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Tag Archives: Narrow Gauge

2013 – Colorado Railroad Museum – Open Car Day (AUG)

It’s another great Colorado Railroad Museum Open Car day and yes RRAdventures was there!

While we waited for the volunteers to get the cars opened up we enjoyed the D&RGW #346 make a Run-By…

UP Diner No. 4801

UP Diner No. 4801
D&RG Caboose No. 0578

D&RG Caboose No. 0578
AT&SF Observation Car Navajo

AT&SF Observation Car Navajo
D&RGW Dielsel Engine A & B Unit Nos. 5771 & 5762

D&RGW Dielsel Engine A & B Unit Nos. 5771 & 5762

D&RGW Dielsel Engine A & B Unit Nos. 5771 & 5762

Union Pacific Coach No. 5442 was also open but since we also had the opportunity to tour it’s interior at a  previous event ( 2013 – Colorado Railroad Museum – Open Car Day (MAR) ) we skipped it on this day.

Down in the basement, there was also a display going on called:  Life on Colorado Rails

Life on Colorado Rails

Life on Colorado RailsLife on Colorado Rails

Have to also stop by the Denver HO Model Railroad Club also here in the basement

Denver HO Model Railroad Club

We have not been to Buffalo Bill’s Grave for a long time so we also made a stop there while in town too…

Colonel William Frederick Cody Grave

 

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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 8A

Curecanti National Recreation Area

As we approach the end of this trip we will head into Curecanti for some views along with a little historic Railfanning.  Our first stop is at Pioneer Point to catch a different view of the D&RGW Logo Peak know as Curecanti Needle.

Curecanti - Pioneer Point

Curecanti NeedleCurecanti Needle

There also some great views of the river and side waterways that run deep in this canyon

IMG_5441

Our next stop is at Hermits Rest where you can get great views of the Rugged San Juans as well as take a hike into the canyon for those in better shape and have more time then we have…

Curecanti - Hermits Rest

Curecanti - Hermits RestCurecanti - Hermits Rest Trail

Curecanti - Hermits RestCurecanti - Hermits Rest

We will head towards Cimarron, CO as we heard the D&RGW Train Display might be up again and even though it isn’t, we catch the Steam Engine / Tender #278, Boxcar #3132, and Caboose #0577 in a back lot.  If you look at my older posts of the Display before it was recently restored these historic railroad equipment was in bad shape.

IMG_5467

IMG_5468

IMG_5470

IMG_5465

 

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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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2013 – Colorado Railroad Museum – Ride in Varnish

Colorado Railroad Museum

Ride in “Varnish”

This Saturday the Colorado Railroad Museum featured a completely historic 1880’s “Varnish” consist featuring Steam Locomotive No. 40, Rail Post Office No. 60, Passenger Coach Nos. 280 and 284 (with red velvet seats and pot bellied stoves), and RGS Business Car “Rico”.  the private business car that the famous 19th C. photographer William Henry Jackson used when his was hired to photograph the Rio Grande Southern line.

 
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Posted by on 01/19/2013 in RRAdventures, Trip Reports

 

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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 4

It’s a new day and we make an early start to catch the Dillon Pinnacles in the Curecanti National Recreation Area from an overlook on US50 over the Blue Mesa Reservoir.  Here the is another sign called the Anatomy of a Mesa talking about this geologic formation.

The Blue Mesa Reservoir is very large and covered over made historical places including Sapinero, CO.  This town was once known as “Soap Creek” when it was formed by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad in 1881.  Today only the fish travel its streets below the water.

Our first hike of the day will be the Pine Creek Trail which is a Rail Trail of the D&RGW with the trail head being at 38 27.013N 107 20.715W.  The trail starts off with a lot of stairs to get you down from the parking lot on the canyon rim to where the railroad Right-of-Way is above water just below the Blue Mesa Dam spillway

Once down on the Right of Way, it is an easy level walk along the railroad grade.  This is also the way to get to the Boat Tour dock (Morrow Point Boat Tours) to tour Morrow Point Reservoir that Lisa and I did several years ago.  With the water levels here also down, the grade for the Denver & Rio Grande Western is above water well beyond the dock so we will take advantage of this and hike until the water levels finally get above the roadbed; I would say we got about 1.5 miles into the canyon before the water cut us off.

Denver and Rio Grande RailroadDenver and Rio Grande Railroad

Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad

While down of the D&RGW roadbed, I spotted a Weasel coming up from the water.  Only got a few shots before it was gone with this being the clearest shot

Pine Creek Trial

Also while on the grade, I would spot a few old Telegraph Polls.

Pine Creek Trial

After hiking back up the stairs, we drive over to the Blue Mesa Dam Overlook where you can also see the D&RGW roadbed that we were just hiking below.
Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad

A bit farther down the road, we reach a pull-off where we can get a nice view of the Curecanti Needle; which is also part of the D&RGW Railway logo.  Good thing we spotted this pull-off as the Overlook area was closed for maintenance.   Don’t look down from where we were if you are afraid of heights as you can tell from the photo Lisa took of me it’s straight down!

Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad

We will stop next at Hermit’s Rest Trail but only hike a small portion of the trail.  The trail will take you all the way down to the shoreline but we just wanted to take a few photographs from higher up.

As we turn get close to Crawfrod, CO, Needle Rock would come into view and though there is a bit of a haze from wildfires it was still worth taking a few shots.


At this point we turned off the highway to head for the less seen Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park North Rim.  Most folks tour this area from the South Rim which we will do on Day #5.  On this day (being already late in the day) we will make stops at Chasm View, The Narrows, Balanced Rock, Big Island, Island Peaks, and Kneeling Camel.  We will come back to do Explanation Point Day #7

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

Black Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National ParkBlack Canyon of the Gunnison National Park

As we head back out of the North Rim, I will stop for a few shots of the Aspen Colors in this area as well.

