Cañon City CO

First things first…as you can see from the title of this post…the name of this town has the tilde or umlaut or whatever you call that diacritical mark over the top…and it’s a Spanish name…so you would ‘spect that it would be pronounced almost like Canyon City with a long O in the second syllable and a Spanish lilt to the pronunciation. (Editor’s note: Connie says it’s a tilde…and upon further review she’s completely correct…but that still doesn’t ‘splain the messed up pronunciation of the way its spelled.)

But…you would be wrong. In Colorado…the name of this city is pronounced Cannon City…like the artillery kinda cannon. 

I know…it don’t make a lik of sense to me either…but it’s their state and I reckon they get to pronounce their city names however the heck they want to.

I digress again though…I hate it when that happens.

On Friday…we only had 110 miles to go to our next stop…the aforementioned Cañon City…so we didn’t really worry overly much ‘bout getting gone from La Junta early. It dawned a nice blue sky clear kinda day and we finally hit the road about 1030 or so for the trip. It was straight west on US-50…and in Colorado as opposed to Kansas…the itty bitty towns are built right on the highway instead of mostly being off to the side a bit…so although the inter town limit was 65…every wide spot in the road it went to 55…then 45…then 35…and we went slow through town until the other side when it went back to 65. We scrupulously obeyed the posted limit in the itty bitty towns though…small town cops got nuttin bedda to do than hand out speedin’ tickets ya know.

We were planning on stopping at a truck stop in Pueblo for a potty break…50 joined I-25 for a mile before getting back off and our Trucker Tools app told us there wuz a truck stop there…but we didna see it. As a consequence…by the time we got to our destination…Connie had to pee something turrible as Charles Barkley would say…and it made her cranky.

We got checked in…there was a slight delay as we had to (a) figure out how to get into the campground at all, (b) Neil had to go a mile down the road and find a place to turn around as by the time we figured it out he was past the turn, and (c) once we got into the campground it was not intuitively obvious how to find the office.

Nonetheless…we found it eventually…and she was even more aggravated by then…and proceeded to our site G5. We were originally s’posed to be in G6 on the end of the row…but they had somebody else in there already and moved us. We probably made out for the best as the way you had to get to the G sites we would have had trouble making the 180 degree turn into G6 while G5 allowed us to make a 90, go about 20 feet to allow the rig to straighten out a bit…and then another 90 into the site.

We hooked up power, unhitched, and put put slides…then broke for lunch…egg salad sammys that Connie had made in the AM…luckily we decided to not be cranky with each other any more and by the time she had lunch she was un-aggravated and mo’ bedda.

After lunch we finished up our setup…lazed around for the afternoon…and had some leftover Oriental Chicken Curry for dinner from da udder nite. Over night lows will be in the high 30s tonight…somebody needs to tell these Colorado folk that it’s May and it is s’posed to be warm by now. O’course…that would be after they tell ‘em that there’s no air in this state…we’re at 6,276 feet here in the campground and Cañon City is about 5,300 feet and just walking up into the bedroom in the rig gets ya outa breath. And there’s no prospect of relief from these high altitudes for at least another 3 or 4 weeks until we get to the People’s Republic of California in late June. I gotta admit though…Utah is worse for not having any air than Colorado is.

We did notice on the drive today that the vegetation is significantly different than back in the La Junta area. There it was all fields and cultivated crops…here it’s mostly scrub grass and prairie…with ranches and cows galore.

A few shots from ‘round the campground for ya.

Looking southwest towards Cottonwood Peak…it’s the snow capped one in the distance at about 27 miles away. Just to give you an idea of how many big mountains Colorado has…at 13,588 feet to the summit it’s only the 195th highest peak in the state. It’s the snow capped peak to the right…the center one is Electric Peak which is 191st at 13,598 feet and the one to the left I could not figure out from looking at the map…although I may have mixed up the center and left hand ones. Neil zoomed in for the second shot.

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Pano shot looking southwest from our site…about 120 degrees wide in this shot.

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Juvenile Western Blue Bird…this guy was sitting on the fence right across from the rig.

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Here we are nestled into site G5. We were originally scheduled for G6 which is on the end to our immediate passenger side but got moved. In retrospect…we would have had trouble getting into G6 anyway due to the way the road makes the turn around that site…it would have required considerable backing and jacking to get in without clipping any of the rocks that border the sites. The folks to our left side are from just east of Denver but he grew up in VA and is familiar with the Fairfax area where we used to live as he headed up there for soccer tournaments when he was younger.

