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The photographs I am sharing are from a big project to promote Colorado tourism. During the final years of Denver's Stapleton International Airport, I invented a project, with the support of Eastman Kodak Company, to take aerial photographs over Colorado to display in the airport terminal building to entertain travelers changing planes, in the hope they would return to Colorado to explore new areas and vacation in the Rockies. Within the airport terminal building Kodak built three large back lit light boxes, each with a picture area six feet in height, and eighteen feet wide. Kodak photographers took about 75% of the photographs and I filled in with the remaining 25%, because my duties as Deputy Director of Aviation directed my energies elsewhere. I managed to break away from my duties for a few days every three or four months, and with the aid of our big utility company, Public Service of Colorado I was able to borrow their senior pilot, Richard VanDusen and one of their helicopters, a Bell L-3 Longranger to fly over the entire State and see Colorado as few have ever seen it. Often, as we lifted off in the early morning, heading away from the metro area I would have a real 'rush' and feel I was the luckiest guy on earth.

Standard procedure was to remove the left front cockpit door and store it in the aft cargo compartment so I could have unlimited shooting ability out the front door without having to shoot through the plexiglass. We took survival gear and several hundred rolls of #220 film, a couple of thermos' of hot coffee, cold weather gear, flight suits and headed westward over the Rockies. For those who do not like to fly, I can tell you that even for this experienced Naval Aviator, stalling out a helicopter in a wind gust, 5000' over Silverton with nothing between your left hip and the hard rock of Silverton, is an experience not soon forgotten.

Although we photographed many scenic vistas I was naturally inclined to photograph areas of interest to me....like the narrow gauge. Even though we flew through many magnificent panoramas, like the bottom of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, until it got to narrow (that was hairy) I was always drawn back to the narrow gauge.

The camera I used was a Fuji 617 Panorama camera, using Kodak VPH 400 speed film, aided by my trusty Spectra Combi light meter, and twenty five years as a professional photographer. VPH is a high resolution, negative film, with wide exposure latitude, and excellent contrast, considering the high brightness range of light we would encounter. I did use some slide film, in twin Nikon F3s, but in the cockpit, manipulation of three cameras, while assisting with radio communications, and doing a little 'stick time', I had my hands full.....and then some.

My artistic goal, as a photographer, was to illustrate the massiveness of the Rocky Mountains in contrast to the diminutive steel rails winding through the valleys and canyons of the mountains, and give perspective to the many railfans and modelers, about the relationship between nature and the railroads.

Ride with me, on my magic carpet, and enjoy the ride on 'November-Five-Six-Zero-Pappa', as we go where few have gone before.

It is my great pleasure and honor to share my images with my friends in the Narrow Gauge Circle. I hope you enjoy them.
Richard Boulware - Denver


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Waiting next to our trusty ‘bird', helicopter "November 560 Papa". Pilot Richard VanDusen on the left and Richard Boulware on right. We sat down on a very tall rock ‘chimney' next to the Highline, just north of Rockwood. We were waiting for the sight of the headlight of the next train north, to Silverton.
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The D&SNGRR train eases out onto the 'Highline'
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"Morning Train to Silverton". Leaving the canyon country and entering the basin and Silverton, CO.
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C&TSRR #487 rounds windy point and approaches Cumbres. Van Dusen was flying the helicopter sideways as I stepped on the landing skid to make the shot
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Hovering over the Toltec Gorge, the westbound leaves the tunnel and will soon arrive at Osier
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After a lunch stop at Osier, the westbound crosses Cascade Creek trestle, heading for Los Pinos Meadows and the approach to Cumbres
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The great South Park with Jefferson, the Jefferson Station and in the distance the road climbing Kenosha Pass
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Como in 1988, with the roundhouse, black cinder trail from the coaling dock and the ruins of the tenement houses clearly visible, lower left center
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Looking NE towards the west portal of Alpine Tunnel. (Bright spot in back-center of picture is west portal.)
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Looking SE with Woodstock site and Sherrod Curve overgrown with trees. Below rock wall the Williams Pass wagon road can be seen.
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Looking up-grade on the approach to Alpine, and the tunnel
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The great rock wall with two jeeps coming down grade from Alpine
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The Buffalo Boy mine head site with cables still in the air, at 12,600 feet up Cunningham Gulch. on the shoulder of Canby Mountain above Silverton
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Buffalo Boy mine head cable house and supporting cable towers, looking down the mountain to the southwest
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Buffalo Boy mine showing the ore car track trestle leading from the pit head to the dump chute and loading of the ore into the cable ore carriers
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West side of Buffalo Boy tram house showing the ore car track from the pit head to the loading chute, and cable support structures with aerial cable still in place
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Buffalo Boy cable support towers marching down the mountain. In the extreme right side of the photo is our helicopter, landed safely away from the aerial tramway cables. At this altitude, it was "twenty paces...stop to catch your breathe for a couple of minutes and then repeat the process". At this extreme altitude, we had to perform a ‘hover check' to make sure that if we landed, we had enough air density and turbine power to lift off. (That would be one helluva place to get stranded!)
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Mark L. Evans
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