Colorado is known for its great outdoor activities and majestic mountains. In the winter, you can ski and snowboard at pretty much any level that you feel comfortable. If you’re a thrill seeker, there are plenty of runs that will challenge even the most experienced skiers and boarders and if you want to take it easy, you can find nice, long, easy runs and spend the day enjoying the amazing views.
I have been skiing since I was 10 years old and have always loved the sport, but I look forward to summers in Colorado more than any other season. We have the best hiking trails, amazing waterfalls, zip lining, mountain biking trails, lakes, beautiful parks, hot springs, and my favorite – awesome river rafting! I have always been a water baby and feel the most free and at home when I’m in the water. I’m sure it has something to do with being in the ocean for a large part of my childhood.
The best river rafting experience I have had so far was on the Arkansas River by the Royal Gorge Bridge. We had an office team building activity (voluntary, of course) and my husband and about 10 coworkers came along. We saw bighorn sheep and hawks and a snake in the water and got to raft under the famous Royal Gorge Bridge. If you ever make it out to Colorado, the Royal Gorge Bridge is a must see. Here are some impressive facts:
Length: 1,270 feet (387 meters)
Width: 18 feet (5 meters)
Main Span: 880 feet (268 meters)
Towers: 150 feet high (46 meters)
Deck Height: 956 feet above the Arkansas River
2,100 strands of No. 9 galvanized wire in the cables
Weight of cables: 300 tons
1,000 tons of steel on the floor of the Bridge
Walkway: 1,270 planks on the deck, around 250 boards are replaced annually
Bridge will support in excess of two million pounds
Listed on The National Register of Historic Places
Bridge Refurbishment: 1980-1984, reconstruction of bridge anchoring system and suspension rods, re-painting, cost, $2,859,710
Survivor of the 2013 Royal Gorge Fire: 100 boards replaced on the south side of the bridge
Elevation: 6,700 ft
This photo was taken by yours truly looking up at the bridge from the river. It’s crazy! And, we got to pass under it on our raft. The rafting crew we went with was from River Runners. I highly recommend them. They are extremely focused on safety and their guides are very experienced and very patient. We took a bus down to the entry point and went through the entire safety presentation and instructions before taking off.
We went through Class III and Class IV rapids and were on the water for about 2 hours. It’s stressful. It’s exciting. We may or may not have gone through one set of rocks backwards. But, I lived to tell about it and I’ve done it twice since and am planning on doing it again this summer. With all of the rain we have had, the rivers are high and it should be an epic rafting season.
That’s me in the turquoise shorts. My face looked like this in pretty much all of the pictures. River Runners has a photographer that takes a bunch of photos and then at the end they sell you the CD with all the photos on it. My sweet boss bought the CD and let me save the photos I wanted. I searched and searched for one with my mouth closed, but there were none to be found. I take rafting very seriously.
What are your summer plans? Are you going to do anything adventurous, or will you be playing it safe? Whatever you do, I hope you create lasting memories. That’s what I plan to do!