Georgetown Loop Narrow Gauge Train with Zeb the Duck

Today we are going to Georgetown to ride the train.   I love that train.

Georgetown Loop Train. Tickets and gift shop

Georgetown, Colorado is a former mining town.   In 1884 a narrow gauge train was completed to connect some mining towns.    At the time, this train was considered an engineering marvel.   There were horseshoe curves, 4% grades, 4 bridges across Clear Creek and Devil’s Gate High Bridge.   The distance between Georgetown and Silver Plume was only 2 miles (3.2 km) but the train traveled 4.5 miles (7.2 km) to go through the narrow canyon between the two mining towns.   Mining ended, roads were built and the train was dismantled in 1939.   But during the 1980’s, the train was restored and is now a tourist train.   Inside the building we will get our tickets.  We did make the recommended reservations.   We are glad we did.   It is a very full train, and we went on Wednesday.   We leave the ticket and gift shop and wander around.

Clear Creek. Canoe and tepee

From the bridge over Clear Creek, we admire the canoe and tepee.   And we see a small native Colorado animal.

Chipmunk chewing something

We love chipmunks.   This one is chewing something.   His nose is wrinkled up.   The train is coming from Silver Plume.

Train from Silver Plume

Some passengers will get off and stay here, most will get off for about 10 minutes and then get back on.   Mom, our friend and I, Zeb the Duck, are on the train.

On train. More passengers coming.  I do have two eyes!

More passengers are coming.   There will not be pictures of me on the train.   The rails are not level and I don’t want to fall off.   Also mom can’t take good photos with the sun behind me like this.  We are moving.

Devil’s Gate High Bridge from lower train tracks

From the lower track we look up to view Devil’s Gate High Bridge.   Winding around the station, we are now going on Devil’s Gate High Bridge.

We are going over Devil’s Gate High Bridge

We rode this train a couple years ago and I love it.   It is wonderful that we are riding again.   The scenery from the train is beautiful.

Beautiful mountains

We are in a mountain canyon in the Colorado Rockies.   Pulling into Silver Plume station, the conductor tells us we have about 10 minutes here.

About 10 minute stop in Silver Plume

We don’t go far.   Some people started their train ride here, so they get off now.   Maybe a few new passengers join us.   Our train crosses Clear Creek 4 times each direction.

Clear Creek

This is one of my favorite views of Clear Creek.   When the first railroad was build in the 1880’s there were no machines to move rocks.   These boulders were all move by human hands.

in 1880’s boulders moved by human hands. No machinery

We are almost back to Devil’s Gate station, our starting point.

Almost back to Devil’s Gate Station

There was a stop for humans to get off the train if they purchased tickets to visit an underground mine.   We did not.   We want to drive through the mountains when our train trip is finished.

Devil’s Gate Station

We have arrived at Devil’s Gate station and we must leave the train.    But we saw something between Clear Creek and the Rocky Mountains.   Off the train, we need to explore.

Mule Deer

Yes, we did see deer.   This is a young mule deer.   Just love those huge ears.   There are 4 deer here.   We stood very still and all four of them crossed the road in front of us and gracefully climbed into the mountains.   Back in our car, we drive behind Georgetown.   We will go over Guanella Pass and arrive in Grant, Colorado, on the other side of the Continental Divide.

Georgetown, Colorado

Driving up the pass, we stop to look at Georgetown behind and below us.  The aspen trees are changing colors now.

Variety of colors all together

Some leaves will still be green, some bright yellow, some gold and some red.   At the top of Guanella Pass we stop to admire the view from the top.

Guanella Pass area, above timberline.

Again, we are above tree line as we are on the top of the Continental Divide.  Going down toward Grant we stop to admire Geneva Creek.

Water is soothing and beautiful

This is a great day.   The Colorado sun has been shining much of the day.   We love the train.   And our Colorado mountains are beautiful.   The train was less than an hour from home and Grant is about 90 minutes from home.   We hope you explore and enjoy areas around your home also.

Christmas Train in Georgetown, Colorado with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, and Soapy Smith Duck, are going on the Christmas train.   We love trains and we love Christmas and we love Georgetown.

Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown, Colorado

A perfect time for us.   Arriving early, while still daylight, we find the path to the warming hut and our train.

Path to train station and white warming hut

Path to train station and white warming hut

But first we see Jeremy roasting chestnuts.

Jeremy is roasting chestnuts

Jeremy is roasting chestnuts

Of course we try some.   Very nice.   Our first time eating roasted chestnuts.    Jeff shows us some knives he recently made.   He is a blacksmith and also carves the handles for his knives.

