In 2005 Steve Cochran of Canon City Colorado was approached by a friend about having some old tractors at his employers for the weekend. That employer was the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park. The Royal Gorge Bridge is one of the world’s highest suspension bridges, just west of Canon City in southern Colorado. Old tractors and other antique equipment have been a father’s day weekend tradition for my daughter Sydney and me for years. The show at the Gorge is one of many shows the Arkansas Valley Flywheelers (AVF) put on every year. In 2012 my Gibson Super D was chosen as the featured tractor for the Royal Gorge show!
Twice a day the tractors parade across the bridge built in 1929 spanning the Arkansas River 956 feet below, past the Mountain Man Camp, through the animals, and looping back in front of the Sky Coaster and Aerial Tram. Visitors to the bridge can walk, drive, or ride across the gorge, even ride the incline rail down to the bottom. Sydney has an apple press and enjoys making cider and giving out samples. In addition to tractors, gas engines, corn grinders, tools, and ice cream freezers have been displayed at the Gorge. During the 2012 father’s day weekend over 4000 visitors from all over the world entered the Royal Gorge Bridge and Park.
Gibson manufactured garden tractors and attachments, farm tractors, and forklifts in Longmont Colorado during the late forties and early fifties. I saw a Gibson Super D at a show in Kansas as a young man. My grandfather in Nebraska showed me paper work from Gibson where he became a dealer only to never receive the tractors that were on a truck in route. The truck was turned around because the company filed bankruptcy. Later when living in Longmont finding a Gibson became a passion. I now have a model A, D, Super D, Super D2, and E. I am on the lookout for Gibson models H & I row crop tractors now.
Spending Fathers Day weekend with my daughter at the Royal Gorge is “A FATHERS DAY TRADITION” I hope to continue for a long time!
By Steve Stratman