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Saturday…we headed off right after lunch for a 50 mile trip back east to Pueblo to visit a couple of museums, walk around the Arkansas River Walk in downtown Pueblo, and…our original idea…have an early dinner at a local brew pub named Brues Alehouse.

The first museum was the El Pueblo History Museum…and it was pretty much a bust. We paid our $9 total to enter but almost all of the museum was devoted to something called the Ludelow Massacre. Back in 1913 to 1914…coal miners went on strike for safety reasons, the mine owners evicted them from their company owned housing so they ended up living in tents in Ludelow…and eventually the mine security people burned down the camp resulting in the deaths of a bunch of women and children. The only thing really worth seeing there was the piece of the Old Monarch…a 388 year old tree that the city council of Pueblo cut down in 1883…the citizenry responded by voting the mayor and entire city council out of office.

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Second stop was the Center for American Values…which is a museum devoted to every Congressional Medal of Honor recipient…but it turned out to be just a photo and quote from all of them. It was free…and worth a stop…but really not all that great. However…honoring those who’ve received America’s highest military decoration…it has been awarded over 3,500 times through the years but in the early days it was given far too frequently as over half were awarded during the Civil War. By the time WWI came around…awarding had gotten much more selective and of the 1,600 or so awarded since then over 600 were awarded posthumously. Recipients of this medal…even if they are the lowest ranking enlisted pay grade…are legally entitled to a salute from every other military member officer or enlisted. There was a sign in the Center saying no photography…so we settled for one of this nice flag art just outside the door.

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We stopped by Brues…but since we got done earlier than expected at the museums just had a beer and came home. The beer…Valve-3 Amber Ale…was decent but not great. We did get a couple of shots along the River Walk.

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We got a shot of Pikes Peak from the side of US-50 on the way home…it’s up near Colorado Springs and is about 47 miles away in this shot. At 14,115 feet to the summit…and we were there a few years back…it is one of Colorado’s 53 fourteeners…peaks over 14,000 feet…and is the 20th highest in the state.

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On the way back…we went past the campground a couple of miles and got a few shots at the Royal Gorge Bridge. The bridge was built in 1929 and crosses the Arkansas River 955 feet over the water. The bridge was converted to a tourist attraction and closed to vehicle traffic in the late 1900s. We didn’t go out on the bridge because (a) Connie said the chances of her walking out on it were somewhere between zero and non-existent and (b) it cost $28 and that’s crazy. We did get a couple of shots from the nearby overlook though…and since we’re going on the train trip through the gorge later in the week  we’ll get better photos of both the bridge and the gorge itself from the train.

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Dinner was bacon sammys…we were still pretty full from our lunch and they sounded good.

Sunday morning we headed off to Mass then came home for some most excellent blueberry muffins that we brought home from Bleus Alehouse on Saturday…then we headed out about 1330 for our 2 Fun Stuff© items for the day.

First up…the Cañon City driving tour…which includes their Skyline Drive which overlooks the city.

First stop was the local community college…where there is a Stegosaurus statute that was built back in the 1990s by the inmates at the local prison.

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Across the road…US-50 and we’re looking east here…is the back side of the ridge overlooking the city. The ridge itself is an upturned Dakota sandstone hogback…the lowest red section is fountain formation limestone. Above that is the Morrison formation which contains a bunch of dinosaur fossils…it is the wavy horizontally lined brownish section. Above that is the Upper Cretaceous Dakota sandstone…which forms the majority of the hogback and is more resistant to erosion. Our path would lead up there shortly.

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The arch…containing stones from all 50 states…which leads to Skyline Drive. This is a 12 foot or so wide road…limited to vehicles under 20 feet…and has drop-offs up to 425 feet on both sides. The signs said the speed limit was 15…we were doing less than that…but saw numerous idiots flying up it at 25+…nuts I tellya.

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Looking west back from about halfway up the ridge…maybe a third of a mile past the arch. The college and Stegosaurus are back to the rear left from this view…and we’re already a couple hundred feet up from US-50 in the background…Royal Gorge and our campground are another 7 or so miles down the highway which curves to the left just before that large ridge.

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Panoramic shot from the top of the ridge…this is about 140 degrees wide and we are looking east down on downtown Cañon City.

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Connie took this shot through Li’l Red’s windshield shortly before we got to the southern end of the ridge and went around the switchback to head back down to the city. We were creeping along in 1st gear at maybe 7 or 8 miles an hour…there were actually a couple of sections that were narrower and had steeper drop-offs than in this one…but none of those photos were blog worthy. The road on the far right is US-50 East…just before it makes a 90 degree left turn around the ridge and gets into the city itself…we’re looking south here.

