Thursday, 25 September 2014

Day 35: Walsenburg, CO

If you find this entry a little tardy, dear Reader, it is because I have been poised over the Online Check-In doobrie on BA's webby SCIENCE until the clock spiralled down to zero, that I might avail myself of the option to change seats with the driver.  Or something.  And then it turns out I have been allotted seat 16K anyway, which is the window seat right at the front of the cattle class cabin and thus has adequate space for my knees.  Hurrah!

The Mudstang now says "Oil change required".  It still seems to have an adequate quantity of the stuff, though, so it can go home in that state.  Sorry, Mr Budget.  This afternoon a Yoof in a passing motorcar in Cañon City stuck his head out of the window, exclaimed "Mudstang! Cool!" and made that gesture with his index and little fingers so beloved of the late Ronnie James Dio.  So let's have a bit more rispek in future.  Innit.

Just because I am spending two nights in the same place does not mean I have been idle, no.  I have still driven quite a long way, only without a rucksack on the passenger seat or The Luggage wearing out the rear shock absorbers.  A few quick miles up I-25 and then off into the woods and lumps of the San Isabel National Forest.  I could have reached my destination rather more quickly on I-25 but it runs along the bottom of the Front Range - the bit of the Rockies immediately west of the Several of hundreds of miles of flat bit between here and the Mighty Mississippi - which is dulk.  The San Isabel region is not.
Lake?  Trees?  Mountain(s)?  Sorted...
At which point the Mudstang started to complain of thirst and Emily said the nearest "gas" station was in Pueblo.  Fortunately she was right, as I reached the pump with the readout claiming four miles to empty.  We know how (in)accurate said readout is, but it's still a tad uncomfortable.

West from Pueblo along our old chum US-50, which is emphatically not lonely in this part of the world.  Up the hill after Cañon City and turn left onto a very wiggly back road, which leads to this:
Doesn't look like much from this angle, I'll admit, but then the above is not its best side, dahling.  No, to get the full experience you have to cross it, walk up the road a bit and turn round.
This is the Royal Gorge Bridge, built by a madman in 1929.  Using your Junior Pocket microscope (model 3a) - or by nipping over to the Flickr Stuffs for bigger images - you may be able to see the Arkansas River at the bottom of the hole.  It is either 955 feet (291 m) or 1053 feet (321 m) from the bridge deck to the river and it is a Deeply Scary Thing to anyone at all nervous about heights.  Like, for e.g., Mr Larrington.  This bridge is worse than most because it is small compared with the likes of the Severn or Humber bridges and because you can feel it moving in even the gentle breezes wot there were this afternoon and because it makes disconcerting noises and because the bridge deck is apparently made of fucking railway sleepers1 and you can see through the gaps between them a thousand feet straight down and I actually paid good USAnian money for the privet hedge of walking across this antique and ["Nobody forced you to do it, idiot!" - Ed.]

On the other side of the bridge is this:
An Infernal Device, yesterday
I did not wish to contemplate too closely its purpose, but found out anyway.
What?  The?  Fuck?
This is the Royal Rush Skycoaster® and you have to pay extra to have a go.  On it.  I would say that these people are so mad that they have mad people living in their beards, but then these two rocked up up:
The lady in the blue dress is eighty; that is her thirty-one year old grand-daughter in the white blouse.  Neither of them screamed either.

All this was bad for my heart rate, blood pressure and general mental well-being, so I went back to Pueblo in search of something which didn't move when you looked at it:
The Arkansas River emerging from the base of the Pueblo Dam.  No, it's meant to!
Thus reassured as to the relative stability of the universe, I took a roundabout route back to Walsenburg involving more mountains and very little traffic.
The last of the mountains?
And then back to the Babbage-Engine waiting for BA to get its act together.  Last full day in USAnia.  Sob.

For this year.

  1. Keanus2 anyway.
  2. Keanu = big piece of wood3
  3. Wood is an excellent material for making trees but is otherwise not to be trusted - LJK Setright.


  1. That's you in the first photo though, right? Good news about the seat - will speak on Sunday, I hope. C x