Jeff makes and sells great knives

Jeff makes and sells great knives

Some of the handles are bone, some are antlers or animal horns.   All the knives he makes are one of a kind and personally crafted by Jeff.   Heading to the train station, we love these guys in the canoe.

Canoe with friends in Clear Creek

Canoe with friends in Clear Creek

They are floating on the partially frozen Clear Creek.   This creek also winds through downtown Denver.  Looking the other direction on Clear Creek, we see the train crossing Devil’s Gate High Bridge.

Train on Devil's Gate High Bridge

Train on Devil’s Gate High Bridge

The train will cross Clear Creek 4 times on this loop ride.   This narrow gauge train was completed in 1884 to connect the two mining towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume.   Now it is primarily a tourist train.   It is rather chilly here in the mountains, so we head to the warming hut.   Inside we admire the decorations.

Inside warming hut

Inside warming hut

Our train has not arrived yet, but this one is here.  Freight cars decorated for the Christmas season.

Decorated train cars

Decorated train cars

There are lights everywhere.   Inside our train, there are more lights.

Inside night train

Inside night train

It is dark outside now, and we pass so many displays of lights.   Some lighting displays are synchronized with music.   Since this is a Christmas train, Santa is here.

Santa in train

Santa in train

We ducks tell Santa what we want for Christmas.   Maybe we will get it?  Maybe not?  But, we love Santa and we love this train ride.   The towns of Georgetown and Silver Plume are only 2 miles (3.2 km) apart, but climbing the mountain, we ride 4.5 miles (7.2 km) on this train.   Returning to the Georgetown train station, we enjoy hot chocolate and sugar cookies from Steph.

Hot chocolate and sugar cookies here

Hot chocolate and sugar cookies here

Looking back, we love the lights leading to the train.   If you visit Colorado this month, we hope you ride the Georgetown Christmas train.   We think you will love it as much as we did.

Georgetown Christmas Market with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

One of our favorite nearby mountain towns is Georgetown, Colorado.

You will enjoy visiting Georgetown, Colorado.

You will enjoy visiting Georgetown, Colorado.

We are going to the Christmas market.   Georgetown has a special Christmas market the first two weekends of December.

Entering Christmas market

Entering Christmas market

We went last weekend.   We hope  you visit this weekend.   The area is small, but you will find things here that you do not see everywhere else.   We bought some jewelry.   The favorite items for our moms were eye masks.   They are filled with cherry pits.

Eye mask filled with cherry pits

Eye mask filled with cherry pits

Our moms put them in the freezer and use them in the morning.   They say their eyes are tired in the morning and a little swollen.   The cold, but not frigid, mask makes eyes feel better and reduces the slight swelling.   The lady that makes and sells them also has larger ones.   They can also be put in the freezer, but usually a put in a microwave for no more than 2 minutes.   The pad with cherry pits will stay warm, not hot, for 1-2 hours.   We ducks are wondering if our moms will be saving and using cherry pits this summer?  We saw several people here, but it was not overly crowded.

Comfortable amount of humans

Comfortable amount of humans

That large barrel is for roasting chestnuts and cooking other food.   Several types of hats were also available.

Soapy's mom had to help us. We fell off the hats

Soapy’s mom had to help us.  We fell off the hats.  Several times!

Shopping always makes humans, and ducks, hungry.   Pretzels and other snacks were available here.

Pretzels and snacks

Pretzels and snacks

Other food choices were also sold on the street and at Georgetown’s many restaurants.

Georgetown's tourist and business street

Georgetown’s tourist and business street

It does get cold in the mountains, especially when the sun goes behind the mountains, so this fire pit was a welcome and popular spot.

Love the warmth of fire pits

Love the warmth of fire pits

We love the lights on live trees in Georgetown.   There are many beautiful trees growing in town, so they do not need to cut a special Christmas tree.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

This is not the largest Christmas market, but it is very nice and fun to visit.   After, or before, visiting this market, you may wish to ride the Georgetown Loop narrow gauge train.   The lighting for Christmas is very festive.   We will show you photos of the train next time.   Visit Georgetown soon and you will have a good time.   We did.

Fall Colors of Colorado’s Guanella Pass with the Colorado Traveling Ducks

Huge clusters of golden aspen leaves against the bright blue Colorado sky is one of our favorite sights.   Today we drove from Grant, Colorado on US Highway 285, across Guanella Pass to Georgetown, Colorado.   First stop was at Geneva Creek.

Beautiful colors at Geneva Creek

Beautiful colors at Geneva Creek

And looking down Geneva Creek, ducks and humans feel so peaceful.

Water is soothing and beautiful

Water is soothing and beautiful

While the leaves are the feature for today, the granite Rocky Mountains are always an impressive sight.

Rugged rock

Rugged rock

Hearing water as we drive, a stop to admire these rapids was inevitable.

