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HEADS - Royal

Naturally, with living and growing up in Colorado, the first thing that came to my mind was Canon City's infamous Royal Gorge Bridge! Now let me get this out of the way...When we went up there after marrying and in later years after the kids were born, the THREE of them walked the bridge! It has slats! You can look down from the gaps, and see the gorge......A LONG WAY DOWN! I took two steps, and stopped. I froze. Finally able to step backwards and wait for their return! One more thing---the BRIDGE sways. Yes, if you're dumb courageous enough to actually drive over it...more power to you! I stood and watched in fear for my family's well being when a car drove over it with all those people WALKING across and looking down! Oblivious to the danger!!

Even today, it's the highest expansion bridge in the world! I say to that ditty.... big whooptie doo!!! Big deal. I like LAND under my feet thank you very much!! Colorado is a beautiful state with the majestic Rocky Mountains, and the largest amount of mountains over 14,000 feet above sea level. But to actually see this phenomenon and look down into one of the deepest, narrowest ravines and watch the river rushing under you...uh, uh....[insert negative head shake here] Not me! No way José!!!

- - -

I'm thinking of a color. It's a compound color. Of two primary colors on the color wheel. It's associated with the week's prompt. Can you guess? Clue: It's listed on my favorites list on my sidebar. I love the color. Our master bedroom is painted a rich deep off-set hue of this 'royal' color.

Historically, the color purple has been associated with royalty and power, but the secret of its power lies in the glands of tiny shellfish creatures.

The earliest archaeological evidence for the origins of purple dyes points to the Minoan civilization in Crete, about 1900 B.C. The ancient land of Canaan (its corresponding Greek name was Phoenicia, which means “land of the purple”) was the center of the ancient purple dye industry.

Queen Elizabeth II in her Royal Purple Robe

Tyrian Purple, the purple dye of the ancients mentioned in texts dating back to about 1600 B.C., was produced from the mucus of the hypobranchial gland of various species of marine mollusks, notably Murex. It took some 12,000 shellfish to extract 1.5 grams of the pure dye. Legend credits its discovery to Herakles, or rather to his dog, whose mouth was stained purple from chewing on snails along the Levantine coast. King Phoenix received a purple-dyed robe from Herakles and decreed the rulers of Phoenicia should wear this color as a royal symbol. Although originating in Tyre (hence the name), man's first dye chemical industry spread throughout the world. Rome, Egypt, and Persia all used purple as the imperial standard. Purple dyes were rare and expensive; only the rich had access to them. The purple colorants used came from different sources, most from the dye extraction from fish or insects. The imperial purple of Rome was based on mollusk from which purpura comes. Emperor Aurelian refused to let his wife buy a purpura-dyed silk garment, as it cost its weight in gold! Insect and snail animal-based colors were mentioned in the Bible for use in textile furnishings of the Tabernacle and for the sacred vestments for the High Priest Aaron, and they also were used in King Solomon's and King Herod's temples in Jerusalem. With the decline of the Roman Empire, the use of “Tyrian Purple” also declined, and large-scale production ceased with the fall of Constantinople in 1453 A.D. It was replaced by cheaper dyes such as lichen purple and madder. Pope Paul II in 1464 introduced the so-called “Cardinal's Purple,” which was really scarlet extracted from the Kermes insect. This became the first luxury dye of the Middle Ages. Dyes were exported extensively from Central and South America during Spain's exploration of North and South America. Among these were Cochineal from Mexico and Peru. The chemical birth of the synthetic dye industry can be traced to the discovery of an aniline-based purple dye, mauveine, by William H. Perkin in 1856, who accomplished this while searching for a cure for malaria. Perkin was an English chemist who changed the world of his time by making this purple color available to the masses. It became quite fashionable to wear clothing dyed with “mauve,” and Mr. Perkin became a very wealthy man. In 1909 Paul Friedlander determined the major chemical composition of Murex dye as 6,6'-dibromoindigo. Today, genuine “Tyrian Purple” remains the domain of the rich and famous. However, synthetic dyes and pigments that meet various purple color requirements have removed the mystique of the color purple.


  1. Anonymous6/02/2008

    I loved your story about the bridge. I wouldn't walk over it either. I can manage walking bridges, if I can't see what is beneath. Heights make me dizzy and nauseous, so there is no way anyone would get me across it unless I was a) blindfolded and b) carried.

  2. I love the color purple! There is no way I would cross that bridge, on foot or by car!

  3. I would love to visit Colorado one day! Great Royal HOT post :)

    Mine is here if you have a moment stop by :)

    My Life In The Urban Zoo

  4. The bridge is freaking me out.
    The "history of color" is a nice addition. I learned a few things.

    Mine will be up at the strike of 12 midnight.

  5. oh my god imagine if that bridge broke! i dont think i would be able to cross it never mind look down. I dont do heights well haha!

