out in a FS campground and a must do train trip.
After Navajo Dam, NM we headed to Chama
and on over CO HW 17 to Antonito, CO and landed in a FS campground Aspen
Glade. Nice big site. But later found the water spigots had a note on them
saying... Do not fill RVs. Can cause contamination of the water supply.
Now how stupid is that.
You can stick a hose in your portable
water tank and then transfer it to your RV, no problem. Crazy. Also one
of the hosts was very rude. Scenic Canyons is the concessionaire. Being
this is Colorado they have their campground rates for a FS campground
jacked way up. Just like the over priced state parks. I guess if the state
can do it so can they. Thank god for my golden age passport.
Anyway on to the train...
Well since we are here for a couple of
weeks we thought why not take the train. We have been on the Durango Silverton
narrow gauge train a few times but never on this Cumbres & Toltc Scenic
Railroad. Boy what we were missing.
Here is my facebook post... We just had
the best day ever. An all day trip on the Cumbres & Toltec Secnic Railroad
that runs from Antonito, CO to Chama, NM. Or a second train runs the other
way if you prefer. The longest (62 miles) and highest (10,015ft) narrow
gauge railroad in the USA. Built in 1880. They even provide a full home
cooked meal at the mid point at Osier, CO at 9,637ft where the two trains
meet up to pass and feed the passengers. This should be on your bucket
list for sure. Way more impressive than the Durango Silverton train. Check
out the web site http://cumbrestoltec.com/
This doesn't go up valleys it goes up
and over and around.
And to think they started to build this
in 1880 and was complete in December of the same year.
Lunch stop. A full home cooked meal cooked
on site. Turkey or Meat loaf dinner included in the ticket price. It was
VERY good. Both trains stop here so they can pass with each going opposite
directions. No power lines, a generator runs this place.
Mud Tunnel, which is supported by wood
Departing Antonito, Colorado
The excitement begins the moment the train
leaves the station in Antonito, Colorado. Leaving the vast, open San Luis
Valley, the imposing peaks of the Rocky Mountains seem to stretch forever.
The train quickly covers the flat ground and reaches a series of hills.
It crosses Ferguson’s Trestle, named for a man who was hung there, then
climbs to a lava mesa, a remnant of the mountains’ volcanic past. From
here, the route winds around wide curves, going up into the mountains.
White-barked, slender aspen trees, which turn yellow-gold in fall, form
a light, whispery forest. Sublette, New Mexico, an abandoned railroad town,
still provides water for the steam locomotives. Wildlife abounds throughout
the area, with bears, elk, and deer roaming the forests and hawks and eagles
patrolling the sky. Shortly after passing Sublette, the train makes another
crossing between Colorado and New Mexico state lines. (There are 11 throughout
the train route.)rocktunnel
One of the most spectacular parts of the
trip starts as the train inches its way along the rim of 800-foot-deep
Toltec Gorge. The walls of the gorge are steep and rocky and at times the
train seems almost pressed in by rock on both sides. First comes Mud Tunnel,
which is supported by wood beams. Around Phantom Curve, named for a spire
of rock that casts a ghostly shadow, then through Rock Tunnel is a narrow
ledge where the dizzying view is straight down to the rushing Rio de los
Pinos. The train roughly follows this river along much of its route. Leaving
the gorge, the locomotive picks up speed, for it is only about 10 minutes
away from the lunch stop at the old townsite of Osier, Colorado.
Past Osier, the train first crosses 137-foot-tall
Cascade Creek Trestle, the highest on the line. Trees are sparse here and
the open mountain scenery is magnificent. Around Tanglefoot Curve, a loop
so tight that the train seems almost folded in half, the locomotive steams
toward Cumbres Pass. At 10,015 feet elevation, it is the highest pass reached
by rail in the United States. There are tall conifers and meadows that
bloom with wildflowers in spring and summer. At the summit is an old section
house, one of many of the railroad’s historic buildings. As the steep descent
begins, sweeping views of the Chama Valley unfold. The lower elevations
are dominated by aspen trees and grassy hills. Just past the area that
was once the historic Lobato sheep ranch, over the Lobato Trestle spanning
Wolf Creek, the end of the trip, Chama, New Mexico is just ahead.
Now back in the campground held up in
to let the weekenders have their fun for the 4th.
Then on Monday heading up to Cabelas in
Sydney, NE to their RV park to shop till we drop and then on to IOWA.
Iowa you say... why... It's hot amd muggy
there isn't it? Well Ya... but we will be hooked up at Terry's nephews
place so we can visit Terry's parents and help with the nephews remolding
of his just bought older farmstead house. There will be time later to head
We lucked out taking the train on Tuesday,
a perfect day as since the weather has turned to rain. Let it be know a
lot of unhappy campers to be found around here. But we are snug in our
5th wheel with generator power, HD DirecTV, and Hughes satellite internet
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