Cascading water sounds wonderful

Cascading water sounds wonderful

Around each curve in the road, the view is spectacular.

Around each curve is more beauty

Around each curve is more beauty

Perhaps Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck add a little to the scene.   Nature is so magnificent.   Mountains and horses seem to belong together in Colorado.

Mountains and horses.

Mountains and horses.

Further along, down another less traveled road, we found “our picnic grounds”.

Duck Creek Picnic Ground. For us?

Duck Creek Picnic Ground. For us?

The wind was strong enough that we blew off the sign for Duck Creek Picnic Ground.   Gold, orange and red leaves dominate during the autumn, but the evergreen trees offer a beautiful ground cover.

Pine needles

Pine needles

Still climbing up, above timberline, we reach the summit area of Guanella Pass.

Guanella Pass area, above timberline.

Guanella Pass summit area, above timberline.

It is chillier up here and windy, so Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck must be extra careful.   Even the low bushes provide color.   The Rocky Mountains have so many secrets.   Here is an unusual feature that caught our eyes.

Amazing feature

Amazing feature

Heading down the mountain, we marvel at the huge expanse of gold aspen trees.

Yellow aspen with evergreen trees.

Yellow aspen with evergreen trees.

Storm clouds to the north are forming.

Storm clouds. Snow for the northern mountains.

Storm clouds. Snow for the northern mountains.

The northern mountains will receive some snow tonight.  But in the Denver area, we will still enjoy warmer days with no snow or freezing temperatures yet.   Various stages of changing leaves is wonderful.

Variety of colors all together

Variety of colors all together

Admiring yellow and orange leaves with a background of green foliage, we are approaching Georgetown now.

Georgetown, Colorado

Georgetown, Colorado

The colors were wonderful, but now we will head back home.   But, first a little time in one of our favorite mountain towns, Georgetown, Colorado.   We hope you are also enjoying the varying colors of autumn.

Georgetown Loop Railroad with Zeb and Soapy Smith Duck

Soapy Smith Duck and I, Zeb the Duck, took our moms to Georgetown, Colorado to ride the narrow gauge train.

Georgetown Loop Railroad

Georgetown Loop Railroad

We live about 40 minutes away and it was a beautiful, sunny Colorado day.   It was Buffalo Bill Days at the railroad.    This is a great chalk picture of Annie Oakley.

Annie Oakley in chalk

Annie Oakley in chalk

And, of course, here is a silhouette of Buffalo Bill.

Buffalo Bill

Buffalo Bill in chalk

Jeff was there helping people pan for gold.   We are watching and helping Soapy’s mom with gold panning.

Panning for gold

Panning for gold

She found some gold.

We found gold!

We found gold!

Then she panned for gems.

Panning for gems. Pan has wider ridges

Panning for gems.

This is fun.   The Georgetown Loop Train leaves from Devil’s Gate Station in Georgetown.

Devil's Gate Station at Georgetown, Colorado

Devil’s Gate Station at Georgetown, Colorado

We like riding this train.

On the train

On the train

When you drive in the mountains, the roads have switch backs, so you do not drive straight up. The train tracks do similar looping and turning, to reduce the uphill grade to about 4%.   We will cross Clear Creek four times to arrive at Silver Plume.

Clear Creek

Clear Creek

This is one of the bridges we will cross.

We will be up there soon

We will be up there soon

In the late 1800’s this was a great engineering accomplishment.   Soapy’s mom with a wild west character.

Soapy's mom and conductor

Soapy’s mom and conductor

We arrived at Silver Plume station.

Arrival at Silver Plume Station

Arrival at Silver Plume Station

Some passengers got off and others got on here.   We got off for a few minutes to purchase snacks and then back on the train.   We love being in our Colorado Rocky Mountains.

Love riding in Colorado's Rocky Mountains

Love riding in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains

Now Buffalo Bill and Annie Oakley sit with Soapy, Zeb and Soapy’s mom.

With Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill

With Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill

Here is another view of the front of our train.

Our train is heading back

Our train is heading back

We are approaching Devil’s Gate Station, our starting and ending point.   We liked these musicians, and they like the Colorado Traveling Ducks.

We like these musicians

We like these musicians

When you are in Colorado, we hope you ride this train or one of our other narrow gauge trains. Have fun and do some tourist things in your home town also.   We had fun today.

Georgetown, Colorado with Zeb and Eider Duck

I, Zeb the Duck, and my Alaska cousin, Eider Duck, visited Georgetown, Colorado.

Georgetown, Colorado was an old mining town.

Georgetown, Colorado was an old mining town.

We did not have any snow in our neighborhood near Denver, so we drove to Georgetown to find some.  First stop is the Georgetown Visitor’s Center.

