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Rio Grande Scenic Railroad Part 2 7/19/2008

by Chris Guenzler

After a good hamburger at Sammie's, I decided to look around a bit.

The main drag in La Veta. I then heard our train returning from wyeing.

Rio Grande Scenic 18.

Our train waiting to take us back to Alamosa.

This box car is the restrooms at La Veta. With power for my computer on the train, I reboarded and worked on the story until we left La Veta for Alamosa.

The view looking back towards La Veta.

The butte in the Cucharas Valley.

The beautiful Cucharas Valley with the butte and the Spanish Peaks.

Two more views of the Spanish Peaks.

Bald Mountain is off to the northwest.

Rio Grande Scenic 18 climbs the grade on its way to the summit at Fir.

Bald Mountain is always seen off to the northwest.

The Spanish Peaks are seen off to the southeast.

The Rio Grande Scenic 18 works the grade.

The Rio Grande Scenic 18 gets an eye full of Bald Mountain as she climbs the grade.

You get a great view of West Spanish Peak.

The Rio Grande Scenic 18 continues the climb.

The look back.

The engine was working hard around another curve.

A view off to the northwest.

What a great view you get from the this train.

Rio Grande Scenic 18 was hard at work.

Another look back.

The Rio Grande Scenic 18 sounds great working the grade.

The view to the north.

A look behind.

The Rio Grande Scenic 18 climbing the grade.

The Rio Grande Scenic 18 works hard with Bald Mountain in the background.

The final views of Spanish Peaks on the this trip.

The train ran by the interesting rock strata along our route.

The grade of an old narrow gauge mining railroad was seen.

The train went through the Lower Tunnel.

Looking down from where we had just come from.

The train ran by more interesting rock strata.

Still working hard as the Rio Grande Scenic 18 continues up the grade.

The clouds make an appearance on a beautiful day.

Another look down the mountain to where we once where.

A beautiful steam engine on a beautiful day.

A look back at Bald Mountain.

The 18 works hard nearing the Upper Tunnel.

The train went through the Upper Tunnel.

Looking back at Bald Mountain.

A look towards the summit at Fir.

Another look back.

Interesting use of rail to stabilize the tracks against slippage.

The look back behind us as we continue to climb.

We will pass through the cut on the other side of the canyon in a few minutes.

My last clear shot of the engine as it continues the climb up the grade.

The train was too long to see the engine in the upper reaches of the climb.

The yard limit sign for Fir.

The Rio Grande Scenic 18 works the final mile of the grade to the summit at Fir.

The view before we made the final turn into Fir.

Beautiful view to the northwest as we neared Fir.

Our train has reached Fir and we would meet the eastbound train here. It had been an excellent climb of sight and sound as the Rio Grande Scenic 18 climbed the grade from La Veta.

There is a Section House at Fir.

The switch is lined for our backing into the siding to clear an eastbound train movement.

Our train backs into the siding at Fir before we were allowed to detrain and I knew where I was going. Soon Chris joined me at my photo location.

Our train rests at Fir as it waits on an eastbound train from Alamosa.

Looking down at the horseshoe curve at Fir.

Passengers wait for the train to arrive at Fir.

The mixed train came up the canyon just below Fir.

The mixed train heading around the horseshoe curve at Fir.

The mixed train meets our waiting steam train at Fir after almost an hour wait but it was worth every second of it.

One last shot of our train and the mixed train at Fir. I worked on getting the pictures into the story as the train descended into the San Luis Valley.

Inside of the Full Dome Car Eklutna.

The inside of the Full Dome Car Kobuk. I relaxed up in the top of the Full Dome or I was on the rear platform talking with other passengers as the train rolled the straight miles back to Alamosa. At the Rio Grande River some joker had driven his truck out into the river and got himself stuck. It looked pretty funny. The train arrived back into Alamosa at 6:20 PM and Bob ran off to a church in hope of making part of a mass while Chris and I hung around. A special thank you to the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad for a most special trip.

The Rio Grande Scenic rests in Alamosa and returning us here. The gift shop was open due to our late return.

The 18 is ready to put away its train for the night just as Bob returned.

The Rio Grande Scenic 18 is putting away the train and then will wye before calling it a day. Bob returned from Church a short time later. Bob, Chris and I headed to Arby's for Dinner followed by Walgreens before we left Alamosa. We drove to Walsenburg to the Best Western Rambler Inn for the night.

7/20/2008 The next morning we drove to Trinidad and left the rental car in the station lot. We boarded the Southwest Chief 10 minutes late with me in the 330 Car instead of the 331. The 331 has no power in the outlets while the 330 has no toilets that work, I will take power every time. We sat at Canyoncito for almost an hour as a private car was added to Train 4 at Lamy. We arrived into Albuquerque a minute before we were supposed to leave. Chris Parker left us to fly home. We left Albuquerque thirty eight minutes late. Bob and I had Dinner in the Dining Car. At Grants, New Mexico we stopped for almost an hour due to a medical emergency. After that I went back to my room and made it up then called it a night.

7/21/2008 I was up at Riverside then relaxed until we arrived into Fullerton at 7:54 AM and I took Metrolink 600 to Santa Ana ending another great rail journey.