Needing a day to myself, and offering my hosts’ the same, I set out to explore Canon City on my own. My first stop was the local Chamber of Commerce, which was also the Visitor’s Center. While their purpose is to get people to spend money locally they are more than willing to share a few insider tips, and always have maps and brochures. The nice clerk was very helpful and even suggested a spot for glimpsing down into the Royal Gorge and getting a great view of the bridge for absolutely free! I did make the mistake of mentioning I was vegetarian, so she suggested the ONLY vegetarian restaurant in town, rather than the myriad of other local eateries.
Armed with info, and a complimentary bottle of water, I set out to enjoy the day. I mention the water only because even after five days in town, I was still feeling DRY. The weather was absolutely gorgeous, with temps in the 80s, but it was a DRY heat! And being 10000′ closer to the sun than I’m used to meant I got a little more sun than I’d expected!
My first stop just a few miles west of town was the recommended view of the Royal Gorge, then I made my way back into Canon City, via Skyline Drive. After that, I needed to be on ground level and took a walking tour of the downtown shops along Main St. The Chamber has a nifty brochure explaining the history of many of the buildings, but it was just as interesting to me to see what was thriving in this sleepy little town now! Always looking for a deal and scoping out ideas for my favorite consignment shop back home, the Ritzy Roost, I stopped into several of the many clothing and furniture resale shops and decided I wasn’t ready to buy winter sweaters just yet! Lunch and maybe more than one beer was a bargain at Pizza Madness!
After the day’s highs and lows, I was ready to relax and headed to Veteran’s Park for a relaxing afternoon of napping and/or blogging. A few old guys were belting out Buffet tunes and a few folks were walking their dogs, but mostly it was empty and peaceful and just what I needed!
While at the Chamber, I also discovered that Canon City celebrates First Friday with an Art Walk. The Fremont Center for the Arts had an exhibit showcasing the amazing and controversial art installations by Christo and Jean-Claude. After enjoying the complimentary wine and snacks, we visited a few of the other art galleries in town and a few of the shops that stayed open late for the occasion. Our evening stroll ended back at the library lawn for a live jazz band performance.
Not your typical touristy day, but a great one for me! And while I didn’t spend a whole lot “locally” today, I did make notes of where to lay down some cash on other outings! We work hard to earn it, we should work just as hard to spend it wisely!
Costs: less than one gallon of gas, $16 lunch, and a pair of Columbia capris for $1.50!!