Tag Archives: Videos
On this morning, we head out early to hike the Interpretive Trail of the Rabbit Valley Research Natural Area (39.1936° N 109.0201 W) which is about 2 miles east of the Utah-Colorado State-line along I70. Here is the Colorado State description of the area.
Rabbit Valley is located north of the Colorado River along the northwest flank of the Uncompahgre Uplift. The quarry has produced large specimens of several dinosaurs including Camarasaurus, Allosaurus, and Camptosaurus. The Bureau of Land Management and the Museum of Western Colorado have developed the site for interpretive use, and the Museum of Western Colorado directs ongoing fossil digs. The recent discovery of an Iguanodon skull marks the earliest known record of this species. High quality pinion pine – Utah juniper woodlands occur on the site north of the fossil locality.
Please be aware that this site contains features of state-wide significance. Collection is prohibited at all times with out proper permits.
With the morning hike complete we head to Fruita, Colorado to visit the Dinosaur Journey museum which is the Museum of Western Colorado. It’s a nice museum of the dinosaur history of the region and they also had a movie that we also enjoyed. Found this interesting vehicle outside I had to stop and photograph as well.
Across the parking lot at the museum I also spot a railroad passenger car which turned out to be D&RGW #52 and it is sporting the Fruit Belt Route logo on it.
Our main goal today was to tour the Colorado National Monument again and hope to catch some nice shots under different light conditions. You can tell in some of the shots that wildfire smoke still is in the valley.
Independence Monument is the next stop on the drive. This free standing soft red sandstone monument stands 450 feet tall. For those adventurous enough, I believe you can climb this but for us we will enjoy it from the overlook.
Also right in this area is Monument Canyon where other soft red sandstone formations stand tall above the valley floor.
At the Artists Point overlook there is two places to enjoy the views so if you have time and don’t mind a few steps make sure you head to your left to get to the lower section of the overlook to see other views you can’t see from the upper section.
The Fallen Rock overlook is all about this rock slab that has broken away from the cliff wall. Make sure you have a reasonable telephoto lens for this one as it’s a bit of a distance away for many Point-n-Shoot cameras to get a nice shot.
We will briefly get a few shots of Red Canyon as we drive by. Note the notch at the far end of the canyon; the canyon is starting its next phase of change and that will slowly work its way deeper and father back over time.
Cold Shivers Point is one of those places that you can enjoy from the overlook or take a short hike to where this location gets it name. The first photo is the one I took and the second is the one Lisa took of me standing where I took from photo from. Right behind and in front of me is a vertical drop so watch your footing if you head out near the point to take photos.
We will now head back to Grand Junction to visit the Museum of Western Colorado. It was lots of great historical items to enjoy and yes you can go up into the tower as well to get views of the city. You can get to the top via an elevator or use the stairs; below exit into the museum.
For our planned Railfanning, we head over to the Union Pacific Maintenance Department to hopefully get shots of some of the D&RGW equipment that is stored here. We will get a clean shot of D&RGW Crane #028 along with its Wheel / Boom Car. You can see another D&RGW car behind the crane but no way to get a clear shot. I will also take a few shots of some older UP cars that are also stored here.
As we headed back to the hotel we got buzzed my fighters and I wish I had the video camera ready as they passed very low right over our car. The Blue Angels Navy F/A-18 Hornets are in town and on this day they were practicing so once we got to the hotel we had a nice FREE show. Sadly I missed the support plane as by the time we saw it we had put away the camera equipment. Will be interesting to see how well my new HD Video camera caught the action but here is a few of the still photos that Lisa and I took.
Well, that is it from this day but there is still several more days to go for this trip report…
On our third day we plan a small morning hike in the Curecanti National Recreation Area at Neversink. The trail was a bit in rough shape from erosion and fallen trees but it was still a nice level hike to get the day started.
Our next stop was at Wilson’s Landing in Curecanti the National Recreation Area. You can kind of tell the water levels are low from the color of the rock that would normally be underwater. The high water line you can see the clearest on the rock on the left side of the photo. The gray color on the bottom half show where the water levels normally get too and you can see that gray color as you scan across the photo to the right.
To really see how low the water levels are is when we stopped at the Dry Creek boat ramp. As you can see on our GPS we should be in the water. The next photo shows our 4×4 at the bottom of the boat ramp sitting in the sand. We have walked down from there to reach the current water levels. Looking over the water you can see the rocks and the line where the water levels are at normally. If you had been watching the news about all the Fires we had out this way because of drought conditions this should give you an idea how little water has falled in recent years
From there we planned another hike at the Dillon Pinnacles here in the Curecanti National Recreation Area. I took a photo of the sign that explains how this geological formation occurred. The best photos (to me) are from a distance as once you get closer you can see allot of details but cant see the entire structure.
We will stop for lunch at a picnic area in this same area. Somewhere now underwater is a town know as Iola, CO that once was a stop for the railroad. When the dam was built that town, railroad and bridges all went to their watery end. I had hoped with the low water levels maybe something would be visible but no luck. The weather was also turning on us.
It was the Denver & Rio Grande Western (Lake Fork Spur) that was once here so our next section of this days trip was to travel down the old Right-of-Way from the higher ground into the canyon that is now flooded by the dam. Along the route there are various places to stop as well as information signs. Ruins of the old Railroad Camps use to build the railroad here can still be found. I will also take video while we drove the drivable sections to capture the route.
