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Days 49 and 50, Royal Gorge Park, Colorado

52 miles, 2,165 total

We now begin to head into the Rockies in earnest.  On Tuesday, we’ll be riding over Hoosier Pass (11,542 ft)

But today and tomorrow we’re in Royal Gorge Park.  (Although I’ve elected to spend tonight here in Canyon City to enjoy an air conditioned room and a couple of meals in restaurants.)

A Google image of Royal Gorge, formed by the erosion of the Arkansas River. The bridge is truly a bridge to “nowhere”, built as a tourist attraction in the 1920s. It is almost 1,000 above the river below.

The bridge has the record for the highest bungee jump at 800 ft.

For something a little gross, this comes from Wikipedia:

In October 2003, while performing a proximity demonstration, wingsuiter Dwain Weston was killed attempting to fly over the bridge.  Weston was wearing a wingsuit, a skydiving suit with fabric extended below the arms to the body and between the legs to catch air allowing for horizontal travel when skydiving. Weston was to go over the bridge while fellow skydiver Jeb Corliss was to go under it. Miscalculating his distance from the bridge, Weston struck a railing while traveling an estimated 120 mph, killing him instantly and dismembering extremities. Cleanup from his impact took two full days, and many parts of Weston’s body were never recovered.

Gerooooooooooooos!

There’s also a tourist train taking people along the Arkansas River in the Royal Gorge.

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