Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Cumbres & Toltec Railway

This post can be summed up in one sentence: "I like to take photos of trains".

Great Sand Dunes National Park

Spectacular natural beauty and a playground for kids of all ages. Great Sand Dunes National Park is definitely on my "repeat visit" list.

Click to enlarge and you'll see little specks all the way up the dunes. Those are people.

Behind Kel is the river that you had to cross in order to reach the dunes. Shoes off!

We attended a short ranger programme where the kids were learning about the mineral composition of sediments in the park.

Nic and Mom out on the dunes.

Emptying the sand from his shoe. Again.

Kel and I had some great dune rolls. When we got back to the hotel that night, there was sand coming out of every item of our clothing. I mean every item.

Pike's Peak

Kel was very excited to ride the cog railway up Pike's Peak on Nic's birthday. And as I look back through these photos, I realize that there isn't a single one of the birthday boy himself. Bad wife. Can I plead altitude sickness?

Here's the boy and his cog railway replica starting the journey to the top.

The altitude soon became an issue! Ha ha. If only the antics of a six year old could so easily be explained.

The track started to climb right out of the station.

Its a lake behind trees. In case you needed explanation.

Still not above treeline, but the track is really climbing now!

This is my favourite shot from the day. Click to enlarge. You know you want to.

Kel was thrilled to see snow at the peak. Because he's weird.

Yes, the following photos were all taken far too close to a very steep drop. After he'd nearly given me a heart attack by climbing down there. He'd survived the dangerous bit, so what was the harm in snapping a few memories? After all, I'd climbed down there too.

I like the snow capped peaks waaaaaay off in the distance there.

Did you know that "America the Beautiful" was composed on Pike's Peak, as inspired by the view? Well, now you do.

The view from high above treeline.

These are the buffers to stop the trains at the very edge of a very large drop.