We left the completion of the
air conditioning issues until the last day. We were
able to obtain a 24V compressor unit and in addition to mounting the unit, the completed
system had to be charged with coolant. When we
completed the maintenance actions, Rob took us both
for a ride in his Lamborghini Diablo. From La Junta we
traveled west to Mogote, NM.
The photos below are what we saw.
The new compressor arrived from
NAPA. We did an inspection and determined it matched
the expected part number.
Part of the plan was to
rework the a/c mount. Above, Rob cuts some "ears" from 3/8" plate.
The old ears were cut of
the mount using a porta-band saw.
The new ears were welded
on and marked for drilling.
The drill press required
some special jig to support the mount for drilling.
The compressor was mounted and
the belt installed.
Rob took us for a ride in his
The Diablo is a mean machine with 500+ hp and a very high
We left La Junta and
headed west past Walsenburg. From
La Veta pass we headed toward Alamosa but had to
divert south because of the "South Fork" fire which had
Wolf Creek Pass closed. En route to Alamosa,
10+ pieces of emergency equipment headed east to
happened behind us. The ambulance was
just one of many that passed us.
We ended up at the Mogote, NM camp area right on
River. The stream-side camp was quiet but a bit buggy.
From Mogote, we went over a 10,000 foot pass
to Chama, NM. Chama hosts the Chama-Antonito narrow gauge railroad called the "Cumbres
and Toltec Railroad". The yard at Chama was
filled with tourist's cars awaiting
passage on the steam train.
The Chama rail yard also
had several later model diesel-electric locomotives used to shuttle cars in the yard.
This old water tower is used to fill the
This is a steam-powered
rotary snow plow. The plow required another steam engine to provide motion
while the steam power within the plow was used to turn the blower.
Note the blower points to the right.
Another rotary plow with the blower
pointed to the
This looks like something for the children,
but it is an actual working engine.
At the end of the yard is the
coaling station for the engines.
We were able to get close
to the rotary plows and see the blower assembly.
The shop area was off limits,
but we could see
that there were several engines in the shop being
One of the engines was coming
out of the shop and just being fired up. From Chama, we headed
west to Durango, CO to visit our friends Brad and Laura.
We had a great BBQ prime
rib at Brad's
accompanied with plenty of liquor. Next morning, we
heard the train whistle from the DSNGRR steam train coming north from
Durango. I hustled out of the house and across the tracks to await
the approach of the train.
Running north from Durango
is uphill and the trains blow an incredible amount of smoke.
The Sunday train was full
with tourists for the ride to Silverton, CO.
When the train approaches
the crossing signals stop traffic on the main highway.
Walking back to Brad's
place I got a nice view
of the cliffs in the distance.
Later in the day we packed a
picnic lunch and headed to the Hermosa basin with our gear. From the trail we
got a nice view
of the San Juan mountains to the east.
After our day out at Hermosa we
encountered the train returning at the end of the day.
Note that there is almost no smoke on the down-grade run.
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Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2013,
all rights reserved.
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.