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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2A

Colorado Midland Railroad

We will start off our second day by driving up Elevenmile Canyon.  Once we turned off into the canyon road, we will be on Colorado Midland Railroad grade so the video camera gets mounted on the dashboard and we head in to record the route; making a few stops along the way…

38.968622° 105.362816°

Our first stop directly related to the Colorado Midland is for the first tunnel which I believe was know as Tunnel #9.  I will take photos of both portals but here is the shot I pick for our travel blog.

38.931458° 105.413715°

We will later pass through this Rock Cut; I don’t know if it had an official name.  Note also the bridge behind it as we will cross over the water at this point as well.

38.941537° 105.403897°

We crossed over a few bridges that were obviously built/rebuilt by the State Highway Department.  This bridge however just beyond the cut has a railroad look to it.  The Bridge does have a State Highway Department tag on it from 1923 but I will do more investigation if it is one of the old RR bridges that the CM once used too…

38.941141° 105.404172°38.941141° 105.404172°

Farther down the canyon we will reach two tunnels close to each other.  Like with the first, I will take a few photos of both portals of each one.  I believe this one was called Tunnel #10 under the Colorado Midland usage.

38.916054° 105.448101°

Making this on likely Tunnel #11 of the Colorado Midland Railway

38.915933° 105.449635°

Afterward driving farther up the canyon we reach the Dam where we can no longer trace the Colorado Midland Right-of-Way.  The route would have continued on along the river to Hartsel, CO

38.904796° 105.475883°

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 1

Lisa and I will take off on a nine-day vacation starting on June 1st; heading into southern Colorado.  We will spend our first night in Woodland Park, CO; but, we will make several stops that day in the region.

Our first stop is in Green Mountain Falls where the Colorado Midland Railroad once operated.  We have been trying to locate where the Depot once stood related to the tracks that passed by the lake.  We had hoped the information office would be open but once again is was closed.  In the below photo, the tracks would have been along this path and the depot we believe towards the far end.

Green Mountain Falls

From there we head to the Ute Pass History Park where one of the buildings is dedicated to the Colorado Midland Railroad.  We got there too early but return to find the main building open but were told the RR building is only open one weekend a month during the summer and this wasn’t the weekend. Grr!!!!

Ute Pass History Park

The bulk of the day will be spent at the Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.  We will hike the main trail and see lots of great stuff and also get a break and find a section also open that is normally closed and get a nice history lesson of from a Ranger about the ongoing research being done at the dig site we got to go into.

Florissant Fossil Beds National MonumentFlorissant Fossil Beds National Monument

We will stop at the Pikes Peak Historical Society Museum we have often drove past to see what they might have to enjoy.  Besides lots of great information from various aspects of this region including Rock / Mineral displays that Lisa very much enjoyed I would also find a photo from Green Mountain Falls that shows the train at what I believe is the depot.  More research to be done to confirm but maybe the location is now found!

Pikes Peak Historical Society MuseumPikes Peak Historical Society Museum

In earlier trips we have also explored many of the old Mines open to the public in Victor around the Battle Mountain site but have yet to explore all the areas.  On this stop we will check out the old Mill Site.

Battle Mountain – Mill SiteBattle Mountain – Mill Site

As we travel this area we often pass by an old Midland Terminal Tunnel.  I have gotten shots of one portal on previous stops but never got a shot of both; until this trip!!!

Colorado Midland TunnelColorado Midland Tunnel

Time to get to the Country Lodge for the night to get checked in and have some dinner

 

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2013 – Colorado Railroad Museum – Open Car Day

Today, the CRRM had its first of several up and coming “Open Car” Days where visitors get a chance to go inside cars not often open to pubic viewing.  Open Car Day #1 featured the following cars…

CMR Observation Car No. 111

CMR Observation Car No. 111

RGS Business Car Rico No. 21

RGS Business Car Rico No. 21

D&RGW RPO No. 60

D&RGW RPO No. 60

UP Coach No. 5442

UP Coach No. 5442

CB&Q Business Car No. 96

CB&Q Business Car No. 96

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 8

As we near the end of our trip, we will spend Day #8 hiking (climbing) up to Hanging Lake near Glenwood Springs, CO.  Once parked, I spot a few Fallen Flag Gondola’s that are tough to get photos of but I did manager to get one clear shot.

Hanging Lake Trail

As you get ready to hike the Hanging Lake Trail there is a Warning Sign.  We Saw many on the trail that didn’t read this OR didn’t care!!!

