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Tag Archives: Colorado and Southern

2012 – July 4th Outing

For the July 4th holiday Lisa and I decide to skip the traditional activities and head up high into the mountains and when I say high I’m talking over 12,000 feet for a portion of the trip and above 11,000 for other portions.

But, before we get deep into the mountains, we stop back at Bailey, CO to the park and get photos of what I thought was an old RR Wait Station on June 2nd.  After taking a few photos and doing some research since we got back, sure enough it is.  The below structure is actually what is left of the Glenisle, CO and Grousemont, CO RR Wait Stations that were identical in construction.  Both were in such bad shape that to save them they took what was restore-able from both to make a single structure as it looked at both Glenisle and Grousemont.

From there we stop at the top of Kenosha Pass (9,997ft) for a quick break to stretch the legs.  I took a quick shot of the reconstructed Wye that sits at the top of the pass since it was easy to see from the highway given the light.

Our primary travel goal of the day is to take three (3) Auto Tours around Alma, CO (Highest Incorporated Municipality in the US at 10,578ft) but nearly all the Tour Auto Signage was getting replaced so it made it tough to know when we reach each place along the tour guide.  We started off on the Placer Valley Auto Tour – (Fairplay to Alma) but didn’t find much to take photos of.

We then cut over to the Buckskin Gulch Historic Auto Tour and our first major stop on that route was the old town cemetery that is still used today by Alma.  There are many different headstones from days of old and the guide pointed out one related to Thomas Faley that we were able to track down.  There were also many military graves here that someone took the time to place a US Flag next to for the holiday (Thank You!) one that was even listed as a Civil War veteran.  Here is a photo of Thomas Faley headstone as well as Daniel M Clack of the 2nd Colorado Calvary.

From here we head up higher and find the Hungry Five Mine clinging to the side of the mountain.  Don’t be fouled by the telephoto angle, it’s a long way down to the valley floor!!!

We next spot the Paris Mine which too is hanging off the steep side of the same ridge.  Here you can better tell that just below the mine is a vertical rock face that drops and drops and drops some more

On our side of the mountain valley is the Paris Mill that Ore was carried down to via cables.  You can tell this historic building is being somewhat taken care of for younger generations to see some day…

We will now reach a turn-off to head up towards Windy Ridge but before we get up there we will find what little is left of the Mineral Park Mine.  You can start to tell from this photo that we are nearly at tree line…

We will reach the Bristlecone Pine Scenic Area that was been nearly untouched by logging or mining so these trees here are very old and you can tell what this is called Windy Ridge from their shape.  At this point we are also at 11,719ft when we start hiking.  From here you can also see Alma far below us…

We turn back down from here to the turn off to head back up towards Kite Lake.  At this point we are just below three mountain peak that are above 14,000ft that many hikes come here to hike up.  If you are going to take those hikes start really early as you do NOT want to be this high when the afternoon lightning storms hit and have no cover so you become the Lightning Rode.  Many a hikers die from lightning at these altitudes.

On the way back down we stop to take a photo of one of the local that call this place home.  Nice of him to pose for a few shots.  Don’t be fouled by his cute looks, this is one tough / mean critter that rules at this altitude.

From here we will head all the way back down to Fairplay, CO (9,953ft) to have lunch at the Brown Burro which is one of our favorite places to eat in this area.

After a wonderful meal we head out for the third Auto Tour; the Horseshoe / Fourmile Historic Auto Tour.  As we turn onto County Road 18 from US285 we are now on the old Denver, South Park and Hilltop Railway grade that serviced the mines / mills of what was Leavick, CO.  This railroad hauled the our down to the Denver, South Park, and Pacific that would later become part of the Colorado and Southern Railroad.  I believe the DSP&H was a bit over 11 miles in length as it headed up the gulch to the old mining town of Leavick.

On the way up, we will pass the old Mudsill Mill that is in need of some TLC or will be lost to time soon.  Yes, that is a For Sale sign and there is a fair amount of acreage that comes with the sale…

We will go as far as motorized travel is allowed which is still well below the mine that you can hike up too.  We are at 12,061 ft when we park and get out.  It’s starting to Rain and clouds are moving in so it’s time to get down of these high mountain trails.  Looking back down the road you can see part of the DSP&H roadway we just travel over to get up here.  Yes, there are no trees up at this level so we are the lightning rods right now so down we go.

