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Video – Pacific Southwest Railway Cab Ride

Enjoy a Round-Trip Cab ride while with me as well as seeing many of the other railroad pieces at the Campo facility as we head toward the Mexico border at Tunnel #4. In the first half I will show you a map of our location along the route as we travel backwards and then enjoy full screen view out the window as we head back toward the museum. I also included history of the Southern Pacific Diesel Engine about half way into the video. So, sit back and enjoy this ~30 minute video

 
 

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2013 – Silverdale Historic District

Up near Georgetown, there is an old Ghost Town know as Silverdale and we will spend most of the day exploring this area.

To begin with we catch a few signs at the parking area at the trail head…

Silverdale Interpretive SiteSilverdale Interpretive Site

Our first stop will be at the ruins of the Colorado Central Mill and we will also find a friend enjoying the quite morning up here in the mountains.  The mill stopped operating in the 1920’s.

Colorado Central MillDeer near Colorado Central Mill

The vast majoring of the trail we will be hiking is also old mining Railroad bed so you know I will be taking photos all along the route to document it and we will also find a few remnants along the way

Silverdale Mining RailroadSilverdale Mining Railroad

The trail dead-ends where the railroad would have crossed the creek as at a trestle is long since gone and then over another one yet

Silverdale Mining Railroad

We will double back and drive up the road to another trail head where we catch an old mining structure that would have been near where the railroad would have come after crossing the Leavenworth Creek.

Silverdale Mining Ruin

Above this location yet would have been Marshall Tunnel which today is no longer accessible…

Marshall Tunnel Marshall Tunnel

We will head into Georgetown and have lunch at the old Colorado Central Depot that was also used by the Georgetown Loop Railroad.

Colorado Central Depot - Georgetown, CO

Just would be right not to at least catch a photo of the train while in town…

Georgetown Loop Railroad

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 8B

We head up into the canyon as far as allowed.  The roadway heading up to the dam is basically the old D&RGW Right-of-Way.

Morrow Point Dam

Morrow Point DamMorrow Point Dam

Also here is trail along Mesa Creek that take you down to river level.  We will take a short hike beyond the bridge and down stream.  In the photo below you can see the muddy water of the creek as it reaches the clearer water of the river.

Mesa Creek Trail

Mesa Creek TrailMesa Creek Trail

As we continue our Adventures we cross over Cerro Summit; quick stop for a photo.

Cerro Summit (7,959ft)

Cerro Summit (7,959ft)

Once in Montrose we head back to the D&RGW Depot; this time to tour the inside of the now Montrose Heritage Museum.  Lots of interesting stuff inside and out including a few more Railroad items.

D&RGW Depot – Montrose, CO (Heritage Museum)

D&RGW Depot - Montrose, CO (Heritage Museum)D&RGW Depot - Montrose, CO (Heritage Museum)

Baggage Cart - Montrose Heritage MuseumD&RGW Curecanti Post  - Montrose Heritage Museum

UP Caboose #25668 - Montrose Heritage Museum  – UP Caboose #25668 - Montrose Heritage Museum

We will also head over to another museum to find out it’s FREE DAY so score one for timing.  Wonderful Native America museum dedicated to the Ute Indian Tribe.  Well worth the stop!

Ute Indian Museum

Ute Indian Museum

With the day complete We make one last stop to photograph a Boxcar we have seen many time when here in town but have never stopped to photograph.  Chalk up one Fruit Growers Express Refrigerator Car now used as a storage shed.

FHIX #40456

FHIX #40458 Boxcar

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 7c

We end this day with more Railfanning stops and to take in the wonderful nature views of the area

First stop is in Dolores, CO where we track down the old Rio Grande Southern Eatery as well as take a photo of the depot from another angle

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From there we head over Lizard Head Pass (10,222ft) and stop to photograph to RGS Logo peak

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Here is also a photograph of Pilot Knob, Golden Horn, and Vermillion Peak from atop the pass

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Onto Ridgway in hope to find the Railroad Museum open to check out the display inside – Yes, It’s open this time!

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A new arrival outside is also D&RGW #118 Business Car

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We will also track down the D&RGW Ridgway Depot as well

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Time to call it a day and head back to the hotel for the night…

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 5A

As we start off our fifth day of our vacation I stop at a gas station in Monte Vista and I am shocked to see a train station where one should not be.  See, the Monte Vista depot is gone yet it looks to be right there where it once was.  Well, after some research, I had to laugh.  See, in 1953 Bob Richardson and Carl Helfin built a replica of the Rio Grande Southern’s Mancos depot for the Narrow Gauge Museum & Motel south of Alamosa.  That depot is also very similar to the one that was once here in Monte Vista.  When Bob moved the Narrow Gauge Museum to Golden in 1958, the building remained at the Narrow Gauge Motel. Sometime later, it was moved to Cole Park in Alamosa and was used as their County Chamber of Commerce building.  The city of Alamosa since decided to do an expansion of the municipal buildings at Cole Park and the depot building was in the way. SLRG purchased the building for use in Monte Vista.  Here is a historic photo postcard of the original Monte Vista Depots (Freight & Passenger) along with the photo I took of depot that now stands here today.

Monte Vista, COMonte Vista, CO

I will also get shots of RAMPART RANGE CORPORATION RRBX #2095

RRBX #2095

and of AMERICAN RAILCAR LEASING, INC. SHPX #203212 tankers

SHPX #203212

Next stop is Del Norte, CO where we track down the D&RGW Depot

Del Norte, CO - D&RGW Depot

Also here in town is Denver and Rio Grande Western Caboose #0580

D&RGW #0580 Caboose

As we head into South Fork for our next two historic structures we spot a Railfan opportunity and stop for a few photos.  We find Santa Fe Passenger Car #36, a diesel engine labeled White Satin / Brighten with what looks to be NO-1, and a old Seaboard Coast Line Passenger Car now labeled PPCX #6401.

