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Big Doin's In Chama! 8/31/13

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#1 laming


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Posted 31 August 2013 - 07:44 PM

Arrived Chama this afternoon and right off the bat had steam engine action in the yard! AHHHhhhh... the sounds and smells of steam!

Of course, we're staying in "our" room here at "The Hotel & Shops"... which "happens" to be right acoss the street from the C&TS depot.

We always have the unexpected happen when we come to Chama, and this time was no exception. The story begins like this...

Figuring the last train of the day would be arriving, Honey Buns n' me eased over toward the yard area to sit in the shade and enjoy the show. Sure'nuf... almost on the adverstised... here came the train.

As always, it was right nice to be watching living, breathing steam again. Great stuff. Soon after the train passed, a crewman was walking toward the waiting steam engine on the spur track. This is where it begin to get REALLY interesting... however... the rest of the story will likely have to wait until I return home. Besides... the story's not done unfolding... yet!


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Posted 01 September 2013 - 05:53 PM

Another great day in Chama! Today there was a double header on a long train. The stack talk was terrific as we paced alongside. Even Honey Bun enjoys steam. The whistle is her favorite part... and when it echos for several seconds off the surrounding mountainsides... it always brings a satisfied smile to her face.

We ate supper tonight at the "High Country Restaraunt". In the entranceway was several pictures of old Chama. There were four TOC19 railroad pictures I have never seen before. Chama was a really neat place back in the late 19th century! Gotta' admit... once Jared and Charlie finish with their D&RG mega-route... it would be SOOOOO tempting to take a copy and backdate it to the 1880's period. Ah... so many dreams... so little time!

Tomorrow we leave for Lake City via Wolf Creek Pass and Slumgullion Pass. Plan to eat lunch in Creede (another neat Colorado town), then hit Lake City. Supposed to unload the bikes the following day for the first time this trip and hit the Alpine Loop until we're ready to head back to Lake City.

AND... no, I haven't forgot about the neat thing that happened that I mentioned up above... but again... that story will probably wait until we return from Colorado.


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Posted 08 September 2013 - 11:15 AM

Hi All!

Back from Colorado. Wow... where to start?

Just some high points...

* Had a great time at Chama. Long trains. The stack talk was terrific, both the single and double headed trains. Had a fantastic surprise while there!

* Wife and I enjoyed Lake City, rode and enjoyed Cinnamon and Engineer passes on our scooters. Saw some fantabulous scenes.

* Really enjoyed the motorcycle ride from Buena Vista to Hancock and return. (Attached is a pic shot along the way!)

* Was pleasantly surprised at the rugged rock-strewn mountains along Trout Creek Pass.

* Had a pleasant stay at the Como Hotel.

* Enjoyed Boreas Pass.

* Was shocked at the ruggedness on the east side of Kenosha Pass! Wow.

* I've come home with some good texture candidates for vegetation, rocks, structures, rolling stock, and terrtex. Shot over two dozen tree pics... confident many will be useable.

* Had to go around a mudslide up past Hortense the next morning after the previous night's torrential downpour! Rugged territory, it is.

All in all, another excellent Colorado adventure is in the books. Eventually I'll get around to creating a blog w/pics here at my VSC forum.

All fer now!

OH... and a couple of pics for now...

Attached Files

#4 jbshay


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Posted 05 October 2013 - 01:38 AM

Great pix Andre. As luck would have it, I think I have that bottom picture. On the way to St. Elmo, perhaps?

Let me back up just a bit. I was one of those who snapped up a copy of The North Arkansas Line a while back. Fascinating reading and I felt that I was reading about an old friend.

Then came your trip to Pitkin and Alpine Tunnel. So when I got the opportunity last July to go to Colorado, I had to go there. For anyone else with the urge, do not hesitate. Just take a high clearance vehicle as the dirt bikes and four wheelers have ground most of the rock to dust and you have to drive over what mountain bike riders call "baby heads" - as in "rocks the size of". The ten miles to the tunnel took me 2 and a half hours (I took my time as it was my son's SUV) but it is absolutely awesome. To think of a railroad operating in that environment is just mind boggling. I hope the crews of the time appreciated the beauty of nature that they got to work in. Of course, being a brakeman coming down the grade at night in a snowstorm and having to set brakes must have been terrifying.

In September, I was off to Colorado again, so this time I had to explore the east side and drove up to St. Elmo. Better road and the town is a hoot. Be sure and talk to the volunteers about the history of the place.

"So Jim, what took you to Colorado twice in the same year?" you may ask.

Well, I was looking at YouTube videos a while back and spotted one called "Cumbres and Toltec cabride". First thought was "how do you get a cabride" knowing how hard that is. Well boys and girls, it seems that the C&TS has a Fireman/Engineer School and you, too, can give them money to shovel coal. It's a railfan's fantasy camp to play with a 1925 engine on 1880 rails for 4 days with two trips to Cumbres Pass, a trip to Antonito and a return trip to Chama. They do it four times a year and it is well worth it.


And I got to meet your friend Bill Hobbs who was taking the fireman class. What a trip!

Take care,

Jim Brake

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