Almost on a whim, we decided that neither of us had been on a passenger train in so many years (since the train in “wine country” Hermann, MO) that it was time to do it again. We initially looked at the Durango - Silverton narrow gauge train in SW CO, but it was all sold out for the time we’d be there. We were going to be going to Royal Gorge anyway, so we booked tickets for lunch in a Vista Dome car.
We lucked out and got a table to ourselves (instead of sharing it with another couple, like everybody else did). Super comfortable seats, white tablecloths, salad served as you sat down - oo la la! The view out the windows and glass ceiling was phenomenal, but didn’t begin to compare to the flat, open car behind our dome car, that we were also welcome to walk out on, to be outside, as we meandered through the Gorge.
Steve checked our speed on the speedometer app on his phone, and we leisurely proceeded at 11-12 mph. The tracks were right against the rock wall most of the time, and the Arkansas River close on the other side.
This was such an awesome way to view the Gorge, and we were thrilled to have been able to take the train through.
Besides the gorgeous canyon walls, we got to see the Royal Gorge Bridge from a unique vantage point.
This next one maybe gives a better sense of scale:
The canyon walls were so much prettier from this vantage point -
… compared to when we hiked along the rim on top (before boarding the train) -
I just loved the closeness of the rock walls and the colors they had:
We then headed across south central CO to Great Sand Dunes National Park. The view from afar wasn’t very exciting…
… but as we got closer, it began to look like a painting.
When given scope, the sheer size was just amazing (those are full size aspen trees in the foreground).
In the two hours that we were there, the light and shadows changed so much and seemed to make the dunes have black highlighting.
In the next post, we’ll be heading across central CO.