    Thanks for coming to mine Anni

  6. I would never cross that bridge. Purple is one of my favorite colors.

  7. I am not sure whether I would have walked the bridge or not but I am so pleased that it is actually THERE for those brave enough to put the proverbial one foot in front of the other. Great interpretation of the theme (and very informative tho those in Australia like me lol)!

  8. My husband and I walked and drove our van across that bridge over 30 years ago. We were brave and adventurous. Now you have to pay to get into an amusement park to even get near it. Last year we took our kids (ages 19, 21, 23) and we didn't want to go to the amusement park so we admired it from a little distance. We did do the whitewater rafting though. Mercy me, it was the best ride of my life! :D

  9. Anonymous6/02/2008

    I do not think I would attempt it either.
    I can't stand takeoff or landing in an airplane,I guess that makes one big chicken.

  10. That was a very interesting post I just saw a documentary on those sea snails it is quite a messy and smelly procedure getting the purple dye.

  11. Oh, wow... that bridge sounds daunting. I'm not sure I would've walked it, either. Do you know what elevation it is at? But PURPLE! YAY! That was my favorite colour when I was a child, and all the way into my teens. Now I prefer green. Too bad there's no such thing as "royal green".

    Happy HoT!

  12. That was very interesting! Great post!

  13. wow....GREAT bridge.

    thanks for visit my hot post

  14. That bridge is unbelievable, but a bit too high for me. I have a thing about heights too.

    Love the history of the royal purple too.

  15. Oh geez.. why didn't I think of the Royal Gorge.. we were just there a little over a month ago. But then our posts would have matched in that regard. :P

    You are SO right about the height and the swaying. I'm not fond of heights and when we walked across it it was a little disconcerting. When I walked to the edge I got all dizzy and had to step back. Hubby however was practically hanging over the edge to take pictures. (I get dizzy just looking at those pictures.)

    Interesting about "purple." :)

  16. What a bridge !! I doubt very much that I would have walked on that ! Sitting in a car probably yes but I get already dizzy on a second floor !
    I looked it up in Wikipedia, wanted to know a little more about this bridge it was constructed in only 6 months !! and in 1929 !! Amazing !!

  17. HOLY CRAP! The bride sways? Um, NO! I don't think I'd fancy driving over it, let alone walking. AHHHH! I didn't know you grew up in Colorado? How fun!

  18. I meant to say bridge. . . not bride. Wow, it's late ;)

  19. Great post, Anni... and WOW what a beautiful picture. I tend to agree with you, though, and very much doubt I'd be able to walk on that bridge either... no matter how beautiful it is.

  20. I could never...NEVER cross that bridge!

  21. It would be a huge challenge for me to cross that bridge, but one I would like to try. Great post. Happy HOT day!

  22. Oh,I don't think I could cross that bridge ::no, no::
    how scary!!!
    Loved reading about that royal purple color :)

  23. Anonymous6/03/2008

    Awesome facts! My husband and I lived in Colorado for quite some time and never got the chance to visit the bridge. However, after doing some research, seeing the pictures, and visualizing a fall from such heights I think it's safe to say I did us a favor LOL.

    The facts about the royal color of purple were fascinating! Kudos on a great post!

  24. wow, now i've got another place added to my list of places that i want to see in the world! it looks amazing. haha, the list is getting so long that i can't even imagine how i'm going to get everything crossed off! maybe if i had a royal amount of funds i'd have a good start :P

  25. hey, the royal gorge bridge... what a coincidence...

    sorry, i did laugh, but.... i love those shoes too! now your turn.

  26. I've been to gorgeous Colorado but not to that bridge. I would be scared, but it would be worth it. Sounds really awesome.

  27. Can you believe we were "this" close to the gorge and didn't go. We have been there before though. :) Beautiful!

  28. Anonymous6/03/2008

    Royal Purple has always been one of my favorite colors! Kudos to you for actually putting it on a wall. The closest I've come is a light purple (lilac) on the wall and a royal purple crushed velvet bedspread! LOL!

  29. Oh wow … this is spectacular!!! I’ve been there in person myself (braved the bridge ever), but this is a great picture. Great association to ‘purple’ Royal Robes as well! I always enjoy a history lesson ;--)
    Hugs and blessings,

  30. Anni,

    Ah, the Color Purple - a beautiful movie and a beautiful color. I love it.

    Enjoyed your post and all the history. Thanks so much for sharing.


  31. Oh I love when I learn things from visiting posts! I didn't know about the bridge, or all of the history of the color purple. Interesting! :)

  32. Omigosh, NO WAY you'd get me on that bridge! lol I'm terrified of heights and anything that sways and you can see through would bring on a panic attack for sure!! I'm with you...feet firmly on the ground is the right way to go! hehe

    I really enjoyed reading about the colour purple...I had no idea where it originated so I've learned something new:-)It also answers my question as to why purple seemed to be a royal colour! xoxo

  33. WOW!! What a bridge. Here is WV we have the New River Gorge bridge which was, until recently, the longest span arc bridge in the world. In Sept. the bridge is closed and folks from all over come to bungee jump from the bridge. I'm with you. I want my feet on the ground.