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Published: August 9th 2011
San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad
This steam train ride took us up over LaVeta Pass. Here we are ready to board the train.
We had several reasons for visiting Alamosa, Colorado. One of the biggest reasons was to ride the San Luis & Rio Grande Railroad narrow gauge steam train. We chose to ride the LaVeta Pass route on their first class service.
On our trip up the mountain, we passed a spot where several railroad cars had overturned. They were private cars from Coors Brewery. They had been filled with hops and barley. Several attempts were made to cover the hops and barley with dirt but the Bears kept finding it. After a while it fermented underground and NOW the bears really wanted it ! A real site to see is the drunken bears leaning on the trees after enjoying too much fermentation! Hillarious !
Starting in 1878, Alamosa was connected to Denver, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo by the D&RG railroad. Entrance into the San Luis Valley was via 9,380 foot La Veta Pass. Passenger service between Alamosa and Denver continued until 1953.
Because of political and financial problems in another part of the state, the Denver & Rio Grande's San Luis Valley expansion was halted until 1880. Then tracks were laid south, through the LaJara, on to Antonito, and
Oh Boy ! The train is coming !
This is Diane and granddaughter Arden.
over Cumbres Pass to Chama, New Mexico. By 1881, Alamosa and Durango were connected by rails.
The Alamosa valley is now famous for exporting potatoes. Most of their potatoes are sold to "Lays" potatoe chip company for use in various potatoe products.
Alamosa is surrounded by the Sangre DeCristo Mountain range. This valley occupies an area about the size of the state of Connecticut in south-central Colorado. There is much to do here if you are interested in trains and sights to see.
The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The new park and preserve, established in November, 2002 is approximately 150,000 acres, about 3/4 the size of Rocky Mountain National Park. The park contains the highest dunes in North America at 750 feet in height. These dunes reach over 8,700 feet above sea level. The main dune field measures aout 30 square miles in area, surrounded by smaller dunes.
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