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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 9B

Once we completed our drive over Kebler Pass we pass over McClure Pass; (8,755ft)

IMG_557939 07.733N 107 17.124W

Found Hays Creek Falls just outside Redstone, CO

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39 09.510N 107 15.065W

From there we head toward Independence Pass with a stop first at the old Ghost Town

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39 06.412N 106 36.200W

We pass over the Continental Divide at Independence Pass; 12,095ft

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39 06.499N 106 33.848W

Time for lunch and we stop at one of our mountain favorites, the Golden Burro Cafe in Leadville

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We will then head towards Copper Mountain via Fremont Pass 11,318ft

IMG_561539 22.105N 106 11.310W

Once we reach Interstate 70 we head for home; 1,889 miles later

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Posted by on 06/09/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 9A

Our last day of this trip is all about taken a Scenic Drive taking in the Rocky Mountains.  As we leave Gunnison, CO we head up Hwy 135 towards Crested Butte,  It’s June and there is still snow in the high mountains ahead of us.

IMG_554538 49.071N 106 54.536W

Once pass Crested Butte, we take Gunnison County 12 to Kebler Pass where we will also catch one of the residents of the high mountains taking a break catching some morning sunshine.

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As we pass County 12E, we catch this view of Ruby Peak

IMG_555238 51.484N 107 06.749W

As we pass over a bridge we stop to enjoy this view below

IMG_555538 51.779N 107 07.077W

We catch this view of East Beckwith Mountain a bit farther down the road

IMG_556338 51.591N 107 09.382W

We make a stop near Road #706 to read about a trail head here (Lost Lake)

IMG_556738 53.750N 107 12.876W

Here is a shot we took of Marcellina Mountain

IMG_557338 54.638N 107 14.627W

We catch another view of East Beckwith Mountain as well

IMG_557538 55.259N 107 15.811W

 
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Posted by on 06/09/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 5B

As we continue our journeys we head up to Wolf Creek Pass (10,857 ft.)

Wolf Creek Pass

We had also planned a side trip up to Lobo Overlook but we were shocked to find the gate still closed

Lobo Overlook

So down the road we went to the Charles Stith Overlook 37 27.015 N / 106 53.353 W for some great views of the valley below and the interesting geology here as well.

Charles Stith OverlookCharles Stith Overlook

Our next stop is to hike up to Treasure Falls 37 26.553 N / 106 52.639 W

Treasure FallsTreasure Falls

Time for lunch so we pull into Pagosa Springs for a bite to eat…

Pagosa Springs

It’s time for some Railfanning and this time we are off to find the D&RGW Florida River Bridge 37 12.861 N / 107 44.851 W

Florida River Bridge (D&RGW)Florida River Bridge (D&RGW)

We then head for Durango where we heard a new Steam Engine is being setup and restored in the park; Emma Sweeney.  They are doing a great job and got a chance to talk to the team for a bit while I was there…

Emma SweeneyEmma Sweeney

Time to head over to Mesa Verde National Park to get info on our planned morning hike.  This is also our first time to see the new Visitor Center..  Much larger and modern then the old one…

Mesa Verde National ParkMesa Verde National Park

 

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2013 – Summer Vacation – Part 4A

On this day we get up early to head back to the Great Sand Dunes National Park to take a hike up to the Overlook.  Great views and some wildlife along the way as well…

Great Sand Dunes

IMG_4317Great Sand Dunes DeerGreat Sand Dunes

We will also stop by the lower area where most folks stop to enjoy the dunes…

Great Sand Dunes

From there we head over to Zapata Falls that we understood was an easy to moderate hike.  Well, the hike had a bit of a grade but not bad but once we got near the waterfall we got a huge shock.  To actually see the falls one has to forge there way up the water itself using cables that were supposed to be bolted into the rocks.  Several bolts were broke and there would be nothing easy to get the falls.  For Lisa this would be a useless hike but since we are here I tired to get upstream without getting hurt and did get at least near enough to the base for a few photos…

Zapata FallsIMG_4446

In the above shot you can see part of the cables attached to the rock.  I was able to get just beyond that are into the hollow area before turning back.  I was wet up to my knees and later found the tennis-shoes I was wearings did not take kindly to getting wet.  Oh well, at least I got a few shots and we can mark this off out bucket list of waterfalls.

 
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Posted by on 06/04/2013 in Trip Reports

 

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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 – August Weekend Outing – Part 4

The final day of our extended weekend but we have a few more stops in the area planned before we head for home.  Our first destination for the day is up Chalk Creek Canyon (Mt Princeton) which is near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO to find a waterfall Lisa has read about.

We reach the Trail Head and start our hike up into the canyon.  We find an unexpected sign about the Denver, South Park, and Pacific railway and sure enough across the valley there is the old ROW (Right of Way) for the railroad.  As Lisa jokes, somehow I seem to always find a railroad twist in nearly anyplace we go.  So much railroad history to explore, so little time…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

There is another sign along the trail about Mount Antero that is also across the way…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

But our main goal at this location was to reach Agnes Vaille Falls.  This being August, not much water is flowing compared to spring runoff but the hike up was very nice and we could get all the way up to the falls.

Mountain Wowan Mountain Wowan

As we hiked back down looking at the DSP&P RR across the way and thinking of how the road today goes up the valley we decided to drive up more to see if/were the old railway and road might cross.  Sure enough not only did we find it, it’s a Rail Trail; something to add to our list to hike some day…

Near Nathrop, CO / Buena Vista, CO

From here we turn back to Buena Vista, CO to track down a sequence of three Colorado and Midland Railroad Tunnels.  Lisa and I will both take photos plus I will setup the dashboard Video Camera to record travel though them.  Here is one of Lisa’s shots that shows the sequence as they are close together…

Buena Vista, CO

Back to Buena Vista we go to track down a bridge of Denver and Rio Grande Western that are part of the Tennessee Pass route.  It’s listed on the map as the Railroad Bridge Campground and we figure there is a reason for that name.  Well, as we head towards the campground we would also find another RR bridge built in 1936 made of concrete we would also stop and get a shot of.  So, we bag two historical bridges!!!

Tennessee Pass - Buena Vista, CO Tennessee Pass - Buena Vista, CO

It’s time to head for home and we will make one more stop on top of Tennessee Pass where the 10th Mountain Division Memorial is at.  If you love to Ski in Colorado you should come up here and say Thank You to these VETS as they are part of Ski history as well

10th Mountain Division Memorial

 

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World Travel – Alaska 2012 – Cruise Day #4

Port of Call:  Skagway, Alaska

We next reach our final Alaska Port-of-Call and as we make dock our ride is sitting there ready to be boarded.  Yes, we are getting on-board the WP&Y (White Pass and Yukon) passenger train for a round trip ride to White Pass and Back.  As soon as they say I can step out onto the platform I would run the video camera non-stop up to the pass as well as on the way back until I have to take a seat again when we re-enter the city.

Our consist will be a long one with motive power being the #99 and #94, we will ride in the Lake Jennings #374 which was near the back but not too far back that I would not be able to see the engines while we were in the curves.  Of course I would still get a rear shot of the Tail-Car before we departed…

White Pass & Yukon RouteWhite Pass & Yukon Passenger CoachSkagway, AK

Once we returned to town we would do a little shopping including finding a Rock Shop Lisa was interested in to pick up a local mineral sample for her collection.

Now it’s time for our cruise to head South and we will catch shots of Skagway as we depart…

As we head down the canal we will see all sorts of waterfalls and beautiful terrain along the shoreline.

We will also see Herbert Glacier from our balcony

Being a Railfan, you know this day was a special day for me…

 
 

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