Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Cañon City, CO

Getting closer
The way out of Pueblo ran through leafy suburbs and the city park. I then turned on to Route 45 and US 50. The wind was a vigorous northerly that developed an easterly component. After more than twenty km, in the middle of nowhere, I came to a large car park with a Walmart at the back. Here I was able to buy items (fruit, toothpaste) not found in Pueblo.

It was 69 km to Cañon City. The name is pronounced 'Canyon' and since 1994 there is a tilde over the first 'n'. Eighteen percent of the residents of Fremont County, in which the city lies, are prisoners. With 13 state and federal penal institutions, the county is the corrections capital of the world. The city even has a prison museum. It is, despite that, an attractive town with a proper main street featuring shops, pedestrian crosswalks, and public art.

Arriving in late morning, I decided to take the lunchtime tourist train to the number one attraction in the area, Royal Gorge. In two hours, the Royal Gorge Route Railroad travels out and back through the scenic gorge. There is just enough room for the Arkansas River and the railway to squeeze through between the towering granite cliffs, which are spanned by a bridge and cable car. Many rafters ride the white water. It was a spectacular journey.

Tomorrow I will be cycling up past the top of Royal Gorge on the first of three days of serious climbing that, if all goes well, will take me over Hoosier Pass on Saturday. This is the highest point on the entire TransAm Trail. It is usually clear by now but last year on this date, 20 June, following an overnight snowfall cyclists were unable to cross it. At Cañon City, I am 1,625 m above sea level. This time tomorrow, I should be much higher.

Today is the end of week six of my ride, during which I have cycled 608 km, bringing my total to 3,513 km.

View Week Six in a larger map


  1. Congratulations on your great progress. The Royal Gorge looks fantastic. All the best for the ride through the Pass. Cheers

    1. Hi Alasdair,

      great ride! i'm not sure how i landed on your site but all is fantastic ;-) thanks for putting the time into maintaining your blog. i am a long distance rower and i admire how you muster the energy to post after a day's cycle.

      i just donated to Operation Smile and will pass your link onto others. my wife and i are off to Yellowstone for camping for a few days but i return July 9th. i transport my 18 ft rowing shell all over the place so i can easily pick you up at your journey's end and get you to Seattle or Portland airports. let me know if that's a help. i live in the "other" vancouver (washington state) and Astoria is only a couple hours drive away for me.