|We decided to drive over to Canon City and take the Royal Gorge Train ride. It was a little over an hour drive but it was nice once we got out of Colorado Springs, traffic is crazy out here. Cañon City was laid out on January 17, 1858, during the Pike's Peak Gold Rush, but then the land was left idle. A new company "jumped the claim" to the town's site in late 1859, and it put up the first building in February 1860. This town was originally intended as a commercial center for mining in South Park and the upper Arkansas River. In 1861, the town raised two companies of volunteers to serve with the Second Colorado Infantry during the American Civil War. This regiment fought in skirmishes in nearby New Mexico and as far east as the Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and Missouri before ending its organization in 1865. Cañon City depends on its tourism industry which includes the Royal Gorge Route Railroad, Royal Gorge Bridge and Park, Red Canyon Park, The Abbey winery, and various other attractions. A major employer in Cañon City is the Colorado Department of Corrections. It is a maximum security prison, bad guys.
The Royal Gorge Passenger service on the new Royal Gorge Route Railroad began in May 1999, and is controlled by the Rock & Rail Railroad. It covers 12 miles of track that travel thru the Royal Gorge along Arkansas River. The gorge had walls as high as 1250 feet in some areas. The trip has the river on one side and on the other is sheer canyon walls straight up. You surly want to sit on the river side of the train. It was a breath taking trip along the river, there were kayakers, and rafters going down the river thru the many rapids. One interesting item was a large wooden pipe that traveled 8 miles upriver to supply Canon City with water back in the 1800’s. The pipe was made out of redwood and as you see in the pictures mounted to the side of the canyon. That had to be quite an engineering marvel back in that time. The train ride was enjoyed by everyone including the kids.
We returned to the motorhome and Mike with his family decided to return home because Jerrica had to work on Sunday. After they left Dawn arrived to spend the next few days with us.