Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Boreas Pass ~ pt. 2

Boreas Pass is located at an elevation of 11, 493 feet above sea level. Environmental conditions at this elevation are most inhospitable. Even in the Summer months.

The railroad tracks needed constant maintenance, especially in the winter. And the workers who did this maintenance needed to live close by. A small town of around 150 people sprang up at the top of the pass after the railroad was completed to accommodate these workers. There was even a post office. Looking out at the sparse landscape, one can only imagine about the hardy souls that once called this area home.

Today only one of these original buildings remain. And even it has been reconstructed. A water tank (used to supply the steam engines with water) can also be seen on the road up from Breckenridge.

South Park
The trek down the east side of Boreas Pass is not nearly as "white knuckle" nor as scenic as the west side. But still a lovely drive. And before we knew it, we could see what is left of the town of Como ahead of us.

Como, while still inhabited, is a mere shadow of its former self. The town grew as a division spot for the trains coming from Denver to the north and then heading on to either the west or the south. The town's population was around 500 but with the constant railroad traffic, there were always thousands of people around. In 1909 many of the buildings burned down and were never rebuilt.

image source
The old schoolhouse still remains as well as the railroad roundhouse which housed the locomotives that serviced the line over Boreas Pass. This magnificent structure was built by Italian stonemasons in 1881.

After leaving Como, Hubby and I headed over Kenosha Pass (elev. 10,000 ft.) into the South Platte River Canyon and the town of Bailey.

There we stopped for a quick supper at another of our favorite eateries, Coney Island Hot Dog Stand. Yes, the building is shaped like a giant hotdog & most of the seating is outside. We each had a specialty 'dog' - mine was elk and Hubby's was buffalo. Yummy!

1 comment:

Debra She Who Seeks said...

That's a beautiful roundhouse!