Since we were not going west we suddenly had a lot more time to make it to the east coast in time for the foliage change. We headed to Canon City where I had booked us a day of ziplines and white water rafting with the Royal Gorge Zip Line and Rafting Company. This was going to be an expensive day costing almost $500 with Olivia and I doing zip lines in the morning and then Holly, who does not like heights, joining us for white water rafting in the afternoon.
We arrived at the meeting site and Olivia and I got our harnesses on while Holly chilled out in Rover. They then took us in a van about 5 minutes away to the zip line course where they had a gave us a short lesson on how to zip line. We had zip lined before in Mexico but each zip line is set up a little different and for this one they gave us thick leather gloves and we would need to press on the zip line in order to slow down before landing.
Lesson done we walked up the hill to our first zip line and being the old pro that she was, Olivia had no problems just zipping off over the trees. The rest of the morning consisted of walking up hills and zipping down lines. The altitude of over 6,000 feet made the walking up the hills a bit more strenuous than normal but the walks were not too long and they had occasional cold water breaks. Unlike Mexico it was straight zip lining, no bicycles or boards. It was a warm day and the breeze while zipping down the lines was great. We did a total of 9 zip lines and by the end Olivia was tired of walking up the hills so it was perfect time to return to the meet up site.
The meet up site had a pretty cool restaurant that had expansive outdoor seating, axe throwing, and a children’s playground. Lunch was included for Olivia and I. Holly joined us as well, ordering separately. I got a giant loaded potato topped with brisket, Olivia got a meatball sandwich and Holly got a roasted Brussel Sprout salad. The food was surprisingly good with my potato being very well loaded, Olivia’s meatballs were bigger than she could eat in one bite and Holly’s salad was good too.
With full tummies we returned to Rover to get changed and then got our life vests and helmets before boarding the bus to the put in spot. There we met our guide and were matched with a couple and their grandson who had never been in a boat before. We were going to raft Bighorn Sheep Canyon on the Arkansas River which was a beginner class II/III rapid. We had a few good splashes but nothing really exciting which was perfect for the kids. The snowmelt driven water was icy cold but it felt good on the warm sunny day.
After rafting we rinsed off and had dinner in Rover before returning to the Walmart for the night.