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Colorado Pics! 9/16/12


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#61 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:40 PM

In this shot, Sharon and I have walked out onto the fill that comprised Woodstock Loop. This is a majestic area!

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#62 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:41 PM

In this view, I've turned 180 degrees to show you where we were...

See the rails over on the left? And, if you look real close over past the rails... you'll see our trusty ol' Blazer!

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#63 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:43 PM

This is a classic shot that almost every South Park trekker has taken. I am no exception!

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#64 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:45 PM

I thought this pic aptly illustrates just how much the restoration is adding to the "feel" of the Alpine Tunnel route experience. It's not too hard to imagine it's the early 1880's again, is it?

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#65 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:47 PM

We've now left the Woodstock Loop area, and have proceeded upgrade further on the roadbed. In this angle, you're looking down near the Woodstock townsite. That road below is the roadbed that we were on.

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#66 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:51 PM

Now you're looking further upgrade toward the Alpine Tunnel area. Look closely... you'll see the faint trace that marks the roadbed coming up from the Pitkin area. (Look on the distant mountainsides about 1/3 up the mountains.) Looking up ahead, that closest deep "V" is the pass area where Alpine Tunnel is located. See the upper roadbed just ahead as well as off in the distance where it rounds the curve to enter the Alpine Tunnel area?

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#67 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:53 PM

The Palisades!

Doubt there's a more fabled area than the Palisades!

The rock formations here are incredible. Plus, the picture just doesn't convey the precarious way the roadbed clung tenaciously to the mountainside on a narrow shelf.

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#68 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:54 PM

A closer look, and perhaps one that illustrates the height of the roadbed a bit better?

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#69 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:55 PM

Now you're looking across a gulch at the roadbed we'll be on in a few more minutes.

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#70 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:57 PM

Excuse the poor morning lighting, but this is a look back at the Palisade illustrated above.

Trust me, these pictures don't even come CLOSE to the actual ruggedness of the area! We are WAAAAY up there in these pics on a narrow shelf of a roadbed!

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#71 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:58 PM

Continuing our upward trek, this time toward the gulch I mentioned just above.

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#72 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:59 PM

What a view! (And we're not at the highest point, yet!)

You're looking back down the gulch toward Pitkin. See the trace of the roadbed on the mountainsides?

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#73 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:00 PM

We keep on climbing higher... and we're still not there yet!

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#74 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:07 PM

At last, after about 12-13 miles of climbing since leaving Pitkin, we arrive at the Alpine Tunnel area.

During the early years at Alpine Tunnel, there was a 150' long rock engine house that contained a 50' turntable, a water tank, and a coaling platform... all of this INSIDE the engine house! There was also a small combination telegraph/train station, a rock boarding house, and other essentials.

The winters were so harsh on Alpine Pass, that typically the DSP&P line over it would be closed for weeks and sometimes months. Horrific snows were common.

Below you'll see a picture of the stabilized portions of the engine house. The preservationists have actually excavated the floor of the house and now the entire turntable pit is visible! The remains of the tank are still there, too.

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#75 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:11 PM

Here's the restored small station... complete with the train order board!

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#76 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:12 PM

Here's a replica of the coaling platform that was built after the engine house burned in 1906...

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#77 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:15 PM

Now, if the above looked suspiciously like "texture pics" (straight on shots with no angles)... you're very astute! I just couldn't pass up the opportunity to snag some texture shots.

The preservationists have also relaid track using the original rails and tie plates and such. That's a stub switch you're looking at! All of their efforts REALLY help to add to the atmosphere!

In this pic, you're looking toward the tunnel area.

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#78 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:16 PM

They're even restoring the turntable that was installed after the loss of the enginehouse!

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#79 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:20 PM

Now you're looking toward the actual Alpine Tunnel entrance...

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#80 laming

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:22 PM

And then, the actual tunnel portal rocks that have been excavated. Note you're looking at the TOP of the tunnel rockwork. The roadbed has been intentionally raised here to use as fill-in to close off the tunnel mouth. Otherwise, people will try (have tried) to enter the actual tunnel. Last time that was done and published (late 50's/early 60's?)... the timber lining was still intact, and the rails and ties were still there!

By the way... you can use old photographs to actually identify the individual rocks in the tunnel portal!

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