Train Rides – Folk Music – Birthdays

Tom MunchThis past weekend was a rather full and “eventful” three days. Friday was a “taking care of business” day in Colorado Springs. Both of us needed to see several medical providers and there was a cargo trailer to be purchased. Despite our best efforts we seemed to be constantly running behind as we kept having to wait for this, that, or the other. But, eventually we were able to head south for our weekend getaway in La Veta, CO. We arrived just in time to get checked in at the La Veta Inn and get downstairs for our dinner reservation at Alys Restaurant.

We dined out on the patio and enjoyed the live music as Tom Munch kept a steady string of tunes going. Alys came out and personally assisted Rhonda with her gluten-free selections while I sipped on a local brew. The dinner was exceptional, kudos to Alys and crew, and we liked Tom’s music enough to buy a couple of his CDs.

Saturday had a plan. We had purchased tickets on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad and were headed to the top of La Veta Pass where, in a natural mountain amphitheater run by solar and wind power you’ll find Fir, Colorado, the site of the Mountain Rails Live Summer Concert Series; The only Rocky Mountain concert venue that is accessible solely by train. The weather was shaping up beautifully, clear blue skies with a few clouds and nice warm temperatures. We walked over to the train depot and soon were boarded and chugging up the mountain. The track winds in and out of the canyons, along the sides of the hills, and it goes pretty slow so there is plenty of opportunity to take in the sights. At the present time the sights include black bears who are frequenting a grain spill up between two tunnels. We saw five of them chowing down on the spilled grain when we went past.

La Veta Pass It took about an hour to get to the top where we de-trained, had a bit of BBQ for lunch, and then went down and enjoyed the music. Steve Gillette & Cindy Mangsen from Vermont opened with traditional folk music and some original songs. Playing the guitar, concertina and banjo, they had a rich harmony, compelling songs and a good dose of humor. The main attraction was Weavermania, a folk group dedicated to recreating the songs and music of The Weavers, whose musical influence can still be heard in the Kingston Trio; Peter, Paul and Mary; and in every coffee house and folk club in the country. All of the music was great and we really enjoyed the afternoon. Late in the afternoon, the train took us back down to La Veta and we relaxed a bit before having another great dinner at Alys’ and heading for an early bed.

Sunday we hung around for awhile and then headed up Hwy 12 to Cucharas Pass and then took the dirt road on up the mountain to Cordova Pass, a high pass (11248 ft/3428 m) to the west of the peak. There we went on a short hike and enjoyed the views of the Spanish Peaks and surrounding areas. The drive down the east side of the twin peaks took considerably longer than we thought and we ended up being late to our grandsons Birthday party by the time we got back to Pueblo.

BalloonsThe party was a big success and everyone had fun, especially the handsome boy, who demonstrated that cake is not meant to be eaten but rather smeared around on your forehead! Looked like fun to me but I got “that look” from Rhonda when I thought about trying it 😉 Presents were opened and he will definitely be entertained for awhile with all the new stuff.

On the way back through the Springs we picked up our cargo trailer which I found on Craigslist. I call it my “mobile shed” because our current house does not have a shed and this provides not only space to store the lawn mower, bicycles, etc. but also all the stuff we had in temporary storage during the move. Our backyard has a place all rocked-in for parking a trailer so this works out perfect.

One thought on “Train Rides – Folk Music – Birthdays

  1. Love you, Matt. This was a cool article. I felt like I was at Alys with you both. Caleb is SO adorable. I can see Josh and Rhonda in him… The mobile trailer is an awesome idea! You’ll pay for it in what you save from not having to pay storage fees. Thanks for sharing!!!!

Comments are closed.