A few weekends ago, John and I took our camper on a quick weekend camping trip to Cañon City, CO. As I said on Instagram, it was a much needed getaway. John’s job has been busier than usual and the big event that I’ve been helping to plan at my job is happening in a few weeks, so things are really starting to gear up. All the more reason to take a mental break for the weekend. We’ve had a lot of chilly, overcast weather lately here in Colorado Springs too, so we haven’t been able to get outside much. I’m one of those people that is happiest when I’m able to be out in the fresh air as often as possible, so it’s hard for me when I’m not able to do that. Thankfully, the weather when we went to Cañon City was sunny and in the low 80’s (F), so it was just what we needed!
Cañon City is a small town with a population of around 16,000 people about an hour southwest of Colorado Springs. It’s known for having hiking spots, whitewater rafting, and the Royal Gorge Bridge (which is the tallest bridge in the U.S.!). In the spirit of keeping it real, it’s also known for having 9 prisons, including 4 federal prisons. Pretty crazy. Fun fact: Cañon City is one of only five U.S. cities to have an “eñe” officially in its name. It’s an interesting place that had been on my radar to explore, so I’m glad I got the chance to.
We were only there for two nights, but we did as much as we could while we were there. On Saturday morning, after fueling up with some McDonald’s breakfast (because let’s be real, who doesn’t like McDonald’s breakfast?!), we went on a scenic drive called “Skyline Drive,” which is listed as the 2nd most popular thing to do in Cañon City.
I can see why. It’s incredibly scenic and gives you views of the mountains and city that you can’t get otherwise. However, this drive is not for the faint of heart (or the nervous driver). It’s a narrow, winding, one-way road, so once you start the drive, you can’t turn around. It has a roller coaster type of feel, with steep inclines followed by drops. On many parts of the drive, there are sheer drop-off cliffs on either side of the car. If you read the reviews on TripAdvisor, people seem to either love it or are terrified of it. I didn’t feel too nervous, because John and I have done many other drives like this (the Road to Hana, anyone?) and John is used to driving on roads like this. The most important thing is just to drive slowly and cautiously.
There were a few great pull-offs where we were able to get out of the car and take a good look at the views.
There were also a few trails you could do. Don’t worry, cars aren’t allowed on those!
Other than the beautiful landscape, one of the coolest things about Skyline Drive is the dinosaur footprints. Yes, you heard me correctly. It blows my mind to be in the presence of evidence that dinosaurs once roamed the earth. I took a picture of the sign that explains things in more detail.
Here are the actual dinosaur footprints. They’re pretty big, so you can only imagine how huge the dinosaurs that these footprints belonged to were.
While we were standing there looking at the footprints, a guy walked up and started talking to us about how his late brother had been one of the people who discovered the footprints. He said that his brother was a paleontologist who saw dinosaur footprints where most people just saw rocks. It reminded me of the Camille Pissarro quote that says, “blessed are those who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing.”
While we were in Cañon City, we also took a beautiful hike and went to the famous (and basically terrifying) Royal Gorge Bridge, which I’ll talk about in the next two blog posts I write about Cañon City, so stay tuned for that!
Today, I’m linking up with the Packing my Suitcase and My Travel Monkey blogs for the Monday Escapes Linkup, which you can check out here. Go show some other travel blogs some love! Thanks for reading.