Mo & Terry Smedley


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Part V - Rio Grande Scenic RR, LaVeta, Sand Dunes National Park

Our scheduled ride on the Rio Grande Scenic RR from Alamosa to LaVeta was cancelled due to a derailment at the station.  But we boarded our handy motorcoach to make the trip up to La Veta pass and townsite, and we made our planned stop in Great Sand Dune National Park.  Such is the nature of tourist rail travel.   Most everybody in the group was willing to roll with the punches....we had a nice day of exploration, anyway.


A group of private railcars was at the Alamosa Station.  Several beautifully restored classic dome cars are shown here. Our bus takes us up the Great Sand Dunes National Park.  You can see the dunes rising in the front of the mountain range in the background.  The dunes are the largest on the North American continent - some 700 feet tall, and 30 or so square miles. We enjoyed a Ranger-led presentation about he dunes.  Here, the ranger is getting two children to help her build a model of the dunes in the sand. Our group listens attentively, with the dunes in the background.
You can hike to the top of the dunes, and a lot of folks were doing that. Yvonne and Mo up to no good on the sand. The colors and patterns on the sand were quite interesting to observe. A stitch up of the length of the dunes.
Our train would have taken us here, to the tiny town of La Veta.  We enjoyed a box lunch here.  The four Amtrak locomotives are a very unusual sight in LaVeta - they're awaiting the charter train of private railcars to come up from Alamosa. Our bus stops at La Veta pass so we can enjoy the mountain scenery. Aspen color at La Veta. More stunning horizon-to-horizon views at La Veta Pass.