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Our Honeymoon Dolores to Alamosa 7/8/2020

by Chris Guenzler

We woke up and went to the Ponderosa Restaurant for breakfast where I enjoyed pancakes, bacon and orange juice. We packed up the car and drove Colorado 145 over Lizard Head Pass as we made our way to Placerville where we took Colorado 62 to Ridgway. I found where the Ridgway Railroad Museum had been but unbeknownst to us, they had moved. We learned later that they purchased 16 acres of land and built a narrow gauge loop on it and moved their equipment there. I was very disappointed that I had not checked this before the trip and I hoped this would be the last negative thing to happen on this trip. We took US 550 up to Montrose and found a Rio Grande station.

The Denver & Rio Grande station in Montrose.

Union Pacific caboose 25668 with my favorite UP slogan on it, "Carefully We Roll Along!" We took US 50 east out of town and on the outskirts, came to the museum that I had photographed at in 2016.

Union Pacific Baggage Car 1227 at the Museum of Mountain West. We drove to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Monument and learned that our locomotive we saw being restored in 2016 was located twenty miles east on US 50 from this location. So we turned around and headed back down US 50 until I saw a familiar sight and the road to the proper train location, which we drove into.

Cimarron Canyon Rail Exhibit

The first view as we walked up from parking.

The display board at the site.

The trestle that the display train is on.

The railroad emblem on the trestle.

The display train on the trestle.

D&RGW 2-8-0 278.

D&RGW box car 3132.

D&RGW caboose 0577.

The display train on the trestle.

The scenery in this part of the canyon is amazing.

Two rear views of the display train on the trestle.

Elizabeth and the display train on the trestle. From here we drove east after some road construction to Gunnison.

Gunnison County Pioneer Museum

This museum was closed so we did the next best thing for my lovely bride. We shot through the fence as all the train exhibits are visible through the fence along US 50.

D&RGW 2-6-0 268.

D&RGW gondola 710.

D&RGW stock car 5763.

D&RGW caboose 0589.

View with the Gunnison D&RGW station.

We left and had lunch at Subway. After lunch, we got a few miles east of Gunnison when we encountered road construction again and had to wait until it was our turn to go east. We took US 50 to Colorado 114 and went a new way over North Pass into the San Luis Valley. At Saguache we took US 285 to near Center and turned west onto Colorado 112 which took us to US 160 which took us to South Fork. We turned onto Colorado 149 and at the railroad crossing, came to our next stop.

The former Denver and Rio Grande Railroad

Observation car 99.

Passenger car.

South Fork station.

Passenger equipment not being used in 2016 to now.

Locomotive 1.

44 toner 44.

Ex Southern Pacific B30-7 7863.

We decided to drive to Creede in order to the photograph the train station there. On the way, we passed another station at Wagon Wheel Gap which we would photograph on the return trip. We made it to Creede and it took a few minutes until I spotted the former Rio Grande station, now the Town Museum.

The Creede Rio Grande station.

The main station area of the Creede Rio Grande station.

There was also a compressed air locomotive on display.

Elizabeth in Creede. We started back on the way to Alamosa but had some stops to make.

Sometimes a train would have been nice but impossible in this view.

Rio Grande Wagon Wheel Gap station built in 1883, now a private home. We received permission from the owner to take pictures.

We were surprised to see a Rio Grande handcar on the property.

Two more views of the Wagon Wheel Gap station.

A former Chesapeake and Ohio caboose in Colorado at Wagon Wheel Gap. We drove back to South Fork and I took Elizabeth to the railroad display there.

The water tower in South Fork.

Seaboard Coast Line observation car PPCX 6401.

White Satin Brighton 44 tonner 1.

Santa Fe Business Car 36. From here we drove to Del Norte.

The Denver and Rio Grande Del Norte station.

Elizabeth and the Denver and Rio Grande Del Norte station. From here we drove to Monte Vista.

San Luis and Rio Grande 5904 Railway Post Office car, formerly Union Pacific 903686.

Other passenger cars here.

Narrow gauge railway cars are also located here.

The Rio Grande Monte Vista station. From here we drove by the San Luis Central shops at Sugar Junction but they were all locked up tight so we headed into Alamosa and went down to see what was left of the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. Nothing much has changed in the last four years.

SDCX Carolina Southern F7A 9163.

SDCX Canadian National F7B 6622.

SDCX Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train F7A 787 ex BN 716, 9756, 972553L, 9756, nee SP&S 804.

SDCX Minnesota Zephyr Dinner Train F7A 788 ex BN 752 nee NP 6019.

Views of passenger and freight cars.

Looking west and a few more passenger cars.

A line of passenger cars stored here.

SDCX Mount Hood Railroad GP9 89.

SDCX Iowa Pacific E9 518.

SDCX PRLX SD70M 4687, ex. CSX.

BNSF C44-9W 1034 at Alamosa.

SLRG F40PH 459.

Observation cars which may never run again. After this we drove to Arby's to get dinner to bring back to the room. We checked into the Best Western Alamosa, had dinner and I worked on the story until we finished it. Tomorrow we ride the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad from Antonito to Osier and return.