July 12-19, 2009

This was a VacationsByRail.com tour operated by Mayflower Tours.  I had been to some of the places and trains on the trip, but others were new to me.  There were four trains, as described in the itinerary below; the pins above represent places where photos were taken.  There were 44 people on the tour, mostly retired, including couples, friends traveling together, an extended family of five, etc.

Unfortunately, a lot of the “touring” was bus-only, so many of the photos have reflections, heads, pillars, and even name-tags (we had assigned seats, in rotation, after the first day), but that’s life.

The photos are "geotagged".  This adds GPS data (latitude, longitude, elevation, etc.) to the photo metadata, just as the camera brand and model, date and time, exposure info, etc. are automatically recorded by the camera itself.  Therefore, you can see exactly where each photo was taken, usually to within a few meters.  Unfortunately, the MobileMe web site will only display the GPS info, it doesn't actually map it directly at this time.

The photos here are not edited, except for the GPS info, though some would benefit from some adjustments.  They’re size-reduced for the web, but I’d be happy to send you individual photos or a data DVD with the full-resolution photos (and the videos).

Google’s Picasa web site does an excellent job of integrating geotagged photos with Google Earth and Google Maps, so I’ve uploaded the photos there also.

I also shot HD video on the trains.  I posted “tiny” (176x144), “small” (480x272), and “medium” (640x360) videos.  I can also post “large” (960x540) videos, but they’re really big files - from 151 MB to over 320 MB.  Let me know if you’d like this done, or I can send a data DVD with photos and videos as mentioned above.

In addition to the camcorder’s built-in optical stabilization, the movies were further stabilized by iMovie ’09, but some train motions were too much even for that.  I didn’t upload the unstabilized movies, but they’re on the data DVD also.

The following itinerary is directly from the web page, with the addition of links to the various days’ photos (here and on Picasa) and video.

Day One        photo    Picasa

Arrive in Denver with included transfers to your hotel

Meet your fellow travelers at 6 p.m. for a get-acquainted dinner

Day Two        photos    Picasa

Breakfast at your hotel

Denver city tour

Enjoy the charming ski village of Vail


Day Three      photos    Picasa    video

Breakfast at your hotel

See the grand landscapes of Colorado National Monument

Ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Day Four        photos    Picasa

Breakfast at your hotel

Guided tour of Mesa Verde National Park and the awesome Pueblo cliff dwellings

Day Five        photos    Picasa    video

Breakfast at your hotel

Ride through the Rockies aboard the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad with lunch


Day Six         photos    Picasa    video

Travel through historic Canon City

Royal Gorge Scenic Railway

Day Seven     photos    Picasa    video

Breakfast at your hotel

Visit the U.S. Air Force Academy and its Cadet Chapel

Garden of the Gods Park

“Ride to the Clouds!” aboard the Pikes Peak Cog Railway


Day Eight

Breakfast at your hotel

Group transfer to Denver Airport for flights after 12 p.m.

Trains Across Colorado