2012 Road Trip Photos #25: Pueblo’s Arkansas Riverwalk, Part 1 of 2: Return of the Arkansas

Day Six of our vacation ended in Pueblo, Colorado — an address well-known to anyone who ever saw one of the famous commercials from the ’70s/’80s about the Consumer Information Center and its free catalogs by mail. For that alone, my wife and I assumed the city held world-famous status. Some of our friends disagreed, but that’s their problem, not ours. Believe it or not, TV had more than just toy commercials back then.

The two of us spent the evening visiting the Historic Arkansas Riverwalk of Pueblo, a pleasant downtown diversion that interested my son not one bit. This, we decided, was the perfect opportunity for a husband/wife outing. Our hometown of Indianapolis has its Canal Walk, and we enjoyed the visual diversity of the San Antonio Riverwalk in 2005. Pueblo is much smaller than either city, but its foray into the beautifying riverwalk business is fairly new, still expanding, and worth several moments of time and dallying.

I was a little surprised to reunite with the Arkansas River, the very same waterway that runs beneath the Royal Gorge Bridge back in Cañon City, a few dozen miles west of Pueblo. How nice of the Arkansas to serve as a thematic through-line to our day. Note that Pueblo has succeeded in containing the Arkansas and removing those turbulent rapids and imposing mountainside walls.

Arkansas Riverwalk, Pueblo Colorado

The Riverwalk spans a few modest city blocks, but construction was in progress at one end to connect an additional section and extend its grasp for future pedestrians.

Arkansas Riverwalk, Pueblo Colorado

The Riverwalk travels beneath a few thoroughfares and connects via convenient ramps. Don’t mind the algae content there.

Arkansas Riverwalk, Pueblo Colorado

My wife spent several minutes enraptured by this fountain, attempting to capture its simple essence. I didn’t mind. We had all the free time we wanted, for as long as the storm clouds in the distance held off.

Arkansas Riverwalk, Pueblo Colorado

Art, nature, and artful nature dot the landscapes along the riverside. Much of that will be covered in Part 2, but I thought Kelly Falls, was a cute sort of truncated waterfall.

Kelly Falls, Arkansas Riverwalk, Pueblo Colorado

At the southeast end, the cultivated portion of the Riverwalk ends abruptly so that the Arkansas might be permitted to continue on its way through Colorado in its original, natural state.

Arkansas River, Arkansas Riverwalk, Pueblo Colorado

Ducks just don’t care which side of the Arkansas they ride.

Arkansas Riverwalk ducks

The Riverwalk has a few adjacent restaurant options. Since my son hates Italian food, we took advantage of his absence and dined at a recently opened delight called the Sicilian. We failed to photograph any of our dishes but we gave it a thumbs-up.

The Sicilian, Pueblo Riverwalk, Colorado

By pure happenstance, our night on the town coincided with a Thursday evening farmers’ market. Surprise food is always a very nice surprise.

Pueblo Riverwalk farmers' market, Colorado

Several local businesses make the most of their Riverwalk access — restaurants, a souvenir shop, a few white-collar companies, and this non-profit organization with very specific, very unambiguous pursuits.

Arkansas Riverwalk, Pueblo Colorado

For those of you still looking at me funny about that opening paragraph, please enjoy or pardon this prime example of those classic commercials that drilled the famous address into our impressionable minds, even though they never cited a specific street. Somehow the mailmen of Pueblo would just know where your missive was meant to be mailed. If only our own mailmen had been so prescient in those days.

To be continued!

[Link enclosed here to handy checklist for previous and future chapters, and for our complete road trip history to date. Thanks for reading!]

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