August 30-September 19, 2011 – Chama, New Mexico
We left Cortez on Tuesday, August 30th and drove to Pagosa Springs, CO where we spent the night at Happy Camper RV, a campground a few miles west of town. Wednesday morning we headed to Chama, NM where we will stay for the month of September. We are again staying at one of our favorite campgrounds, Rio Chama RV Park. We have a very nice site on the end of the row with a large grassy area and shade trees.
Rex is enjoying volunteering as a docent on the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad again this year. He rides about 4 times a week and is enjoying talking to the passengers and spotting wildlife. So far he has seen a bear and lots of elk, deer and antelope.
Nancy is also volunteering one day a week at a new railroad display that has been set up in the Cumbres Mall. She talks to visitors about the model and the railroad.
There is an S scale model of the Cumbres Station as it was in 1950 and TV monitors that are used to show videos of the C&TSRR in action and also a video of the model train operating.
This is the eleventh year we have stayed at Rio Chama RV Park. Before we retired we could only stay one week a year and the year we retired we stayed here six weeks. Since then we have stayed one month each summer. We have gotten to know the owners, Russ & Marge Paterson, and many of the people who stay here all summer. Russ has a hobby railroad called the Rio Chama Western. This summer he built a new building so he could store the small engine, cooking car and caboose inside in the winter.
Russ asked Rex if he would like to help lay track to the building and, of course, Rex was excited to help. Rex really enjoyed getting dirty and learning how to lay track.
I’ve been working on the railroad…..
On one of Rex’s days off we both rode the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad from Antonito to Chama. It was a cool, rainy day and we ran into a lot of fog on the bus ride to Antonito. It is certainly feeling like fall is here. Our train ride was a little wet but we enjoyed the beautiful scenery. It was pretty cold when we got to Cumbres Pass at 10,015 feet.
The cool, rainy weather made for a great blow down – when the engineer blows the built up sediment from the steam system in the engine.
Although it was a cool, wet day we enjoyed our ride. The clouds and mist on the peaks added to the beautiful scenery.
It has rained almost every day for the past two weeks but Sunday, the 18th, was a nice, warm day so we went for a hike. We parked the jeep at the base of Windy Point where the train track crosses Highway 17. We hiked on the railroad tracks up around Windy Point and on to Cumbres Pass. At the pass we crossed Highway 17 and hiked on a trail that followed the old road bed back down to where we parked the jeep. We then waited for the train coming from Antonito to Chama. It was fun to watch the train come down Windy Point where we had just hiked up.
Rex got a great shot of the engine as it was approaching the crossing where we were parked.
It was good to get out and hike again. Cody and Camille also enjoyed the hike and were tired by the end. When we got back to the RV park we sat in the sun and did some reading. A doe and two fawns came by for a visit.
These deer are frequent visitors to the park and we see them quite often. We really enjoy watching them graze and the fawns running and playing from our camp site.