~Saturday, October 24, 2020~
Today is our final day in the Leadville area (we were supposed to be in Fort Collins instead of Leadville). But we’re glad we got to check out this recreational area surrounded by the tallest peaks in all of Colorado. As you have read, we have had very little downtime here. Like today. A train ride on the Leadville Colorado and Southern Railroad.
We were thrilled we got to bring along our 4-legged friend as she wasn’t alone on the trip. There were quite a few canine friends on board. Jeff and I always prefer open cars with this one being right behind the engine. Sadie did so well as she sat on our seats so she could see over the rails. The scenery wasn’t as spectacular as what the Durango train ride provided (see Oct. 10 post), but what that lacked, this one had. We love a narrative when doing things like this and our train conductor today did not disappoint. As we climbed 1,000 feet,
he shared his wealth of knowledge about the history of the railroad but also shared personal stories of his time on these mountains mainly photographing the abundant wildlife. One of the animals he focused on was elk. We learned their antlers can grow up to 2 inches/day. We also learned about the unfortunate season for the Aspen trees. There had been 2 cold snaps that occurred, one in early summer and the other early Fall that caused the changing leaves to drop. So no Fall display this year in this particular area.
We also learned that socialite Molly Brown and her husband James Brown made their fortune in the silver mines of Leadville. Now of course we’d already learned about the “unsinkable Molly Brown” and her survival of the sinking of the Titanic, but we never knew this is where she had made her fortune. A really fun experience and so much history in this town of 2,700 people.
We’re definitely coming up to a whole new learning curve of RV’ing in cold weather. Starting today and the following two days, weather is becoming a concern for us, as we may have snow and high winds (40 to 60 mph) on our travels tomorrow. Since the temperatures are supposed to drop to 8 degrees by tomorrow evening, we will be filling the fresh water tank when we arrive at our next campsite, to have plenty of fresh water we can use from that instead of leaving our hoses exposed in the freezing temperatures. This cold snap is only supposed to last for a few days. Jeff is on the fence about purchasing a heated water hose and trying to justify the expense since we don’t have plans to be in freezing or sub-zero temperatures while traveling, except in Colorado. This was not expected as we’re in record territory here for Colorado. One of the reasons we purchased a Lance is that it is a 4-season trailer. One of the benefits of this is our tanks are within tanks so that there is air space between them where heated air can circulate. The heat source only comes from the heater which runs on propane. The fireplace or any other heat source won’t do it. So the next few days will be a good test of how our trailer does…..crossing our fingers that nothing freezes. Stay tuned……