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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 – 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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Video – B&O Museum 1999

 

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A Crummy Gift

A “Crummy” is Railroad slang for a Caboose and that is what I got as a gift on October 17th from a good friend of mine at the office.  Steve knows that I am into trains and he decided to pull an office prank on me by taking an old cardboard box from his new lawnmower and some scrap-wood and build a caboose.  He then hauled it to the office along with tools to make final adjustments and hook it up to my hitch that is an imitation railroad coupler.  Once he had it attached he let the rest of the office in on it and then sprung it on me.

What a laugh!  I truly enjoyed it and would pack it up inside the 4×4 and take it home to get it set back up in the driveway before Lisa knew I was home.  When she saw it she started laughing wondering where the heck I got it at.  She insisted on taking a photo of me with my new train car and she says we should at least keep it until X-Mas to put out with the rest of the display.

So, from Steve’s garage to mine the Caboose goes.  Thanks Steve; it brought a smile and a fun laugh!!!!!!!

My new Yellow Crummy all hitched up and ready to head down the Right-of-Way behind our 4×4…

OfficeHome

 
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Posted by on 10/17/2012 in Other, RRAdventures

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 9

On this day we will travel for home but will make a few stops along the way.  Our first stop being at Dotsero Volcano.  From Wikipedia, Dotsero is a 700-meter (2,300 ft) wide by 400-meter (1,300 ft) deep maar volcano located in Dotsero, Colorado near the junction of the Colorado River and the Eagle River. It is classified as a scoria cone with evaporitic rock, basaltic tephra, and oxidized sandstone. Erupting approximately 4200 years ago, it is the youngest volcano in Colorado.

Once we reach Eagle, CO we will stop at the Rest Stop to get photos of D&RGW Caboose #01461.

Eagle, CO

We don’t have plans for any major hikes today but will take a short detour off of I-70 to go up to Shrine Pass to look at the area for a future hike.  We noted the “Caution” sign we spotted as we drove up to the pass being something unexpected

With that, we drive the rest of the way home completing our 1,704 mile romp through Colorado over nine days.

 

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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 6

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.

Rabbit Valley Research Natural Area

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.

Fruita, ColoradoDinosaur Journey

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.

Fruita, ColoradoFruita, ColoradoFruita, Colorado

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.


Well, you can’t visit here without at least stopping at Balanced Rock as the best angles are not from roadside but a short walk away from the road

Colorado National Monument
We will stop next at the Fruita Canyon Overlook where you can also see Balanced Rock down below

Colorado National Monument
We will only take a short hike on the Canyon Rim Trail this time just to capture a few shots near the visitor center itself.

Colorado National MonumentColorado National Monument

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.

Colorado National MonumentColorado National Monument

Also right in this area is Monument Canyon where other soft red sandstone formations stand tall above the valley floor.

Colorado National Monument
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.

Colorado National Monument
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.

Colorado National Monument
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.

Colorado National Monument
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.

Colorado National MonumentColorado National Monument

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.

Grand Junction, Colorado

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.

Grand Junction, Colorado

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.

Grand Junction ColoradoGrand Junction ColoradoGrand Junction, Colorado

Grand Junction, Colorado

Well, that is it from this day but there is still several more days to go for this trip report…

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 5

This day will be all about the Black Canyon of the Gunnison – South Rim. The South Rim is more visited so it takes longer to just do to more people and cars at each stop.  We decided to skip “Dragon Point” for various reasons but would make all the other stops.

South Rim

Our first stop is a bit of a detour and a steep drive down below the Diversion Dam in hopes to get a photo of the dam itself; no luck.  Security of today’s climate has the dam fenced off so far up canyon you can only see a small section of it from the fence.  Still, the canyon itself made the trip down well worth the drive down.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkDiversion Dam

Next stop is Tomichi Point.  As you can see the morning haze and smoke from distant fires makes for an interesting photo.  We will stop by here again before the day is out and you will see how the image changes in several hours later in this blog.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Lisa will now start hiking down the Rim Rock Trail towards the visitor center.  I will drive down to the visitor center and start hiking the Rim Rock Trail the other way and meet her back at the visitor center.

Black Canton of the Gunnison

With Lisa and I both now at the Visitor Center we will head out the back door to the overlook…

Black Canyon of the GunnisonBlack Canyon of the Gunnison

Time to drive down to the Pulpit Rock Overlook.  Have I mentioned that these stops and trails take you out to rim of the canyon from there is straight down so watch were you step or the next step could be your last.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

We will break for lunch and find a picnic table pull out the food we packed in the 4×4.  We have now been in the park for three (3) hours and still have allot of stops still to go.

From there we head to Cross Fissures.  Lisa and a little me can not help notice the geologic details that add to the beauty of the canyon and the forces that took to carve this canyon.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Our next photo op location is Rock Point where the canyon walls are nearly vertical sheer drops to the floor below.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Off to Devils Overlook next.  Again to note, there is little to no railing so yes you can walk right up to the edge and fall quite easy so it best to stay back at least a few feet / yards from the edge when taking photos.

