White Water……………..#228 (the 90’s)

The Willson Family

black Canyon National Monument

The Willson’s having made notice of their portal trip,  the return journey  to Kansas having commenced, the memories amassed from Ouray forever ingrained, the family still anticipating adding excursions during their homecoming venture.  Once again traversing on Highway 50,  the  road sign proclaiming Black Canyon National Monument, the Buick Skylark veering north to explore the reaches of another one of  nature’s commemorations.

Visitors Center

Gunnison River in canyon

Arriving,  the scenic pathway from the visitors lodge leading to the bounds of the canyon,  the family from high above the 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.

The roadside sign proclaimed river runners whitewater rafting, Gary halting the Buick in anticipation of what lay ahead.  Entering the rafting operators pavilion discovering the River Runners provided Class 3 & 4 river experience for the family, a 16 years of age requirement preventing a class 5 river journey.   Suited with life jackets, mounting the fourteen foot river raft, Gary sitting on the forward port side, Robert on the starboard Jan  Sandra and another couple all positioned with oars 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 nature’s paramount production.

White water – a challenge

The Willson’s on the Arkansas

The swiftness of the river cascading over the boulders, the crew of the water besieged vessel giving their full attention  according the helmsman and the administering of his commands.  The adrenalin beginning to flow with the temporal onslaught of whitewater,  the aura of the experience casting ones total fulfillment.  The assailant began its recession, a calming inauguration of the river, a relaxing temporal landing ashore,  the crew joining others   embarking on a bus ascending Highway 50, a return to the inception,  the white water adventure coming to a conclusion.  The only casualty being Gary’s watch.  In his haste in the port side rowing position he forgot to remove it from his wrist, the river remedied his forgetfulness and removed it for him.

royal Gorge Bridge

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 and a pathway leading to the famous suspension bridge.  The structure having a suspended wooden walkway 955 feet above the Arkansas River,  its 150 foot towers providing support for the 1260 ft. long, 18 foot wide wooden pathway.  The bridge completed in 1929 and most recently used in a 1980 television program, That’s Incredible, where a world record-setting bungee jump of over 800 feet was made.

A petting experience

Having a new acquaintance

Happiness shows

Most surprising to the family 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, able to pet the ancestry of nature.   Gary finding the view of the Arkansas river and the royal gorge railway below a majestic display, one was able to watch the kayaks of the river rogues navigated down the torrent of water, observing their small vessels oscillating upside down in the domain far below. The enlightenment of the Gorge,  its scenic wonder furthering another display of the wonderment of Colorado.

The Royal Gorge from the bridge

A royal person at the royal gorge

An early morning Canon City start,  the Buick up and running for its return to Kansas,  bidding a  farewell to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado,  the flat easterly plains lay ahead.   A final scheduled stop before the Stateline,  Rocky Ford, the family not forgetting its famous cantaloupes.  Crossing into Kansas, the continuous journey about to conclude, at last the welcoming of home,  Anthony,  the family adventure indelibly imprinted, a mnemonic occasion for remembrance.

The Anthony House

After Arriving home, Gary received a phone call from California, his sister inquiring about their mother’s health,  his mother embarking from her flight in a wheelchair,  a discernment that she may have been under duress during her stay,  the 7800 ft. elevation may have caused an encumbrance to her health.   Gary mentioning that she never related a problem to those presence during her stay,  Gary thought.  the stubbornness of a matriarch,  never to beset others with her problems.  But thankful that her prognosis was better and her detriment on the mend. and that the time they had spent together was a blessing.

The Willson family Matriarch

Family Gathering


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