I’ve been pretty disappointed that remnants of railroads once traveling from Boulder deep into the mountains are gone for the most part without a trace (see Switzerland Trail post). So I was quite excited recently to find, via a bike ride filming adventure down Valmont, this lot belonging to the Boulder County Railway Historical Society, offering up a bit of a connection to long gone lines.
This chimney is all that’s left of what used to be a train station on the Switzerland Trail, formerly a narrow gauge railroad that ran from Boulder to Ward, hauling mining spoils and tourists. Now the railroad grade has trails/ dirt roads, and the former station is a picnic ground.
I am still looking for more recognizable railroad relics in the neighborhood of the Switzerland Trail for the film I’m working on that was originally about Ward and is now more about a reversal of the process of “civilization,” expansion and settlement as dramatized in Western films.
One of the projects I am currently working on examines the layers of history in the landscape of/ surrounding the Sangre de Cristo mountains in Southern Colorado. Over the years (decades/ centuries) the Sangres and environs have served as something of a magnet for Native Americans not particularly interested in playing nice with usurping European settlers, outlaws of various stripes, and in the 1960s and 70s, hippies and back-to-the-landers forging new ways of living.
In the course of my research, I found that some of the communes established in the area were still going strong. This past weekend, I paid a visit to Libre, a community of hand-built homes nestled in the Huerfano valley and still very much vibrant 40 years after its inception. Nic Seivert snapped a couple of digital pics of structures and landscape while I wielded the Bolex.