Part way down now below timber line we pull in to the Limber Grove Trail.  Part of the trail crosses over the gulch and I notice the heavy timbers are being supported from below are railroad ties, have I found some small part of the DSP&H still here?

Time to head back towards Alma to track down and photograph the old Alma Junction depot.  The first time we looked for it we missed it (in plain sight) and after re-reviewing some old photos we realized the back of the depot was to the road and thus mistook it earlier for one of the cabins. (GPS  39°16’11.52″N / 106° 3’10.18″W).  This depot too needs some serious restoration $$$ to save it.

We have one more stop to make of this chapter, we head for Breckenridge, CO.  You might recall that Colorado and Southern Steam Engine #9 was restored to operations, placed into service on the Georgetown Loop and quickly was broken from over usage.  Well, it’s new home is in Breckenridge where it is once again a static display.

It’s getting late and I do have to still work for a living so it’s time to head home.  We will stop in Idaho Springs for diner at one of our favorite places there (Buffalo Bar) and then head the rest of the way home.  Not a bad One-Day vacation and a way to celebrate July 4th by visiting various historical places and saying Thank You to a few war vets from conflicts of long ago at the Buckskin Gulch Cemetery…

Dinner Idaho Springs

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Posted by on 07/04/2012 in RRAdventures, Trip Reports

 

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2012 – Denver, South Park & Pacific – Part 2

Looks like we will have another sunny morning so we head back into DSP&P / C&S territory.  We take a different route in this time coming in via Sedalia using CO HWY 67 to reach South Platte River Road.  From there we turn north towards the ghost-town of South Platte.

Before reaching South Platte, we come across where Nighthank, CO use stood and the railroad did have a spur up to here in 1904; abandon 1916.  At this point we will be traveling on the old DSP&P ROW.  I will take lots of photos and Point-n-Shoot video clips to capture the ROW which is mostly still as it was; now just a dirt road.

We now reach South Platte, CO where the only part of town that still survives is the old hotel.  From old photographs we can easily spot where the depot once stood. as is was across the street/track from the hotel.  We will also hike a section of the old ROW that is a rail trail but only a shot distance this trip.

From here we head towards Foxton, Argyle, Ferndale, and on into Buffalo Creek.  We take photos along this stretch to catch other RR related items for our history research and detailed trip reports.  Once in Buffalo Creek we will find the old Section House that has been somewhat modified.  We will also find where the depot here once stood base on historical photos and buildings that still stand today.  I will also stop again in Pine Grove to get shots of the old RR cabins I took in the pouring rain the day before.

From there we head on into Bailey, CO for lunch but our research also tells us an old railroad bridge was moved there to a park and slightly altered to be a foot bridge.  As we pull into town I spot it and we will also find a C&S Caboose near by.  I might also have found an old RR Wait Station but that is not yet confirmed next to the caboose.

Time to eat and I will take Lisa to a historical place that nearly was lost but survived by getting moved to Bailey, CO.  It can be a wait to get your food but it’s worth the time.

We will now head over Guanella Pass which has been closed for three years for renovation

As we head down the other side we locate FR 248.1 which is important for a future trip to get deeper into Argentine Central RR territory but will be some serious 4×4 driving to get to where we need to go for that trip.

As we head down the hill more we come across a stop that was added as part of the Guanella Pass renovations.  We will also learn at this stop there is some more RR stuff to come back to find from the mining Gold/Silver mines here at the ruins of Silverdale, CO

As we get to the other end of the pass we come into Georgetown, CO.  If you are a Railfan like us you know this is Georgetown Loop territory.  One thing that has always bothered me is where was the ROW below the loop.  I took this quick shot near  39.7036° / -105.7001° as this is where the ROW below the loop gets cut off by the road.  Where in the heck did it go from here and get to the depot in town that is still in it’s original location was still a mystery.

Well today’s stop in Georgetown is not RR related but to visit the Energy Museum which is an old Hydroelectric plat that has been in operation since 1900.