The Visitor Center has great information and a small museum.

The Visitor Center has great information and a small museum.

It was starting to snow in Georgetown, so our photos are missing the bright sunshine and our Colorado blue skies.   But we loved the misty mountains and the light falling snow.   The park in Georgetown has a pretty gazebo and it had evergreen branches for Christmas decorations.

In the park in Georgetown, Colorado

In the park in Georgetown, Colorado

On the main street, this archway leads to a small area with seats.

Misty mountains are pretty

Misty mountains are pretty

The tall tree by the outdoor café was decorated.

Didn't even want hot chocolate out here today.  But it is pretty.

Didn’t even want hot chocolate out here today. But it is pretty.

It was too cool today for us to sit outdoors and enjoy refreshments.   Looking down the main street, we liked the Christmas decorations over the street and

Looking down main street at mountains

Looking down main street at mountains

especially liked this view of the mountains, slightly obscured by swirling snow and light fog.   This tree with lights seemed festive to us.

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

We really like that Georgetown does not cut trees to decorate.   The lights and decorations are placed on growing trees.  We enjoy these trees all year long.   Eider and Zeb liked sitting on these logs.

These logs seemed inviting to ducks.

These logs seemed inviting to ducks.

Georgetown is a nice town located at an altitude of 8,530 feet in the mountains.  It is a nice drive on I-70, about 45 minutes west of Denver.

You will enjoy visiting Georgetown, Colorado.

You will enjoy visiting Georgetown, Colorado.

We will be back here soon.

Georgetown and Guanella Pass

Zeb the duck here again.  Thursday mom and I went to Georgetown and then up Guanella Pass.  Georgetown is on I-70 west of Denver.  Like many mountain towns, they have festivals during the year, so maybe we will visit again.

Remember I told you yesterday that the aspen leaves are turning red and then gold for autumn.  And, I thought we might go for another leaf peeking drive.  We did.  I love it.  Summer was perfect, but the autumn is beautiful in a different way.  Guess I like the changing of seasons.  This is my first year, so I am just guessing.

First stop was the Georgetown Visitor’s Center.

Georgetown Visitor's Center

Georgetown Visitor’s Center

This place has everything.  Lots of information for tourists, but also a museum.  There is a big gift store.  And, the television monitors had real time traffic toward the tunnel.  This is very important, especially with winter approaching and driving in the mountains.  There has already been snow on these roads this year.

We drove through town towards Guanella Pass.

A few minutes toward the pass looking back at Georgetown

A few minutes toward the pass looking back at Georgetown

This is another place with many aspen and the gold on the mountain with green pine trees is fabulous against the bright blue Colorado sky.

Aspens and mom left me on the road

Aspens and mom left me on the road

These are some of the gorgeous golden aspen leaves.   The water is part of a hydroelectric plant.

Aspen, water and mountains.  Perfect

Aspen, water and mountains. Perfect

The creek is always refreshing and after the recent heavy rain, the rivers

Water rushing through the aspens

Water rushing through the aspens

and creeks are full and running fast.

We returned to Georgetown and visited the Art Gallery.  Very nice.

Colorado Art

Colorado Art

All the art is created by Colorado artists.  Many talented people live in Colorado.  The Happy Cooker is a nice place for lunch.

Happy Cooker.  Good food

Happy Cooker. Good food

There is outside and inside seating.  They serve breakfast and lunch all day.  We love the sandwiches.

My favorite stop was Georgetown Valley Candy Company.  They have been here many years.

Sweet and delicious.  Gifts also

Sweet and delicious. Gifts also

We had black cherry ice cream.  Yum!!  Their fudge is also wonderful.  Next a little shopping at the Santa Fe Trail shop.

Unusual jewelry, clothes and gifts.  Hurry in

Unusual jewelry, clothes and gifts. Hurry in

They are celebrating 53 years in business and most items are on sale—50% off.  Hurry!!!

Leaving town we stopped at the First Presbyterian Church.

Really old and still used today.

Really old and still used today.

This church was built in 1874.  Colorado wasn’t even a state until 1876.  That is old!  They have added to the building

See you Sunday

See you Sunday

and have church services every Sunday.

Next we saw a park.  The playground equipment was great.

Loved the slide

Loved the slide

Makes me wish I were human.  This was paid for by the Colorado Lottery.  So, buy some tickets!  The ground here looks like street pavement, but is feels like foam.  Very nice and probably very safe.  A great fountain

Love all water

Love all water

and a crazy bench.  This bench is made from a tree trunk.  I love it.

The best bench!

The best bench!

Come to Georgetown.  It took us less than an hour to get here and I know you will love it too.  I’m coming back!