Warning Sign

As we walked along the flat section of the trail along the River you get great views of the canyon and places one can also see the Railroad tracks; not a train in sight…

Hanging Lake Trail

Once you get to the original Hanging Lake Trail Head there is a great sign on the area

Information Sign

Here is another River and Railroad shot I took but still no trains in sight

Hanging Lake Trail

Once we are deep into the trail, we could see Waterfalls everywhere and this was fall when the water levels are normally low.  This is just one of many such places we stop and took photos of…

Hanging Lake Trail

After a nice long but tough hike we reach Hanging Lake.  The last say 0.2 miles is a very steep hike and narrow so mind your footing but the destination is well worth it.  We got up to the lake early so there wasn’t too many folks there let but WOW, by the time we left it was packed with people

Found this Hanging Lake Marker on a rock near the lake edge

After getting our shots of the lake we headed farther up the trail to Spouting Rock.  It’s not much of a hike by distance but it’s a bit rocky in places so again watch your footing.

Hanging Lake Trail

By the time we get back down it’s time for Lunch and we find a spot at one of the rest stops in the canyon.  I can hear a train coming (finally!) and grabbed the video camera; waiting at this location for the Passing Train.  Will share the video later…

Video coming later :-)
Our next stop is the Glenwood Railroad Museum that is in the old depot that is now used by Amtrak.  We have been here many a time to only find the museum closed but this time we made sure we would be here when it was open.  The front section has an O-Scale/O-Gauge setup and the back section has some nice historic pieces as well as a Large-Scale steam engine

Glenwood Railroad Museum

Our last destination for the day is Aspen, CO.  We tried and failed to find the old Depot but we have since learned we were looking in the wrong place.  We did however find the Colorado Midland Railroad Bridge (39.201200° N 106.849400°W) that today is used for pedestrian crossing over the creek.  It’s right next to today’s highway bridge.

Near Aspen, CO

Only one more day left of our vacation…

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 1

On September 15th Lisa and I will take off for a nine (9) day outing that will contain a mixture of allot of the areas we enjoy and enjoy sharing with others such as yourself…

Our first stop is at as anytime we take this route out-of-town in makes for a good stopping point to stretch a bit. This is also a place where many come to Hike/Bike the Colorado Trail and during this time of year it is also a very nice place to take in the Aspen that were turning into the spectacular colors. Here is just one of many photos we would take to give you just a small hint as what the trail was like…

Aspen Colors

Our next stop will be in Como, Colorado to mainly get photographs of the hotel.  A little history might be in order as to how this has a railroad twist and hopefully I have the dates right; if not, I will correct.  The Denver, South Park and Pacific reach here in June 1879 and the Roundhouse built in 1881.  The Depot was built in 1879 and was later altered into a “L” shape and the depot today is under renovation.  The Original hotel (Gilman Depot Hotel) was built here and opened for business January 1, 1881, extended in March 1882, and taken over by Union Pacific in 1885.  Sadly in November 1896 that hotel was lost in a fire.  Here is an old photo of that hotel that is online at the The Narrow Gauge Circle website (http://www.narrowgauge.org/)

The new “South Park Hotel by the Railroad” (or also known as the “Eating House”) was built in 1897 and still stand today.  The DSP&P operated their last train here in April 1937 and the tracks removed a year later.  Here is one of the photos we took of this hotel on this day along with the Roundhouse and Depot…

Como ColoradoComo ColoradoComo Colorado

From here we head down the highway a bit father to Red Hill Pass where some of the old DSP&P route can still be seen.  The Aspen colors from here are also wonderful.  From here you can also see the “” where the old Denver, South Park and Hilltop Railway once operated that you can read more about in this blog from an earlier entry.

From here we will travel to the Fourmile Travel Management Area into an area known as Castle Gulch to view a rock formation know as The Castles.  This will be a Geology (Rock Shot) stop for mainly for Lisa but I do enjoy the geological stops as well; just don’t tell her that…

Fourmile Travel Management Area

From here we head into Buena Vista for several stops which will lead us to another place not on our original plans as we didn’t know it was there!  Our first planned stop is at the Buena Vista Heritage Museum where the Buena Vista Model Railroad Society was founded in February, 1984 until 2004.  Today the model is lightly maintained by the museum and the model is based on the “Denver, South Park and Pacific Railroad,” “Denver, and Rio Grande Railroad” and “Colorado Midland Railroad” during the period of 1900 to 1920.

Buena Vista, ColoradoBuena Vista, COHO Scale

We head down the street a few blocks to the last remaining depot in Chaffee County.  We have taken photos of this depot before but every-time we were here it was closed.  This time we setup our schedule to be here when it was open and it was well worth it.  One artifact inside was the old D&RGW Depot’s desk that somehow survived and I also look a photo of a display that showed this depot being saved / moved to the location it is in today.