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Next up…the Abbey Winery…which is still owned by the Benedictine Monks…we sampled almost all of their 15ish tasting wines and came home with 4 different varieties to add to our wine cellar. We were actually surprised by some of our selections…but we picked the best tasting four of them.

With that we headed home for wine and dinner…we’re having Pineapple Pork Tacos for dinner tonight that Neil will grill everything outside for. One of the wines we bought goes well with Mexican food…so we bought both a bottle for the cellar and a chilled one of that type to have with dinner. Bonus points for it being made out of wines grown right here in Cañon City…many folks have grape vines in their backyards here and the winery buys grapes from at least 30 or so sources to make into this Sangria like wine.

This morning on the way to Mass…we decided to shake up the Jello a little. Our original plan for here in Cañon City was to have 2 free days…we used up the first of those when we had to schedule another eye exam for Neil after his detaching vitreous that was discovered the week we left Fort Myers. Then he came up with the idea of visiting Great Sand Dunes National Park…so we added that on the other formerly free day. The problem is that we have been pretty much on the go ever since we left Fort Myers a month ago…the last time we had a do-nothing day was Saturday the first weekend in May between our arrival in Kerrville for the rally and the start of the rally itself…but even that one we still had the daily happy hour and social stuff. Once the rally was over…it was 3 travel days to get to Lawrence KS…and since then we’ve either had a travel day, a Fun Stuff© day, or a laundry/errands day every day.

We were looking at a 2.5 hour drive down to Great Sand Dunes…then doing the visitor center movie and driving around the park, and other 2.5 hours back to Cañon City plus whatever time we stopped for lunch or photos or whatever. With us planning on leaving around 0700…it was going to be dinner time by the time we got back.

We decided that we hated to skip the park…but it will still be there when we come back out this way…and that we would spend Memorial Day tomorrow doing nothing but sitting around, resting, and grilling dinner. Then we’ve got activities scheduled Tuesday through Thursday…a travel day on Friday…and then 6 stops that are either 1, 2, or 3 nights and all the intervening days are fully booked for Fun Stuff©. Our next chance to really get any rest will be when we get to Carson City NV on June 14…so we decided to take advantage of the opportunity and get a rest day in.

Interesting stuff found on the net.

David Pogue…you’ve probably seen him as the tech guy on CNN and several other channels…anyway last weekend he was a participant in the Berks Pepper Jam at some sort of festival up in the northeast somewhere…the Pepper Jam is you pay money to eat whole chili peppers. He posted a photo of the waiver he had to sign for his entry.


While this is Memorial Day weekend which honors those soldiers who’ve made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and not Veterans Day which honors all veterans…and no matter which side of the immigration debate you come down on…there’s a lot of truth in this one. I don’t mean to trivialize the immigration problem and both progressives and conservatives have some valid points in their argument. It’s also true that we are putting folks apprehended by the Border Patrol in hotels for lack of detention facilities…and at the same time there are a lot of homeless veterans on the street. While not all homeless are veterans of course…and there are many reasons both good and bad for people to be homeless…Ima just sayin’.


For those of you who’ve heard of Schrödinger’s cat…which basically is a thought experiment usually thought of as a paradox…Schrödinger was a physicist who basically said that in relativistic quantum physics terms it wasn’t possible to observe something without potentially changing the outcome…he said that if the cat was in the box it was impossible to determine whether the cat was alive or dead and in a relativistic scenario opening the box to see might change the answer…anyways…this makes things even more complicated. The equation on the box is how you mathematically represent the conundrum.



About Gunther

The full time RV travels and experiences of Gunther the Bear and Kara the Dog…along with their human staff neil and Connie.
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2 Responses to Cañon City CO

  1. “But…you would be wrong. In Colorado…the name of this city is pronounced Cannon City…like the artillery kinda cannon. ”

    Sorry, no.

    My stepdad grew up in Cañon City. I lived there a few years in my twenties and was a reporter/photographer for the Cañon City Daily Record.

    I can tell you that it is pronounced “canyon city,” and anyone who says different is probably a tourist.

    • Neil Laubenthal says:

      Well…the dozen or so people we asked…all locals…insisted it was pronounced like the artillery cannon and not more like canyon with the Spanish inflection that the umlaut would suggest. I asked most of them why it was that way and never got a good answer.

      We were actually corrected by at least 2 locals for the canyon pronunciation. Don’t know what to tell ya. We specifically asked locals only…and all of them said cannon.


      The three kinds of stress…nuclear, cooking and a&&hole. Jello is the key to the relationship.


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