Today we depart Cortez and head for Montrose for the night. Our drive will take us through Mancos, Dolores, Rico, Lizard Head Pass, Trout Lake, Ophir, Telluride, Vance Jct., Placerville, Dallas Divide, and Ridgway. Yes, we are following nearly the entire route of the Rio Grande Southern today taking lots of photos along the way.
Our first major stop of the day is an Mancos to locate and photograph the depot…
We will pass back through Dolores where we visited the Depot there along with Galloping Goose #5 but they are closed today which is why we rushed to get their yesterday. So, onto Rico to find and photograph the Water Tank.
From there we head over Lizard Head pass (10,222 ft) and we are in luck to find Lizard Head Peak not completely covered in the clouds.
Note the Peak in the RGS Logo!!!
From here we head down to Trout Lake to find the Water Tank on this side of the pass.
The road is on the actual RGS roadbed and it looks to be in good shape so we will head up the road a way to find the trestle…
As we head down the canyon we will find an overlook where we can photograph the RGS roadbed across the canyon from the highway near Ophir. No time today to try to get to the Ophir Loop but you can spot the roadbed easy from here.
Turning off the highway, we head up to Telluride for lunch as well as find and photograph the depot here as well.
We once again head back to the highway and look for a turn-off that will get us the where Vance Jct. once existed and see if we can find the Coal Shoots as we have no other information on its location. We had given up hoping finding it after driving up the dirt road awhile so we turned back to the highway and through the tress we spot it and record the GPS location and get a few shots from the road; too far to hike over to it today.
On to Placerville where we will find one ruin of the small trestles still to be found in the area.
Then, up to the Dallas Divide Summit (8,970 ft). There was a large trestle near here that sadly was lost to time a few years ago. The only thing left near here now is the old Stock Yard used in loading/unloading into the RGS Stock Cars.
We reach Ridgway and stopped at the museum where there is various pieces of RR history to enjoy including Rio Grande Southern Galloping Goose #1 and #4. Here is just a wide view of the area as I will save the close up shots for the full trip report.
With that we have reached the end of the RGS line and head towards Montrose. We heard there was an antique store that has a few D&RGW Boxcars / Stock Cars so we keep a look out for it on the way towards town. Yep, there they are, three of them including the Stock Car; all being used to hold other antique items in them as part of the store.
Once we get into Montrose itself we will also track down the D&RGW depot that is here as well.
Well, not a bad Ghostfanning version of Railfanning as we found everything we set out too given what time we had before heading on to the hotel and find someplace to eat dinner…