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  Trip Report: Springtime in the Rockies - Chapter 1
  Antonito to Bighorn
Runbys and meeting the regular eastbound
  From: Springtime in the Rockies Dates: May 25, 2009 Author: Nathan Holmes


Photo 1
Upon first arriving in Antonito, 489 was looking a bit grungy, despite having not made a trip over the road in her new green paint. Thankfully, Russ and Ashley managed to give her a quick bath before departure.
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Photo 2
While they were working on the front, RMRRC president Dave Schaaf, Nathan Zachman, and I were working on how to use bailing wire and gaffers tape to hold the RMRRC drumhead on the back of caboose 0306.
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   2 - Bighorn to Osier
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Photo 3
489 sitting at the west end of the Antonito balloon track, awaiting departure. You couldn't ask for more beautiful weather than what we got.
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Photo 4
Striking out into the high desert, about ten minutes early. Nobody else seemed all that interested in the open cupola seats on 0306, so I figured I'd start the trip off right.
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Photo 5
The first run-by was near milepost 287.5, where one of the small trestles was recently replaced with a culvert. It's rumored that the lead greenie was the one who slathered it in green paint, which just so happens to match 489's boiler...
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Photo 6
Climbing up the side of the mesa towards Lava, with Mount Blanca - some fifty miles distant - in the background.
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Photo 7
The next run-by was on the west side of Lava tank. Don't know why exactly I like this shot - the composition isn't that great and the lighting's a bit screwy - but I like it, so it's here.
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Photo 8
Passing through Lava
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Photo 9
Rio Grande... Through the Weeds, Not Around! Nah, but it was more a run-by for the videographers in the bunch. I tried to get high enough to see the track, but it just didn't work out.
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Photo 10
Arriving at the lower of the Whiplash Curves, we stop for another run-by.
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Photo 11
Heading into the lower curve, starting the climb towards the upper loop and Big Horn.
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Photo 12
Our special climbs the middle level, with the upper and lower levels also visible.
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Photo 13
We arrived at Big Horn with plenty of time to spare before the regular eastbound was due, so we did a quick run-by though the siding.
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Photo 14
Ever seen a train on the Big Horn wye? I've only seen it once, years ago, with 19 and ballast cars. With the Big Horn siding in rough shape and stub-ended, our extra clears up on the west leg and tail of the wye.
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Photo 15
Just a broader shot, with 489 clearly showing off its green boiler on the wye.
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Photo 16
Twenty minutes or so after we clear up, 488 comes eastbound with the daily Chama-Antonito passenger train.
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Photo 17
Clearing the east switch at Big Horn - just a few hundred more yards until they're clear of the yard limits.
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Creative Commons License This work is copyright 2010 by Nathan D. Holmes (maverick@drgw.net), but licensed under a Creative Commons License. I encourage others to consider CC or other Open Content-style licensing of their original works.

All photographs in this trip report were taken with a Canon EOS 40D or 7D using either a Canon 24-105mm f/4L IS/USM, Sigma 18-50mm, or a Canon 28-300mm f/3.5-5.6L IS/USM.