Also in this are where various small mines. We spotted one that was gated took a photo through the gate
We will reach a dead-end soon afterwards and hike the old D&RGW route…
With the low water levels we hiked allot farther then planned because some of the old ROW is currently above water so we could go father then the map said we could. As we got deeper in, dead tree logs that once were floating on the water are now scattered which made the hike more and more difficult. We never did get to a point where the water once again covered to old roadbed of the railroad before we decided to turn back. When hiking these old railroad location don’t forget to look up as often you will spot the old telegraph poles.
When we stopped by the Visitor Center earlier in the day a Ranger suggested scenic drive that is not commonly taken via Highway 149to see Aspen Colors and wonderful Mountain vistas. He did us good as the drive was wonderful. These photos I took near 38 10.847N / 107 17.396W based on the GPS we had with us.
Our travel took u also over what was called Soldier Summit (38 10.553 / 107 20.897W)
We would also find the Darrel Duncan Memorial Forest (38 15.290N / 107 22.002W) along this ranger suggested route.
Well, time to call it a day and head back for the hotel but will see more Aspen Color on our way back too…
For our second day of our Fall Vacation we will head back to Marshall Pass, this time in the opposite direction from the past trip. Again, the Aspen Foliage is in it’s full Golden Colors as we make our way through the mountain valleys.
If you recall from my August 18th post (2012 – August Weekend Outing – Part 2) we video recorded Marshall Pass starting from Sargents, CO to US-285, and this trip we will go the other-way to capture the route heading towards Sargents, CO. Reminder, this is D&RGW Right-of-Way ofn the days of Steam Engines and Narrow Gauge trains that we are recording.
As we travel back towards Gunnison, CO where we are staying again for this section of our journeys we pass by a property that had D&RGW MOW Car #04408 to find they have added another addition; D&RGW #5900.
Our next destination is to travel over Ohio Pass and as we start our journey we can see in the distance along with more great fall colors.
As we close in on our primary Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad location on Ohio Pass I will stop for another Mountain / Aspen Color shot.
The DSP&P Railway started to build Grade and Track from Gunnison, CO (which they reached in 1882) over Ohio Pass with plans to reach the Pacific Ocean. Construction here ended in 1883 with the grade making over the top of Ohio Pass but track laying never reach there. In building out the grade, the DSP&P had to build “The Great Rock Wall” which still stands today in it partially built along with some Rock Culverts. The hike was a bit to rocky for us to take all the way for this trip but maybe I will get back here another day to photograph more of this section.
While I walked a section of the Big Balloon Loop over the rocky grade, Lisa stayed back and took some great closeup Aspen shots as well as shots of Castle Mountain from this location.
We will drive over Kebler Pass before heading to Lake Irwin to have lunch along the shoreline.
Our final stop on this day will be at the Jokerville Mine Memorial in Crested Butte, CO. On January 24, 1884 a serious mine explosion killed several miners Some of those killed are buried at this location as well.
Lisa will also get some great shots of Crested Butte and the Aspens colors here too…
See, this is why Lisa doesn’t mind doing these historic railroad trips as we do travel through some wonderful areas with lots of geology and vista and being Fall, we also get great Leaf Peeper shots of the Aspens
It’s day two of our four day outing and we start our day in Sargents, CO where the D&RGW water tank still stands on private property.
This will also be our starting point over Marshall Pass where I will setup my new HD Video camera as a dashboard to capture the route of the D&RGW railroad. We won’t be 100% of roadbed the entire route but most of it will be so the camera will catch what it was like to ride over this section of track.
We will stop at various spots along the way to search for a few remnants but the main objective is at the top of the pass where the old Turntable pit still can be seen.
Here is a shot of one of the D&RGW Bridge abutments that can still be found on the other side of the pass where the vehicle road is just beside the old roadbed.
Once on the other end of the pass we find we are just below another pass so we take a small detour to get to that summit. Here is the sign at Poncha Pass where the Rio Grande River watershed is separated from the Arkansas River watershed…
From here we head to Saliad, CO to goto the museum there that we know also contains railroad history along with other great artifacts from this areas history.
Near by is the Visitor Center where we find a 0-4-0 Tank Steam Engine of unknown history
Also here in town at the end of F Street is where the old depot once stood. Looking right to the South East you can see the old Engine House when the D&RGW once was a major company here
This building here is what remains today of the old D&RGW Hospital, yes, the railroad had it’s own medical facilities to take care of its employees and families in those days.
Another building with railroad history here is the Manhattan Hotel. In many cities the railroad also owned the local hotel where train passengers would stay at. I do not know if that was the case here but Colorado Historical Society does state that D&RGW Passenger train passengers did use this hotel.
While at the D&RGW hospital I spot a female deer and two fawns using the grounds like they owned the place. They had little fear of me being within a few yards of them. In fact, the female left one within 10 yards of me and then left to go get the other one she had stashed out of sight somewhere. She was gone for about 10 minutes before she returned with the second one.
Our next destination for the day was about 10 miles SE along US-50 where we would take a side road to get a close shot of one of the old railroad tunnel portals. I would only get a shot of one side on this trip.
Our final stop for this day would be in Smeltertown, CO where we find the old Ohio-Colorado Smelting and Refining Company smoke stack. This remnant stands 365 feet tall so it is one heck of a historical landmark and in 1976, during the American Revolution Bicentennial, the smokestack was placed on the National Register of Historic Places as a “highly visible monument to the mining industry and its workers.”