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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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2012 – Goose Fest – Day #1

Golden, Colorado

For the past three days as part of a VIP package I have been at the Colorado Railroad Museum for a special fund-raising event know as Goose Fest which highlights the Rio Grande Southern (RGS) Galloping Geese.  On Day #1 (Friday) I took advantage of not only coming to see the famous engines together for the first time but to also take in the museum as a whole.

Here is just a tiny example of the type of equipment that call the CRRM home…

Rio Grande

There is also a wonderful Library here and if you need information on Narrow Gauge railroads this is the primary facility to come to.  As I get closers to retirement I too hope to help work here at the library helping to bring it into the digital age.

I will also take photographs & video of the Galloping Geese getting setup in fount of the Roundhouse / Restoration facility.  The original plan for Goose Fest 2012 was to have all seven (7) of the RGS Engines together for the first time but at the 11th hour Knott’s Berry Farm pulled RGS #3 from this historic event.  Here is a shot of six (6) of the seven (7) all lined up in order in numerical order…

Galloping Geese

After a wonderful day, and the museum now closed to the public, the Colorado Railroad Museum treated the VIP’s to an informal dinner in the museum giving us a chance to get to know each other.  We are also treated with a showing of TIN FEATHERS, GASOLINE, AND FUMES about these historic engines.

With dinner ate, we head back outside to a Night Photo session of the RGS Engine in front of the Roundhouse.  My simple Point-n-Shot was not meant for this type of photography but I will run the video camera at the same time to catch this unique experience.  Those with better 35mm / Digital cameras I’m sure got some wonderful shots with the help of strobe lights that were setup for this photography special.

Night Shoot

Time to go home after spending nearly 14 hours at the CRRM and download Day #1’s images and videos and get ready to get up early for Day #2.  I will give more history about the engines in the next blog entry…

 

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2012 – Railfanning East of Town

On this day trip we head out east on I-70 with three planned stops…

Stop #1 is a quick drive to Montebello, CO which is just east of Denver in Adams County.  Here we track down the Union Pacific Freight Depot also know as Roydale.  Not much to look at but still another Railroad Station located and photographed!  I will also take some other Railfan shots of equipment that I will save for the full trip report…

UP Depot

From there we head to Strasburg in Arapahoe County.  Our primary stop here is the Comanche Crossing Historical Society Museum.  Lots of interesting items big and small to enjoy including the old Union Pacific Depot that was moved to this location for preservation.

UP Depot

We also know that the old CRI&P Simla Depot from Elbert County has also been moved to just south of town and is a private home of a major Railfan in this area.

CRI&P Depot

Our third and final stop of this chapter of RRAdventures in Limon in Lincoln County.  Here we head for the Limon Heritage Museum and Railroad Park which also include the Chicago, Rock Island, and Pacific / Union Pacific Depot along with other railroad RR equipment and historical items of this area.  To our surprise we will also find Ron from the Georgetown Loop working at the museum; it was his first day and it was great chatting with him.

CRI&P / UP Depot

I will also find the current UP Freight Depot just behind the museum.

UP Depot

From there we head back home in 90+ degree heat logging nearly 200 miles of driving for the afternoon trip

 
 

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2012 – Wichita Kansas – Part 4

It’s now Day #4 of our five-day mini vacation.  The rest of the family heads home today but we will remain to explore more of the area.  We will start off heading out to Beaumont, Kansas to track down a Frisco Water Tower that is the last of its kind.

Beaumont, KS

We now head to Augusta, KS to track down an old SLSF (Frisco) Depot as well as an old AT&SF Depot that is now used by BNSF.  We found a few BNSF critters while we were there along with some other equipment.

Augusta, KSAugusta, KSAugusta, KS

From there it is off to Winfield, KS to track down an AT&SF Depot and by chance I spot the “modern” BNSF building behind it and also catch a diesel engine that I can get a quick shot of.

Winfield, KSWinfield, KSWinfield, KS

Our next stop is Mulvane, KS where we are again tracking down another AT&SF Depot along with a Santa Fe Caboose.  It’s a museum that we knew would not be open but that does not mean I can’t take photos of the outside!

Mulvane, KSMulvane, KS

We get a bite to eat as we head back to Wichita, KS.  As the wife reminds me often; not everything on our trips gets to be RR related.  I agree and at 1PM the Museum of World Treasures opens up and it’s a very nice museum with items from many different eras so off to museum we go.  The second floor is filed with all sort of military stuff from old to semi-modern times; well worth the stop

Wichita, KS

Afterwards I drop Lisa off at the hotel as it has gotten extremely hot and she is wiped.  During our travels earlier in the day I spotted what looked to be a depot and a caboose near Douglass so I will head back out.  Sure enough I find a AT&SF Depot (which is actually a replica) and another SF Caboose; score!

Douglass, KSDouglass, KS

The caboose is actually For Sale so if anyone is interested I have the owner’s contact info.  I wonder what the S&H costs would be on it as I think it would look great in my backyard.

Well, time to head back to Wichita and take Lisa to dinner but I have still a little time to stop by Friends University to check out the campus my niece just graduated from.  I will take a few pictures to add into the video I going to make for her of her graduation.  Here is the Admin. Building that is the largest of the buildings on campus.

Wichita, KS

 

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Video – Goosefest 2010

Latest YouTube Video Upload. Raw material Taken on May 9, 2010 at the Colorado Railroad Museum during Goosefest 2010.  The main highlight of this video is a Cab Ride in Rio Grande Southern #6.

In 1934 Goose #6 was built from the body of a Buick sedan and a Buick engine. She runs on two trucks, the rear one is powered. Most of the parts used to build #6 came from Goose #1 which had just been scrapped. Number 6 replaced the steam-powered work trains on the railroad, she never saw regular passenger service.

Later, #6 was rebuilt with Pierce-Arrow body and engine. Today she is preserved at the Colorado Railroad Museum and is still operational.

 
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Posted by on 11/14/2011 in RRAdventures, Videos

 

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