Lens-Artists Photo Challenge – A Change of Scenery

This week, the Lens-Artists Photo Challenge features a guest host. Beth, of Wandering Dawgs Blog, asks us to share images that fit the theme “Change of Scenery.”  She writes about getting out and finding a change of scenery, and goes on to note, “If you are unable to get out right now, we’d love for you to browse through your archives to feature images from places you have visited in the past when you needed a change of scenery.” You can read her entire challenge post here.

In last week’s challenge, I could have easily copied those images of a cruise through the Panama Canal in the “Special Moments” theme to be placed in this week’s “Change of Scenery” theme. Instead of using a cruise ship to bring about the change of scenery, this week, I’ll feature images of a scenic train trip we took in June 2017. The opening photo features a trestle bridge that we would soon find ourselves using to cross Clear Creek at Georgetown, Colorado. We would soon be boarding the train being pulled by steam engine 111 for our ride through the Colorado Rockies.

After boarding the train at Georgetown, the train takes the long way through the mountains between Georgetown and Silver Plume. These two towns are both parallel to I-70 about 2 miles (3.2 km) apart. The train, however, goes through the mountains on the narrow gauge track taking an hour or more with one stop along the way. The image above features our engineer repositioning the engine from the front to the rear of the train. The engine pulls the train in one direction, then “swaps ends” and pushes in the other direction.

Clear Creek presents plenty of scenic opportunities as it winds along I-70 and the old train tracks that opened in 1884 with the express purpose of taking tourists from Denver on an excursion into the mountains for the princely sum of $3 USD. Those connecting tracks to Denver have long since disappeared, and the crowds now have to go to Georgetown or Silver Plume for their Rocky Mountain excursion by rail.

Train aficionados will enjoy riding over the trestle bridges needed to cross the valleys along the way. I would imagine the conductor in the image above probably never tires of standing on the platform at the end of a car to enjoy the beautiful mountain views.

Near Clear Creek is a mining museum. It’s the only stop along the way. If you purchase tickets to the museum, you can stopover at the mine and spend some time at the museum. When your visit to the mine is complete, you can board another train to continue your journey. On this trip, we elected not to stop but we’ll put it on our agenda for the next trip.

On our trip, we chose to ride in a parlor car but riders can step between cars to an open-air platform car for photos. People who purchase open-air tickets, however, do not have seating in the parlor cars. In reviewing the company’s online information for 2021, they are open for the 2021 summer season, but will have open-air cars only and have added extra cars to allow for plenty of physical spacing between families for Covid mitigation.

Plenty of fresh mountain air awaits the train traveler on this change of scenery. For more about the Georgetown Loop Railroad and more photos, check out my original post here. Thanks again to Beth of Wandering Dawgs for reminding me of my first train trip through the Colorado Rockies. The Georgetown Loop Railroad is truly a change of scenery for this Great Plains flatlander.

John Steiner




  1. Looks like an amazing ride John, especially for train aficionados like you! I loved your B&W image of the engineer as well, of course, as your images of the beautiful mountains streams and views. On the other hand I’m not sure I’d trust what look like very questionable bridges!! BTW, I’m sure you saw the news about the Panama Canal being blocked by a large container ship. Can you imagine the chaos?!

  2. I love your images, John. I’m especially taken by the ones of the conductor and the engineer. The black and white is so expressive! It’s a great idea to take a trip through the Rockies on a steam locomotive. Do you think you’ll do it again this summer? It sounds like you might??

  3. What an enjoyable train tour through the Mountains and river! It looks like a perfect day.
    Thank you for taking us there, John. 🙂

  4. That bridge reminds me of the Royal Gorge. We were up there waiting in line and a deer stuck it’s head in our window and licked the driver! The driver was grossed out by the bad breath. Your pictures captured the stunning views in CO. Have a wonderful week. 🙂

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