Royal Gorge, Colorado, USA about 1892


ROYAL GORGE, COLORADO — One never wearies of the canons of Colorado. All of them are sublime, and each has some peculiarities distinctively its own. Sometimes the walls of one of the wild gorges rise perpendicularly from the water’s edge, leaving no space for a man to walk beside the foaming stream of which it is the passage-way. At other times the canon widens into a narrow valley, through which roads are made. Some gorges are hemmed in by walls 300 or 400 feet in height, while others are enclosed by cliffs ten or twelve hundred feet in altitude. The Grand Cañon is even 4,000 feet in depth! In some the swiftness of the current equals that of the “Limited Express;” in others it descends with moderation and is fairly navigable. Some have their walls of marble carved by the elements and polished by the waves, and glittering with almost all the colors of the rainbow. All sorts of architectural forms have shaped themselves on either side in ages of the past, till now their awe-inspiring buttresses and pinnacles look like the ruined and deserted castles of the Gods. No photographic view can ever do such scenery justice, nor can the most brilliant writer give to it sufficient praise. The pencil of Gustave Doré alone might partially reveal the weird and awful grandeur of these Colorado chasms, hundreds of miles in length, thousands of feet in depth; terrific scars upon the face of Mother Earth, which never more shall be effaced until our Planet’s cycle of existence shall have brought it once more to its Parent Sun. (from John L. Stoddard, Glimpses of the world; a portfolio of photographs of the marvelous works of God and man – 1892)


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