Sunday, December 19, 2010

Summer memories from Cumbres Pass in Colorado

Aster and Melampyrum?
Summer flowers from the Rocky Mountains - red Scarlet gilia (Ipomopsis aggregata), blue Aster, and yellow monkeyflower (Mimulus).

Time to split
Which way to go?  The rail will make the decision for you.

through the Tanglefoot curve
Here comes the narrow gauge steam train of the Cumbres and Toltec Railroad through the Tanglefoot curve, shaped nearly like a circle.  It is named after an event where someone jumped of the train at the beginning of the loop and run across to the other track, through brush and bushes.  But his foot got tangled, and he fell, so he missed the train he should have jumped back on.

The Galloping Goose, a funny train contraption.
The Galloping Goose is a funny railroad contraption, unique to this part of the world. With its cowcatcher, silver box, and railroad bell, it looks like a hybrid of train, airplane, and small truck. When the narrow gauge railroads here started to do bad financially, one railroad (Rio Grande Southern) used these customized one-car trains to get mail and passengers to the different stations and save money. They were first made from Pierce Arrow cars.

baby fly agaric
The Rockies are home to lots of mushrooms, including ones that look just like Swedish 'flugsvamp' (fly agaric), which are popular Christmas decorations in Sweden (and on our Christmas tree too).  This 'baby' mushroom was about 5 cm in diameter.

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