2008 Photo Galleries & Trip Report
July 6-9, 2008
After leaving Chama in October 2006, I was deeply under the spell of the narrow gauge and the Rio Grande. I spent the next 18 months poring over books that Michele was kind enough to purchase for my ever-growing library. I was ravenous to get back to the mountains, but we bought our first house in July 2007 and that killed any chance for extracurricular activities that year. So, I joined the Goat and the NGDF forums and closely followed what was happening, especially the progress on the restoration of the 315 by the Durango Railroad Historical Society. When it became apparent that 315 would operate on the C&T in the summer of 2008 I got spousal approval to make a short solo trip up there. Further planning led to my father and his wife meeting me in Chama on their weeks-long vacation trip through the Rockies.
The 15 hour trip up there was arduous, but do-able. I was thoroughly exhausted when I pulled into Chama and parked on Terrace Ave across from the mall. I got out, walked over to the edge of the embankment, and stood there staring at the yard in absolute amazement. My legs were shaking. After nearly 2 years of studying books and staring at Jay's webcams, I was actually gazing upon the yard. As I stood there in my stupor, my father walked up behind me, having arrived several hours earlier. After a quick hug we both stared at the yard for several moments in silence... taking it all in. It's a moment I'll never forget... one of the most poignant in my life (right up there with marrying Michele, earning the title "Marine", and becoming a Christian).
As of this writing, I've been back to Chama 4 times since our first visit in 2006. Each time the initial arrival and requisite yard tour has been special, just as it was that summer evening in 2008 with my father. Chama is indeed a very special place...