Jack Reynolds in September 1872 who was shot 6 times. The last burial was Alice Chambers on 5th May 1878.

    Dodge City soon acquired a reputation as the most wickedest place in America & the true Cowboy Capital of the World. Law enforcement arrived in the form of the infamous Wyatt Earp & Batt Masterson, who were trigger happy but turned the town around.

    The Museum is actually situated on the cemetery, of which part of it still remains in tact. There are plaques & wooden epitaphs for some of it’s buried residents. The museum consisted of numerous buildings accurately reproduced from the originals & contained original artefacts from the time. It was fascinating & Jackie has declared it her highlight of the trip so far.

    One interesting but sad fact is that in 1870 there were over 30 million buffalo roaming the prairie around Dodge City, but by the turn of the century there was less that 1000. Hunters were rounding them up & slaughtering them in their hundreds each day. One photo should man stood on a pile of buffalo skulls at least 50 ft high. In the gift shop, Jackie treated me to genuine buffalo skin credit card wallet.

    Whilst in the Museum the weather had changed dramatically & it was thunder & lightning. We had no choice to run back in the pelting rain, unhook & drive out of the campsite at 10.59am. We had to be out by 11.00!!

    Today, the plan was to pelt along Highway 50 (The Loneliest Road) for over 300 miles to Cañon City & some proper scenery. We put a $100 fuel in the RV at Cimarron, then continued through the rather desolate towns of Ingalls, Garden City, Larkin, Syracuse & Coolidge. Every single town in western Kansas has a ‘Prairie Cathedral’, a massive white storage silo for wheat.

    At 1.30pm we crossed into Colorado & immediately stopped for lunch a coffee & a sandwich. Then it was on through Holly, Granada, Lamar (where we stopped to take a photo of the Petrified Wood Car Dealership), Hasty, Las Animas & La Junta, where I also planned to stop but in our haste we missed it.

    On we went, still on Highway 50, through Swink, Rocky Ford, Manzanola, Fowler & Avondale to Pueblo. On this days drive so far we had really not seen anything of interest, just Prairie Cathedrals & we smelt them before we saw them, lots & lots & lots of cattle ranches with thousands of cattle tightly penned in together & being fattened up ready for slaughter. We was not nice to see, it brought home the realities of Cattle farming & almost wanted to make you turn vegetarian.

    At Peublo, we turned off to photo the National Medal of Honor Memorial in the modestly named Heroes Plaza, then we parked up for a stroll along the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo. We wished we had bothered because it was very man made & fake looking, also annoyingly I forgot to wear my Fitbit.

    We then spent an age looking for a Walmart to pick up some dinner, chicken & salami pasta. We raced on to Cañon City, refuelled (another $100) then drove up to our KOA campsite at Royal Gorge. This is what we had been looking for - surrounded by The Rockies. We supped a beer as the sun went down over the mountains & made the decision we would stay here a 2nd night.

    The remainder of the evening was spent having dinner & watching the first 3 episodes of the brilliant ‘After Life’.

    FITBIT = 10,141 steps / 4.72 miles.

    Song of the Day - The Loneliest Road (feat. Phil Wiggins) by Blackwater Mojo.
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  • Day61

    Royal Gorge Bridge Park - Canon City, CO

    July 30, 2017 in the United States ⋅ ⛅ 73 °F

    A whopping 955' above the Arkansas River The Royal Gorge Bridge was the tallest in the world until 2001. It's 1260' long and 18' wide and has all the states flag along it. Braved the gondola but gave the zip line a miss. Spectacular view of the Gorge from the bridge and many overlooks on both sides

  • Day59

    Royal View RV Park - Canon City, CO

    July 28, 2017 in the United States ⋅ 🌧 63 °F

    Our home for a few days, great campground overlooking the Royal Gorge Bridge, which is one of the tallest suspension bridges in the world. Great to be surrounded by mountains.

You might also know this place by the following names:

Buckskin Joe

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