Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 5A

18 Nov

A Slice of Life

Bill Lites

Day 5 Sunday 


Before leaving Canon City this morning I took the time to stop at the Royal Gorge Route Railway Depot for a photo.  In 2006 DiVoran and I had made a trip to Canon City to visit family and friends.  During that visit one of the tourist things we did was to take the Royal Gorge Route train ride.  The ride starts at the old Santa Fe Depot in Canon City, travels under the Royal Gorge Bridge and returns to the depot.  It’s a really great experience for anyone who hasn’t ever ridden on an open-air train car and the scenery is awesome.

Then since it was on the way out of town to my next stop was at the Royal Gorge Dinosaur Experience for a photo.  The Dinosaur Experience is new since our 2006 trip to Canon City, when DiVoran and I had explored the dinosaur footprints, located along the Skyline Drive.  I figured they were still there, if I wanted to see real dinosaur footprints, and I didn’t have time to see the museum’s exhibits.

Next I took the road to the Royal Gorge Bridge for a photo of the world’s highest suspension bridge (at least it was in 1929 when it was built).  I’m not sure they have improved the road much since then, but the view of the bridge from the Park & Visitor Center is spectacular.  Back in 1975, when our family took a six-week cross-country camping trip, we were allowed to drive or walk across the bridge.  What a thrill that was.

Now I took CO-9 north 75 miles to visit Fairplay, CO which was founded in 1859, during the Pikes Peak Gold Rush days.  The historic old town is located on a hillside just east of the Middle Fork South Platte River, and has been maintained as the open-air museum called South Park City.  There was not much going on this morning, as most of the old town was closed off because of COVID-19.  So I headed northeast another 25 miles on CO-9 to Breckenridge, CO. 

On my way to Breckenridge I crossed the Continental Divide at Hoosier Pass (Elevation 11,539 feet) and had to stop and have my picture taken at that historic spot.  A couple from Illinois was kind enough to take my picture after I offered to take theirs, in front of the Historical Marker.

Then it was downhill to Breckenridge (Elevation 9600 feet).  It was Sunday and some of the streets in Breckenridge were blocked off for a street fair.  Greta (my Garmin) couldn’t get me close to the Underhill Museum, so I parked and walked a few blocks to find the museum closed for the festivities.  A couple of blocks from Main Street I visited the Erwin Carter Museum, which is a small local natural history museum filled with all kinds of taxidermy displays, mostly done by the miner-turned environmentalist in the late 1880s.

As I was leaving Breckenridge I visited the Lomax Gold Mine located in the Lomax Placer Gulch.  This original 19th century gold mine offers visitors the experience of panning for gold in a setting of 1860s gold mining equipment and historic cabins.  I didn’t have time to try my hand at panning on this trip, but maybe next time I’m in Colorado I’ll give it a give it a whirl.  

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

2 Responses to “Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 5A”

  1. Onisha Ellis November 23, 2020 at 10:53 pm #

    Mike and I enjoyed our trip to this part of Colorado. The train ride was great and is a fond memory.


  2. divoran09 November 18, 2020 at 10:07 am #



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