Buena Vista ColoradoDenver and Rio Grande Western Deport DeskDenver and Rio Grande Western Deport Desk

Now that we made it into the old DSP&P Depot we turn back to our search of the Colorado Midland Ticket office to get a photo for our records.

Buena Vista Colorado

A building that was not on list (since it wasn’t RR related) that I spotted I stopped to get a photo since it was also a nice old historic building from times long since gone by and it is a Depot; just a Stage Depot.

Buena Vista, CO

Our next structure we locate is the Denver and Rio Grande Western Hospital.  This is the second of the D&RGW Hospitals we have now tracked down that the railroad build to take care of their employees healthcare needs.

Buena Vista Colorado

Our final two planned stops took a bit of research to find as you would not know these were railroad related.  Both of these homes today were originally part of the Colorado Midland and were later moved and became private homes.  The first is the old Telegraph Office that is also known as the Key Hole house and the other is the Section House.  Both were moved to the same neighborhood in Buena Vista and today would just pass as homes and not historic railroad structures.

Buena Vista, COBuena Vista, CO

Now back to the “unplanned” stop; while at the old DSP&P Depot I ask where the old Colorado Midland Depot would have been located since the CM route was on the outside of town well above the town itself and then they would have a stage-coach that passengers from there.  This was not as good of a setup as the DSP&P nor the D&RGW but to get the train into town would have been costly for the CM.  Well, I got not only the location but told how to drive the old ROW to get to the original site as well as to remnants of a trestle.  Time to set up the Video camera to record that section of the grade and take photos!!!!  Here is a sample of some of the photos we took…

Buena Vista, COBuena Vista, CO

Buena Vista, COBuena Vista, CO

Well from here we are off to the Christmas 1806 site where Zebulon Pike stopped while surveying the  Louisiana Purchase. Not much to see put it’s still nice to stop to overlook where history occurred.  The sign itself was placed in 1964 and is still in good shape…

Zebulon Pike - Louisiana Purchase

As we head back towards our hotel in Gunnison, we stop for more Aspen GOLD shots as the trees are changing very nicely this year!

 
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Posted by on 09/15/2012 in World Tour

 

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2012 – August Weekend Outing – Part 4

The final day of our extended weekend but we have a few more stops in the area planned before we head for home.  Our first destination for the day is up Chalk Creek Canyon (Mt Princeton) which is near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO to find a waterfall Lisa has read about.

We reach the Trail Head and start our hike up into the canyon.  We find an unexpected sign about the Denver, South Park, and Pacific railway and sure enough across the valley there is the old ROW (Right of Way) for the railroad.  As Lisa jokes, somehow I seem to always find a railroad twist in nearly anyplace we go.  So much railroad history to explore, so little time…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

There is another sign along the trail about Mount Antero that is also across the way…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

But our main goal at this location was to reach Agnes Vaille Falls.  This being August, not much water is flowing compared to spring runoff but the hike up was very nice and we could get all the way up to the falls.

Mountain Wowan Mountain Wowan

As we hiked back down looking at the DSP&P RR across the way and thinking of how the road today goes up the valley we decided to drive up more to see if/were the old railway and road might cross.  Sure enough not only did we find it, it’s a Rail Trail; something to add to our list to hike some day…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

From here we turn back to Buena Vista, CO to track down a sequence of three Colorado and Midland Railroad Tunnels.  Lisa and I will both take photos plus I will setup the dashboard Video Camera to record travel though them.  Here is one of Lisa’s shots that shows the sequence as they are close together…

Buena Vista, CO

Back to Buena Vista we go to track down a bridge of Denver and Rio Grande Western that are part of the Tennessee Pass route.  It’s listed on the map as the Railroad Bridge Campground and we figure there is a reason for that name.  Well, as we head towards the campground we would also find another RR bridge built in 1936 made of concrete we would also stop and get a shot of.  So, we bag two historical bridges!!!

Tennessee Pass - Buena Vista, CO Tennessee Pass - Buena Vista, CO

It’s time to head for home and we will make one more stop on top of Tennessee Pass where the 10th Mountain Division Memorial is at.  If you love to Ski in Colorado you should come up here and say Thank You to these VETS as they are part of Ski history as well

10th Mountain Division Memorial

 

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2011: September Outing – Part 3

Today’s plan is hiking in Mueller State Park which also contains Midland Terminal Railroad history.

We will head south on Highway 67 to CO Hwy 64 following the Colorado Midland Route and photograph one of the remains of an old trestle.

We will then head up to the old American Eagles Gold Mine as well as stop at the modern Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mine.

Modern Gold Mine

American Eagles Gold Mine

 
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Posted by on 09/18/2011 in RRAdventures

 

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