Chasm View is out next stop that is a strongly built platform with walls.  So, if you are a bit squeamish with height this is a good place to stop and look outward to enjoy the canyon.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

A short drive / walk you reach Painted Wall and yes you will be waking right out to the edge here for the best photos.  I did meet a couple that his wife was a bit squeamish with the lack of railings but we were able to get her close enough to see and enjoy the view.  The trick was to keep her looking forward and not down and let her set the pace.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Cedar Point is the next stop and a great place to get photos of the Gunnison River below as it continues to carve the canyon deeper and wider.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

Farther down the road we reach Sunset View where you can see way up the canyon.  You can also see the Cedar Point overlook on the right with it’s well built railings.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

We will also spot some of the wildlife that calls this place home.  It was amazing how many people didn’t see it or even know what they were looking at.  The Turkey Vulture calls this place home and can be seen flying overhead if you look up.  Folks were sure grateful we pointed the one out resting on the rocks along the trail to the overlook.

Black Canyon of the GunnisonBlack Canyon of the Gunnison

High Point is the end of the road for the South Rim.  This photo is looking back up the canyon put right behind me are farm fields.  There is also a trail-head here but we won’t take it as the day is nearly gone

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

I mentioned at the beginning of this blog entry we would stop again at Tomichi Point before leaving the South Rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.  Note the difference in haze / light from the either photo taken at nearly the same point / angle hours apart.  This is why you can come to a place like this over and over and not see the same thing just because of difference in light.

Black Canyon of the Gunnison

It’s nearly 3PM and we have now been in the park for seven (7) hours and for us it is time to head back to Grand Junction and have dinner and call it a day.  As Lisa says, I always seem to find something railroad related and what do I find in the parking lot at dinner but Union Pacific #43784 High-Railer maintenance truck.

High-Railer MOW Truck

 

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2012 – Goose Fest – Day #3

We are invited to an early (4:45A) opening to catch the Geese at sunrise; let’s say I didn’t make it but I was in at 6:45A to take a few more shots of the group as well as individual shots of each.  Here is my pick for this final blog entry of the Colorado Railroad Museum Goose Fest 2012…

Don will also treat us to a private inside showing of two other special cars here at the museum.  Video camera rolling as I walk through these two cars.  Here is the outside and you will have to wait for the Youtube video to come out to see the inside…

Again, I want to thank Don and the Colorado Railroad Museum for hosting this event along with the other organizations that contributed.  And for Knot’s Berry Farm – SHAME ON YOU! for not allowing RGS #3 to come to this extremely important historical event.  Maybe next time you will step up and help make history happen…

For all you folks that attended and stood in those long lines, this VIP pass was worth every penny…

 

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2012 – Goose Fest – Day #2

It’s Saturday morning and I arrive early to set up the video camera to record the RGS Galloping Geese move onto the Turn-Table to start their parade around the track.  The crowds were amazing so I was sure glad to have my VIP pass to get in Cab Rides and not be stuck way back in line. I would take Cab Rides in #1, #4, #5, and #7 around the loop and it #2 on the side track.  Since #6 was also on the side track and I took a wonderful Cab Ride in #6 in 2010 I skip #6 this round.

The VIP’s will also use the UP Diner Car as our own private base-camp…

Now for that History I promised within the Day #1 blog, here is what the Colorado Railroad Museum says

Galloping Geese will be waddling around the track of the Colorado Railroad Museum for Goose Fest.

Goose Fest features rides throughout the day on select geese. This gaggle of “geese” showcases the “Galloping Goose” Museum exhibit highlighting all the historic details of these unusual rail vehicles.

Our Depot General Store has a great selection of Goose merchandise on hand and Mother Goose will join us Sunday for story time.

About the Galloping Geese

The Galloping Geese are a series of seven railcars that ran on the Rio Grande Southern (RGS) Railroad from 1931–1952. They helped accommodate travel by rail in the remote and isolated regions of far southwestern Colorado. They traveled a stretch of rail over 160 miles long that ran from the town of Ridgway, Colorado on the north to Durango, Colorado on the south.

The RGS called these unusual vehicles Motors, using them as less expensive alternatives to operating steam engines. The Geese retained the automobile engines and bodies from the original cars, mounted over a frame that included attached cargo boxes.

They get the unique name “Galloping Goose” because the uneven railroad track made them “waddle” when they traveled. Also, the air horn sounded more like a “quack” compared to the regular steam locomotive whistle. Lastly, the Goose was run with its hoods flared open to facilitate greater engine cooling and looked like a goose straining for airspeed. This was necessary because the altitude made the water boil off quickly. The geese would frequently stop at water towers along the way to “take a drink” and fill up their water tanks.

The Colorado Railroad Museum owns Geese No. 2, 6, and 7; the Galloping Goose Historical Society in Dolores, Colorado owns No. 5; the City of Telluride, Colorado owns No. 4 (which has just been restored back to service) and Karl Schaffer, from Ridgway, Colorado has built a replica of No. 1.

After an exciting day of taking Cab Rides and taking tons of Video and Still photographs of them running around the track the museum closes to the public and the geese are put back to bed at the Roundhouse.  Our day though is not over, it’s time for our Formal Dinner so back to the UP Diner car we go to have what else for dinner, Goose!  Donald Tallman (Executive Director) will server all our meals; what a host!!!!!!!

Our night is still not over as we head back outside (where it’s much cooler) to listen about the history of the RGS Galloping Geese from who else, Stan Rhine.  He had a few things to also give the CRRM Library which were absolutely historically priceless on the RGS Geese.  Thank You Stan, it was an honor to meet you for the first time and also thank you for signing my copy of “Tin Feathers, Wooden Trestles and Iron Men”

 

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