White Water……………..#228 (the 90’s)

White water – a challenge

The return journey  to Kansas having commenced,  the memories amassed from Ouray forever ingrained,  the Willson family having made notice on their portal trip, still anticipating adding excursions during their homecoming venture.   Once again traversing on Highway 50,  the information announcing  road sign proclaiming Black Canyon National Monument, the Buick Skylark veering north to explore the reaches of another one of  natures commemorations.   Arriving, the scenic pathway from the visitors lodge leading to the bounds of the canyon,  the family from high above the canyon able to view  the waters of the Gunnison River, its flow providing a majestic contour of Colorado topography.   Continuing on, a brief stoppage in Gunnison for lunch at the Chatterbox Cafe before continuing eastward towards the Royal Gorge and the flowing Arkansas River.

View of Black Canyon

The Willsons on the Arkansas

The roadside sign proclaimed River Runners White Water Rafting, Gary halting the Buick, the eagerness of what lay ahead building.  Entering the rafting operators pavilion an inquiry discovering the River Runners enterprise providing a venture down a Class III & IV region of the Arkansas River for the family,  a 16 years of age requirement preventing a class V river presentation.   Suited with life jackets, mounting the 12 ft. long bobbing rubber river transport,  Gary sitting on the forward port side,  Robert on the starboard side,  Jan, Sandra and another couple,  all with oars in hand making up the capable crew,  the helmsman ready to bark the rowing instructions.   Casting off,  the river presenting a flowing quiescence,  the oarsman pilot adducing an explanation to his crew about the necessity to adhere to his commands and the procedure for their safety if the raft should capsize.   The scenic canyon housing the empowered Arkansas providing a majestic view,  the flora,  the habitat,  including the long horn sheep visible on the cliffs of the gorge.   The white water now a more frequent occurrence,  appearing in longer presentations,  its deafen roar no longer a background intonation but an on stage advocate to  mother natures paramount production.  The swiftness of the river cascading over the boulders,  the crew of the water besieged vessel,  their full attention according the helmsman and the administering of his commands.  The adrenalin flowing,  at times a temporal  onslaught,  the aura of the experience casting a total fulfillment,  then a recession,  the calming of the river,  a landing,  the embarkation on a bus ascending Highway 50,  a return to inception,  the adventure finding conclusion.

The Royal Gorge from the bridge

A royal person at the royal gorge

Jan,  Robert and Sandra at the Bungee site

The Royal Gorge National Park entrance was a exiguous 6 miles from Canon City,  the Willson’s appointed overnight lodging before abrogating their opportune Colorado journey.   The entrance to the park finding an abundance of parking,  the pathway excursion to the famous suspension bridge,  the wooden walkway 955 ft. above the Arkansas River,  its 150 ft. towers providing support for the 1260 ft. ,  18 ft. wide pathway.  The bridge completed in 1929, and most recently used in a 1980 television program That’s Incredible for a world record-setting bungee jump of over 800 ft,  the view from above giving some a feeling of vertigo.  Most surprising was the deer habitations found at the bridge entrance,  so accepted of mankind, a person could approach them and stroke their presence,  Jan and the children taking advantage to approach the ancestry of nature.   Gary finding the view of the river,  the royal gorge railway below displaying a majestic demonstration,  able to watch the kayaks of the river rogues navigated the torrent of water,  watching their small vessels oscillating upside down in the domain far below the vantage point from the bridge above.   The enlightenment of the Gorge,  its scenic wonder furthering another display of the wonderment of Colorado.

Honoring the Kansas Flag at the Royal Gorge

Acquainting new friends

A petting experience

An early morning Canon City start,  the Buick up and running for its return to Kansas,  a farewell to Rocky Mountains of Colorado,  the flat eastern plains lay ahead.   A last scheduled halting of procession before the Stateline,  Rocky Ford,  the family not forgetting the many agricultural stands and the famous cantaloupes, another memorabilia to accost Kansas.   Crossing into Kansas,  the continuous journey to conclude,  the welcoming of home,  Anthony,  the family adventure indelibly printed, a mnemonic occasion.   Arriving home,  a phone call from Gary’s  family, inquiring about his mother’s health,  his mother embarking from her flight to California in a wheelchair,  a discernment that she had been under duress during her stay in Ouray,  the 7800 ft. elevation an encumbrance on her health.   Her affliction never related to those presence during her Ouray stay,  the stubbornness of matriarch,  never to beset others with her problems.  Her prognosis adjusted and her detriment alleviated,  she  pronounced her enjoyment of her visit with family in Ouray.

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