Time to drive to Grand Junction that we will us as our hotel base-camp for the next few days…

 
 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 3

On our third day we plan a small morning hike in the Curecanti National Recreation Area at Neversink.  The trail was a bit in rough shape from erosion and fallen trees but it was still a nice level hike to get the day started.

National Recreation Area

Our next stop was at Wilson’s Landing in Curecanti the National Recreation Area.  You can kind of tell the water levels are low from the color of the rock that would normally be underwater.  The high water line you can see the clearest on the rock on the left side of the photo.  The gray color on the bottom half show where the water levels normally get too and you can see that gray color as you scan across the photo to the right.

National Recreation Area

To really see how low the water levels are is when we stopped at the Dry Creek boat ramp.  As you can see on our GPS we should be in the water.  The next photo shows our 4×4 at the bottom of the boat ramp sitting in the sand.  We have walked down from there to reach the current water levels.  Looking over the water you can see the rocks and the line where the water levels are at normally.  If you had been watching the news about all the Fires we had out this way because of drought conditions this should give you an idea how little water has falled in recent years

National Recreation Area

From there we planned another hike at the Dillon Pinnacles here in the Curecanti National Recreation Area.  I took a photo of the sign that explains how this geological formation occurred.  The best photos (to me) are from a distance as once you get closer you can see allot of details but cant see the entire structure.

We will stop for lunch at a picnic area in this same area.  Somewhere now underwater is a town know as Iola, CO that once was a stop for the railroad.  When the dam was built that town, railroad and bridges all went to their watery end.  I had hoped with the low water levels maybe something would be visible but no luck.  The weather was also turning on us.

It was the Denver & Rio Grande Western (Lake Fork Spur) that was once here so our next section of this days trip was to travel down the old Right-of-Way from the higher ground into the canyon that is now flooded by the dam.  Along the route there are various places to stop as well as information signs.  Ruins of the old Railroad Camps use to build the railroad here can still be found.  I will also take video while we drove the drivable sections to capture the route.

Also in this are where various small mines.  We spotted one that was gated took a photo through the gate

We will reach a dead-end soon afterwards and hike the old D&RGW route…

With the low water levels we hiked allot farther then planned because some of the old ROW is currently above water so we could go father then the map said we could.  As we got deeper in, dead tree logs that once were floating on the water are now scattered which made the hike more and more difficult.  We never did get to a point where the water once again covered to old roadbed of the railroad before we decided to turn back.  When hiking these old railroad location don’t forget to look up as often you will spot the old telegraph poles.

When we stopped by the Visitor Center earlier in the day a Ranger suggested scenic drive that is not commonly taken via Highway 149to see Aspen Colors and wonderful Mountain vistas.  He did us good as the drive was wonderful.  These photos I took near 38 10.847N / 107 17.396W based on the GPS we had with us.

Our travel took u also over what was called Soldier Summit (38 10.553 / 107 20.897W)

We would also find the Darrel Duncan Memorial Forest (38 15.290N / 107 22.002W) along this ranger suggested route.

Well, time to call it a day and head back for the hotel but will see more Aspen Color on our way back too…

 

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2012 – Fall Vacation – Part 2

For our second day of our Fall Vacation we will head back to Marshall Pass, this time in the opposite direction from the past trip.  Again, the Aspen Foliage is in it’s full Golden Colors as we make our way through the mountain valleys.

If you recall from my August 18th post (2012 – August Weekend Outing – Part 2) we video recorded Marshall Pass starting from Sargents, CO to US-285, and this trip we will go the other-way to capture the route heading towards Sargents, CO.  Reminder, this is D&RGW Right-of-Way ofn the days of Steam Engines and Narrow Gauge trains that we are recording.

As we travel back towards Gunnison, CO where we are staying again for this section of our journeys we pass by a property that had D&RGW MOW Car #04408 to find they have added another addition; D&RGW #5900.

Our next destination is to travel over Ohio Pass and as we start our journey we can see in the distance along with more great fall colors.

As we close in on our primary Denver, South Park, and Pacific Railroad location on Ohio Pass I will stop for another Mountain / Aspen Color shot.

The DSP&P Railway started to build Grade and Track from Gunnison, CO (which they reached in 1882) over Ohio Pass with plans to reach the Pacific Ocean.  Construction here ended in 1883 with the grade making over the top of Ohio Pass but track laying never reach there.  In building out the grade, the DSP&P had to build “The Great Rock Wall” which still stands today in it partially built along with some Rock Culverts.  The hike was a bit to rocky for us to take all the way for this trip but maybe I will get back here another day to photograph more of this section.

End of the Line

The Great Rock WallGrade - End of the Line

Grade - End of the LineGrade - Big Balloon Loop

While I walked a section of the Big Balloon Loop over the rocky grade, Lisa stayed back and took some great closeup Aspen shots as well as shots of Castle Mountain from this location.

Ohio PassOhio Pass

We will drive over Kebler Pass before heading to Lake Irwin to have lunch along the shoreline.

Our final stop on this day will be at the Jokerville Mine Memorial in Crested Butte, CO.  On January 24, 1884 a serious mine explosion killed several miners   Some of those killed are buried at this location as well.

Crested ButteCrested Butte

Lisa will also get some great shots of Crested Butte and the Aspens colors here too…

See, this is why Lisa doesn’t mind doing these historic railroad trips as we do travel through some wonderful areas with lots of geology and vista and being Fall, we also get great Leaf Peeper shots of the Aspens

 
 

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