Santa Fe #36White Satin Brighton NO-1Seaboard Coast Line / PPCX #6401

Across from them is our first historic structure we were searching for; the South Fork D&RGW Water Tank.

South Fork, CO - Water Tank

Our other historic structure we had on our search list was the D&RGW Depot of South Fork, CO

South Fork Depot - D&RGW

Today this is also used as a tourist line but they are closed so we will make plans to return here someday.  But, that didn’t stop me from taking a few photos include one of the Hy-Rail truck of the new D&RG Railway labeled the Wagon Wheel Gap Route ( South Fork / Creede )

DRG-002 / Denver & Rio Grande Railway Wagon Wheel Gap Route South Fork to CreedeNot a bad start to our day!

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 4B

The second half of the day is primarily about Railfanning; our way, which is searching out remnants of railroad history…

As we pass through La Jara, CO we stop by the depot.  When we were here in 2005 it was being used as the Town Hall but now it looks to be back in railroad usage.  This was originally a D&RGW Passenger Depot.

La Jara, CO - D&RGW Passenger Depot

We next head over to Antonito to check on the Ex-Conejos Depot that is endangered.  The stone work makes this a unique building and is worth saving so I hope someone can obtain the funds and purpose to keep it from being lost to history.

Antonito - Ex-Conejos (D&RGW) Depot

Also here in Antonito is a historic hotel that belonged to the D&RGW that was built in 1890 and was called the Palace Hotel.  Railroads of the past often owned destination hotels / resorts / ships to maximize their revenue.

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As we head up over La Manga Pass (10,230ft) we stop at the Scenic Overlook on the eastern side; nice views!

La Manga Pass Scenic Overlook

We swung over to Cumbres Pass just to see what we might catch of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad but no trains in sight.  I will take a photo of one of the large trestles near Los Pinos from afar.

Los Pinos Trestle - Cumbres & Toltec

Also get a photo of the Los Pinos Water Tank from a different location

Los Pinos Water Tank - Cumbres & Toltec

One last photo for the day would be to get a nice shot of the Cumbres Pass Trestle that I had never gotten in the past.

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That’s it for Day #4 of our nine day trip…

 
 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2D

Cripple Creek-Victor Mining District

This area today is being heavily mined by what is known as the Cresson surface mine.  Because of this, the historical structures in the area are moved (the best they can) so where you find things one year might be different the next.  This was very true on this trip as we found various things moved again…

After crossing 250-foot bridge over Arequa Gulch that was constructed by the Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company we head into the next section.  We are expecting to stop to take photos on structure on the left side of the road but are surprised to see a Headframe on the right.  After a bit of research, I determine it’s from the Golden Wedge Mine.  This headframe was originally at  38.727941° N / 105.157534° W but it’s been moved to 38.724918° N / 105.167238° W now.

Golden Wedge Mine

Beacon Hill Phonolite Plug

To our left we find the Nichol’s Mine as expected at 38.722430° N / 105.165642° W

Nichol's MineNichol's Mine

Next down the valley is the El Paso Mine at 38.719252° N / 105.170454° W

El Paso Mine

Farther yet down the valley is the Mary Nevin Mine at 38.718397° N / 105.175245° W

Mary Nevin Mine

As you continue on State Highway 67 we will reach a timber wall or cribbing on the right that supported the dump rock of the Mary MacKinney Mine.  This cribbing was originally placed here to permit the passage of the Florence and Cripple Creek Railroad (F&CC) on what is now the highway.  You can start to see how the current Cresson surface mine is pushing down hill into this area.

Cribbing – Mary McKinney Mine

Anaconda, CO

As we make the tight turn in the highway, this is where Anaconda, CO once stood and the railroad once also had a depot that is now in Cripple Creek used by the tourist railroad today.  We will stop after making the curve in the highway where we can get more of a panoramic view of the changes that have occurred since we were last here.

As we look to our left down the highway we just passed over we can now clearly see why the Golden Wedge Mine Headframe was moved as the Cresson surface mine has pushed into that location now.  We also note the old Blacksmith Shop building is missing (unknown status) and can barley make out where the old dept once stood now.  What was once left of Anaconda’s ghost town is nearly gone now and what remains will be gone soon…

Anaconda, CO

Rotating clockwise, the cribbing  of the Mary MacKinney Mine is back in view of the camera again.

Anaconda, CO

Rotating clockwise again, you can truly see between all these three photos the impact the Cresson surface mine is having now.  It won’t be long and this entire area will be transformed.

Anaconda, CO

Zooming in, I will also capture a closer view of the Chicken Hawk Mine at 38.726301° N / 105.163991° W.  I wonder how much longer it will remain.

Chicken Hawk Mine

Here is a couple of Goggle Earth Images from 2001 and 2012 of the Cresson surface mine to show growth over ~10 years of mining operations.  Anaconda, CO stood basically where you see the hairpin curve in the highway in the middle of these images

Cresson Mine - 2001

Cresson Mine - 2012

 
 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 2C

Before we leave Victor, I will also catch a photo of the Midland Terminal train station from a different angle

Midland Terminal - Victor, CO

We leave town and then make a stop at The Little Grouse Mountain Mining Exhibit ( 38.710412° -105.162187°) that is a roadside museum of various mining equipment

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From that same location you can also see the Arequa Gulch Bridge – Highest Bridge on Colorado State Highway System (38.714215° / -105.165698°); 1,218 ft Long / 250+ feet high.

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Time to head on down the road for our next stop…

 

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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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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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