Sunday, July 26, 2015

We Love Trains

So yesterday we rode the Rio Grande Scenic RR from Ft. Garland to Fir, where we attended a folk music concert, then returned to Ft. Garland. We have ridden this train several times in the past and this is the third concert we have attended at Fir. Look at the scenery at the concert site.

But first about the train trip. We boarded the train at Fort Garland, about 20 miles from our RV park in Alamosa.

We had seats in the open car. At first, we thought we might be uncomfortable there because sometimes it is very cold on the trip to or from LaVeta pass, where Fir is located. But it turns out, we had the most comfortable ride on the train, despite the wooden seats. It was a warm day and we had a great breeze. The views were great, too.

We even saw a herd of elk.

We went to hear John McCutcheon, a great musician and folk singer/story teller. We had heard him here once before. He played guitar, banjo, hammered dulcimer, keyboard, fiddle and another stringed instrument I didn't recognize. And he played every one excellently. He sings old time folk songs and others about modern life.

The opening set was done by folk singers Steve Gillette and Cindy Mangsen. They were very good, too. Steve plays the guitar and Cindy plays both the guitar and concertina.

In addition to the music, the numerous young children at the concert provided lots of entertainment. They were free to dance and watch and listen from the space in front of the stage.

Even the security guards were open to helping the children.

McCutcheon was wonderful with the children. This little girl walked up to the stage and said she had sand in her shoe. He put down his guitar and knelt down, then took off the shoe, shook out the sand and put it back on.

He had a devoted fan after that.

That wasn't the only time he impressed us with his treatment of the children. He said one of his young fans, who he talked to on the train trip to the concert, had asked him to sing a special song. He called that young boy to the stage to sing with him. Notice in the photo below the young boy who is blind and has a cane to help him navigate. That is Ky (spelling?). John asked him to come up, his mother brought him to the stage, and he sang with the star. Look at the smile on his face!

The concert ended with all three entertainers, as well as Fred Hargrove--a western singer we have heard in the past and who was MC at this concert--and Ed Ellis, president of the Rio Grand Scenic, all singing a couple of songs.

Ellis grew up on the south and always loved trains. The cars we rode in yesterday had all been used on the rail line featured in "The City of Chicago." He was the soloist when the whole group sang that song.  I love the refrain, "Good morning, America. How are you?"  The audience sang that with them each time it was repeated.

I was a great day.


  1. The windows are really large which makes it nice...

  2. Excellent day, we too took a train ride in Ely Nevada, loved it .