Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chama New Mexico

On Monday, Oct. 1, after staying in Santa Fe, we headed north to Chama to visit with my parents. The terrain was scruffy, and sometime rich in red colors. Georgia O'Keeffe spent some time at the Ghost Ranch, which was on the way, but not open when drove by.

Along the way, we stopped to take some pictures at a lake.

There we saw a rock wren and and a female mountain blue bird. There where also some nice views.

We finally made it into Chama, had lunch and then went to Twin Rivers RV park my parents were staying at. They drove in towing their Fifth-wheel. After unloading the car, we all jumped in and took a ride up the mountain to do some train spotting. My dad told us that the train we were seeing today was only ran once a year. It comprised of freight cars such as boxcars, tankers and flatbeds, rather than the normal passenger cars they use on the scenic railroad.

After the train chase, we went out to dinner at the High Country restaurant, they have good food and it showed as they were busy.

Tuesday Oct. 2

Today my dad Tom and I started off with walking through the railyard. While we were doing that, Martha and my mom Bobbi did a little shopping. Once the train left the station, we drove up the mountain and took pictures of it making the trek.

Here we got completely off the road and hiked down to the tracks and then up the tracks a bit.

Here we made it to the top at Cumbres Pass, Colorado (10,022 ft). They removed the front engine as the rest of the train trip is downhill, so the extra pulling power was not needed.

The rest of the day we spent driving out and visiting the Great Sand Dunes National Park. This is an impressive place. Its hard to imagine them until you see people sanding on the top of them and the people look like the size of ants. We stayed here until dinner, which we had in Alamosa, and then drove back to the RV Park.

Wednesday, Oct. 3

If you haven't guessed already, my dad really likes the railroad. I can appreciate that. It is really neat. I do enjoy trying to get that perfect or unusual picture of it. Today, we actually rode it.

The ride is about six hours with lunch in the middle. They didn't mess around with lunch, it was delicious. They offered a full traditional thanksgiving meal, a Meatloaf meal or a very complete soup and salad bar. The turkey was great!

The views from the train was great. We managed to time the vacation just right to be in the Chama area for the turning of the aspens.

Thursday, Oct 4

Today we went up to a lake near the pass and hiked around it. At 10,000 feet, there was some huffing and puffing on this hike. There where some nice views up there. We managed to have our time just right and made it back to the car when it started raining. We then went to see the land my parents had bought to build their retirement home. They ended up selling because the cost to build in the forest, not near a major town, got too expensive.

Friday, Oct 5

Today we drove up to visit Martha's cousin, Kathy who lives in Taos. Just before you get to Taos, you cross the Rio Grande Gorge. The bridge is the third tallest in the United States at 650 ft.

Here are some views from around Kathy's place.

Saturday, Oct 6

We did some walking and hiking today. First we did a walk around her neighborhood.

Then we hiked in a nearby park.

Kathy has three dogs and two cats. The dogs are very laid back.They almost make me want one.

Here are a few random photos from the trip.

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