Thursday, April 21, 2016

April 4, 2016 - Salida, CO to Canon City, CO

A very beautiful, sunny morning at 42˚.  Our eyes were feasted on the beautiful snowcapped mountains with the sun shining on them.  

We left Salida East Recreation Area at 9:30 am after a quick breakfast.  Some miles later we turned left to get on Route 50 for Canon City, CO.

Edith's pet peeve is this!
Erwin handling the steering wheel with one hand

and holding a coffee mug in other hand

The roads were twisty and rolling, but we have to tell you the scenery was so beautiful. We arrived Canon City at 10:30 am, went to Walmart to leave our Lil' Home (LH), so we can take the Jeep to go sightseeing.  But before we took off Erwin went in Walmart store to check with the manager to see if it was okay for us to spend the night here.  The manager did not have any problem with it, so it was a big relief.

We were so excited when we found out that Holy Cross Winery is a stone’s throw from Walmart. We visited the winery two years ago, sampled several wines and liked the one. We remembered that we bought two bottles of wine and a jar of blackberry/pomegrante BBQ sauce at that time.

The winery looked the same as we remembered.  We sampled few including the one we liked two years ago. However, it tasted different and we did not want to buy more bottles of it.  The lady explained that the taste may be different due to the weather, the year the crop was harvested and the soil condition.  One of the three samples we tasted we really liked Wild Canon Harvest.  The second sample was Vineyard Sunset.  We did not care for the 3rd sample.  We left the store with a case of 12 wine bottles (4 of Vineyard Sunset and 8 of Wild Canon Harvest). Edith also picked up two bottles of blueberry/pomegranate BBQ sauce. 

Of course, we went to the winery FIRST!

Holy Cross Winery 

Does she look like a happy drunk?

Two years ago the Holy Cross Abbey was closed for viewing inside the church. This time it was open and we went inside to look around.  The interior was very simple, not as fancy as other churches we had visited.  

The Bridal's Parlor
The Alumni Room

We went to Fremont Community College to get pictures of the dinosaur sculpture.  It is being re-constructed. It was originally situated at one local tourist area, but due to the road widening it was moved to the college campus. 

We had lunch at El Alazan Mexican Restaurant on Route 50.  The foods were very good and we “cleaned off” our plates.  $16 something for two meals, not bad...

When we visited Royal Gorge two years ago the bridge was being worked on after the terrible fire in 2013.  At that time only tour buses could take visitors to ride on the bridge across the Arkansas River. We were not too enthusiastic about paying $$$ to ride on a tour bus.  Edith drove on the bridge in 1973 and Erwin went there in 1968.  The bridge reopened in May 2015, two years after the fire in June 2013.

The fire at Royal Gorge in June 2013
You save $2 if you buy attraction tickets online.  We decided not to buy tickets today because we wanted to check out other places since we were staying in Canon City for only one day.  There is a parking lot at Royal Gorge Park and we walked to the viewpoint to get a glimpse of the bridge.  We tried to remember where the picnic area was and people would climb down the rocky terrain to get a good view of the bridge.  Things looked different after two years, but Erwin found a road leading to the picnic area.  We climbed down the cliff and took pictures.  

Royal Gorge Bridge in the background

The burned gondola from the fire in June 2013 

The burnt tree is still standing!
On way back to Canon City from Royal Gorge we checked out two campgrounds: Echo Run Campground (closed for the winter) and Mountain View Campground (open). Mountain View has spacious sites but no shades or trees.The nightly fee is more than we would want to pay for. $42 for basic, $48 for Deluxe and $56 for Premium.  

Beautiful Crabapple Tree in bloom
The United Presbyterian Church
It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
There was a sign pointing to Skyline Drive.  “Let’s go there”, Erwin told Edith, who was driving at that time.  We were not sure how long it takes and what is out there.  Then came a Wrangler Jeep with two young fellows, who drove alongside us.  Erwin asked them questions about the drive.  One of the fellows told us to go up after them and we did.  What a beautiful drive.  Only one way going up and you exit at the other end.  There were many trace fossils in the rocks. Trace fossils are not the actual remains of the animals, but are the result of their walking, burrowing, or feeding and being feeding upon. 

Skyline Drive Dinosaur Tracks
Dinosaur Footprint
You can see how big the animal was

Exhilarating drive!

We picked up some groceries at Safeway grocery store.  Safeway was Edith’s favorite grocery store when she lived in Maryland. She missed shopping there as there is no Safeway in Florida.  

Edith had uncured ham slice with scrambled egg and Erwin prepared french toast for our supper.  We had an hearty lunch and did not want another heavy meal in a day.

Erwin wanted us to go for a drive on Skyline Drive again during the evening.  Edith was anxious to go because there were some interesting shots after the sun was going down. It looked so different from the daytime when we first went there. 

On way back to Walmart from Skyline Drive Edith was in mood for ice cream, told Erwin to go to Dairy Queen, so she can get a chocolate dipped ice cream.  Not healthy, she knows, but she was in the mood for one .....

We had a lovely day and the weather cooperated. It was 69˚ this evening.  Can’t complain! 

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