QQ likes trains. Or at least, she likes trains in theory....since she had never met one in person. So when my mum came to town, we figured it was time to give the Q a ride on a real train.
In fact, Colorado is still a train state, even in the present day. It has that much of the wild west still left in it. Denver still builds around some of its trainyards, and at night (thank heaven!) the city still echoes with the forlorn and thrilling call of train whistles. This is one of the things I love most about our city. I love to wake up in the middle of the night, secure in my bed, and hear the moan and cry of trains carrying through the twilit air...in fact, I can hear them even as I write this!
The Georgetown loop is an old railway between mining towns (hence the word "argentine" in the photo above). Today, it runs a loop route between Georgetown and the "living ghost town" of Silver Plume, and serves as a popular tour for families and school groups. There is a lot of history to be learned, if you care to listen to the conductor. If not, the views alone are worth the ride.
Colorado is still very close to its own history, which is another thing that I dearly love about it.
Even the interiors of the train cars are beautiful.
A school group occupying the car behind us. Is it just me, or do you love watching kids? I love it. It makes me feel alive and present in the world. It reminds me of the grandness, scope and sheer vividness of life.
This portion of the I-70 corridor through the Rockies is particularly wild and woolly to begin with (you can often see mountain goats grazing on the cliffs overhead...or even right on the verge of the highway. They're very savvy and are seldom hit by cars) but the rivers and creeks are particularly raging and tumultuous this summer, thanks to spring runoff from the mountain peaks combined with unusually wet and turbulent summer weather.
At each station, the engine makes a tour around the train in order to turn it back in the opposite direction. Here, Daddy waves to mommy and Q during the "intermission", and a conducter waves to the crowd on the platform as the switch is made.
Wildflowers and wildwater.
It was a long and eventful trip for QQ, complete with wild, sudden thunderstorms, sporadic high winds, and raging rapids below the many precarious train bridges.
By the final third of the trip (at least two hours late for her nap) she was both hyperactive and fading fast.
The big crash...safe in Daddy's loving arms, with the waters of Clear Creek raging 100 feet below.
The trip finished with a skin-strafing thunderstrike followed instantly by a torrential rainfall (this is real Rocky Mountain weather). It was still raining hard as we exited the train, and Mommy and LaoLao hid out in the depot while Daddy ran for the car... but the Q slept soundly through the whole thing.