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On May 29th, Wolfgang and I drove the 30 miles to Alamosa from our house, then boarded the Rio Grande "Scenic Railroad" for a trip on the San Luis Express through our wonderful area.  The train initially followed the same route we had just driven: going east along Hwy 160 through the area where Wolfgang's ULazyU and ULayU 2 are located, then through Blanca, through Fort Garland, heading east toward the road where we actually turn to go to our house in the SDCR area-- then chugging along to Forbes Park.  From that area-- the train meanders through the mountains past wonderful aspen forests, streams running along side of the train tracks, through tall pine and fir areas with abounding wildlife and eventually appears to be following the old LaVeta highway paralleling Hwy 160 into a wonderful verdant valley of placid cattle and horses grazing underneath the shadow of the Spanish Peaks, whose lower slopes are covered with wildflowers.  The trip to the actual small town of LaVeta took approximately 4 hours and then we had a two hour lunch break (an hour to stroll and hour to eat).   On the way back in the afternoon we enjoyed the same scenery but with different lighting and a new vantage point.  I personally saw 2 bears!  The first one was in a meadow area under an aspen grove higher than the train.  I saw it on the way over.  On the return trip a group of passengers and I standing on the back of the train saw another bear lumbering along below the train near the stream bed.  Since the area had above-average moisture during the winter and also a wet spring-- everything was amazingly green, lush, and leafed out.  But with all the aspens, I know this would be an outstanding trip in the fall.  The train runs daily - leaving at 9 and returning to Alamosa at 4:45.  The website is https://www.coloradotrain.com/

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad: San Luis Express
Alamosa to La Veta, CO -- May 29, 2007