Sunday, November 25, 2007

Leadville Train

Journal: Entry Seven; Leadville Train
There were relatives here to visit so that is when I turn into a tour guide. It is amazing that this is the seventh summer I have spent here and I still find things to do and see that I have never done. The train ride in Leadville is one that is worth doing. It starts in Leadville and travels north and ends almost at the Molybdenum mine at Climax just before Fremont Pass. This train is a regular gauge track which means it is full size train with a diesel engine. A lot of the other railroads in this area were narrow gauge. A narrow gauge railway is a railway that has a track gauge narrower than the 1,434mm or 4ft. 8.5 in. of standard gauge railways. Most existing narrow gauge railways have gauges of 3 ft. 6 in. or less. This train brings back a lot of memories to the old folk, as they can feel the click-clack of the old rail joints and hear the train engine whine. The gentle swaying of the train and the occasional screaming of the old brakes also evokes a lot of memories. The view is like a post card. That is what I tell people who ask me what the summer is like in Colorado. I always say it is just like living in a postcard all summer long. July and August are what we call the “monsoon” season. Our usual weather pattern is bright, sunny mornings with the dark blue, clear Colorado sky. Then the clouds start to appear around noon and we get a lightening display along with a welcome rain.
By night time the clouds are gone and we have a crystal clear night with stars that seem so close and big, you imagine that you can reach out to touch them. Most late afternoons, if you look down the Arkansas valley toward the Sangre de Cristos, you can see a brilliant rainbow and on more than one occasion there could be a double rainbow as well.
We can actually see where the rainbow begins and follow the colorful arc to where it ends. If you reside in a large city most of the time, as I do, we have lost the pleasure of participating in the rainbow effect. So this is another treat almost everyday in the Summertime Mountains.

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