All Aboard for Wild Flowers, Wildlife and a Flash Mob?
A choo-choo and some BBQ! Now what can beat that?!
Sure there’s the award winning BBQ from Del Anderson of Breckenridge, Colo. And you really can’t beat the views from the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad (LCSR) as it travels up the Arkansas River Valley through lush aspen and lodge pole pine forest. But this year, the Annual BBQ Train ride might be remembered for what happened at the very end of the trip.
Maybe it was the tang from the BBQ sauce, or perhaps the bit of wine with dinner, but just as the train was pulling back into the station, as the sun was setting over the two highest peaks in the state, a flash mob broke out.
Yes, complete strangers from Tennessee, Arkansas, and Kansas, heard the call of the dance craze “The Cupid Shuffle” over the train’s intercom system, and jumped up, joining the train staff in a memorable, spontaneous performance.
That’s just one of the things you might experience riding the Leadville train. Now in its 26th year, the railroad is offering some incredible package deals, many still left in the season. In fact, their zip and ride package has become one of their most popular ever, according to LCSR Marketing Director Kirstin Ayers. In the morning your group will ride the train up high above the valley floor, letting you off at the Top of The Rockies Zipline crossing where you’ll be picked up and taken zip your way through the San Isabel National Forest down to base camp. This four hour tour is perfect for adults and children giving them an opportunity to see untouched wilderness and is available throughout the train season website.
If an evening dinner and train ride sounds more your pace, then there’s still time to take advantage of the LCSR two new Stork Curve-Climax Specials including a light supper as the train goes to “the end of the line.” These will be 3 and 1/2 hour trips travel over the Arkansas River at its headwaters and see the beauty of the sunset in August. Take your pick of dates: Aug. 22 or Sept. 5, but do it quick as these tours are likely to sell-out. The train departs at 4:30 p.m. Cost: $55 for adult and $25 for children.
This time of year, the majestic mountain views from the train compete with what’s happening on the valley floor – wildflowers! And here’s your chance to see it on The Wild Flower Special train rides, but act quickly, as one of the tours is already sold out! There is still room on July 19 at 10 a.m. and on the Aug. 2, 10 a.m. ride.
See the alpine flowers at their peak, splashing the mountain world with vibrant color! Riders on this special train will join the LCSR’s experienced tour guides for a 20 minute hike through pine forests, aspen groves and open meadows. View a multitude of varieties of wildflowers at the water tower. Some flowers sighted include Indian Paintbrush, Lupine and wild strawberries. You may find anything from our “local” deer to a mushroom in a wet marsh. Remember hiking shoes, a water bottle and camera. This hike is for people of all capabilities and interests please call for more information: 1-866-386-3936.
And why no extend your day’s experience and add-on the Healy House Museum Tour! After the railroad wildflower tour, enjoy a catered box lunch on the lawn at the Healy House Museum in downtown Leadville, where you will also have time to enjoy a stroll through the unique heritage gardens. The gazebo frames the view of Colorado’s highest mountains, Mount Elbert and Mount Massive. The lawn is a good place to view Harrison Avenue and you can see why August Meyer chose the “capital hill” area for his home. Following lunch there will be a private guided tour of both the Healy house Museum and James Dexter’s cabin. Add-on cost is $20 per person and reservations are required.
The Wild Flower Train tour is $52 per adult and $26 per child; add-on the Healy House Lunch and Tour for an additional $20 per adult and $15 per child (under 12)
And if taking pictures is more your thing, then you don’t want to miss The Photo Special Train Rides which take advantage of Colorado’s autumn beauty! This tour goes all the way, an additional mile and a half, allowing you to see the full beauty of the Arkansas River Valley and will take 3 hours. Bring your camera and your jacket! And the best part? The cost s only the normal rate to ride the train! So grab your camera and other photography-loving friends and pick your date: Sept. 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28 with two different departure times of 10 a.m. & 2 p.m.
So take your pick, but whatever you do, don’t let summer go by without heeding the call for All Aboard!