It s fun/short/FREE stop and what to my surprise I find photos that show railroad ROW in it.  One of the gentlemen there could not solve 100% of my mystery but certain clear up the ROW picture for me.  See the ROW went behind the plant and not into town.  From there is stayed along the mountain side until it reach either a Switch or a Wye that the train would use to go back into down to the station.  So, train traffic heading out of Denver towards Silver Plume that would stop in Georgetown would take this siding heading into the depot and then had to backup to the mainline.  Coming down towards Denver the train would pass through Georgetown and the backup to the station via the siding and then pull forward to Denver from there.  Now that makes a whole lot of since knowing layout of town.  Exactly where the Switch/Wye was is not 100% certain but now I have knowledge to work from.  Also from behind the Hydro plant you can still see the ROW!!!!!!!

Well, with that it was time to head home and down load nearly 500 Photo/Video Clips we took these past two days.  Stay tuned for a full RRAdventures trip report coming later that will show all the details we learned from this trip…

 

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2012 – Denver, South Park & Pacific – Part 1

This weekend we took off to do some “Ghostfanning” (a.k.a. Railfanning of lost railroads).  Our primary objective of this day is to hike a section of the DSP&P roadbed that is now a Rail-trail near Pine Grove, CO.  I will take along just my Point-n-Shot camera this day and take a series of shots as we hike along the ROW within the Pine Valley Ranch Park

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We will stop for lunch at Zoka’s (YUM!) and shot some old caboose and part of a boxcar

We head back to Pine Grove and also local and photo some old Railroad housing from days gone by and it’s now pouring rain so the shots taken are a bit rough…

With the weather clearing a bit we head over to Kenosha Pass to see if there are any brochures in the box but once again we find it empty.  Will take a few shots and then head for home…

 
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Posted by on 06/01/2012 in RRAdventures, Trip Reports

 

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2012: Railfanning Parker, CO

Yippee!, it’s out first Railfan Trip of 2012 and we are off to Parker, CO.  We knew an old 1909 Passenger Coach had been moved from Centennial, CO to Parker that I had not yet photograph but a friend at work made me aware of a Caboose in downtown Parker.  So, since we were already heading out that way to see family we decided to make a quick RRAdventures trip out of it too.

Here is the building that holds the Denver and New Orleans Model Railroad Club…

… and as you can see, D&RGW Caboose #1416 along with other RR pieces are outside as well!!!

From here we headed north along Parker Road to track down the new location of the C&S Coach. (Built. 1909)

(I understand this is actually a Santa Fe Coach; possible #9656)

Also at this location was a nice sign talking about RR History of Parker, CO that I didn’t know about.

Well, it was just a quick couple of stops but well worth the time.  Took a few different angles at both locations that will get posted on my RRAdventures website later but these are my choice photos I wanted to share right away.

On a side note I also found this old photo that shows the original Depot and Water Tower.

Parker’s railroad depot, circa 1900. The depot was built by the Union Pacific, Denver & Gulf Railroad in 1889. A replica of the depot has been constructed at the railcar at Parker’s Preservation Park & Trailhead just north of the Cottonwood subdivision. Photo Courtesy of the Colorado Historical Society. Photo by YH
 
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Posted by on 02/25/2012 in RRAdventures

 

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Trip Report: Georgetown Loop (2010-06-25)

The complete Trip Report of our journey is now available online on Trains.com <Click Here> related to RRAdventures blog entry 2010: Georgetown Loop Railroad taken on June 25th, 2010.

 
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Posted by on 12/29/2011 in Trip Reports

 

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Video – Georgetown Loop Railroad – Part III

Narrow Gauge Steam Engine #12 will return to the Silver Plume, Colorado Depot along the old Colorado and Southern Railway line from Georgetown, CO.  Once the train starts it’s run uphill the video coverage will go non-stop capturing 100% of the ride.

 
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Posted by on 12/29/2011 in RRAdventures, Videos

 

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Video – Georgetown Loop Railroad – Part II

Narrow Gauge Steam Engine #12 will start off at the Silver Plume, Colorado Depot and make its way along the old Colorado and Southern Railway line down to Georgetown, CO. Along the way it will make a stop at the Lebanon Mine Station. See it cross of the Devils Gate High Bridge going backwards as well as over a trestle and girder bridges.

 
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Posted by on 12/27/2011 in RRAdventures, Videos

 

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