Everything You Know is Wrong

By Don Laine

Well, maybe not everything you know is wrong, but if you read and believed RMOWP’s May-June newsletter you have the wrong dates for the 2018 RMOWP conference.

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic RR
Cumbres & Toltec train prepares to leave the Chama station © 2010 Barb Laine

After doing additional research, which included fighting crowds and being eaten alive by no-see-ums and mosquitoes in June at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve, your conference committee has changed the dates for RMOWP’s next conference to September 23 to 26, 2018 (that’s Sunday afternoon through Wednesday evening), with a post-conference all-day trip on the Cumbres and Toltec narrow-gauge steam train (http://www.cumbrestoltec.com/) tentatively set for Thursday, September 27.

Details are still being worked out, but conference headquarters are expected to be in Alamosa, Colorado (http://www.alamosa.org/), about 235 miles southwest of Denver, 200 miles north of Albuquerque, New Mexico.

Great Sand Dunes NP
evening light brings out the character of the dunes (Great Sand Dunes Nat’l Pk) © Don Laine

This conference will involve some driving – Great Sand Dunes (www.nps.gov/grsa) is about 35 miles from Alamosa – but we think it will be worth the effort. Late September should have wonderful fall colors, especially along the steam train’s route over 10,015-foot Cumbres Pass, and the weather should be cool (downright chilly in the evenings). And, a big plus, the no-see-ums and mosquitoes will be gone!

Other area attractions include several national wildlife refuges (www.fws.gov/refuge/alamosa) and the Nature Conservancy’s Zapata Ranch (http://www.zranch.org/), which offers tours to see its herd of some 2,000 bison. There are also a few too many historic museums, numerous hot springs including at least one that’s clothing-optional, and of course southern Colorado’s famous alligator farm (http://www.coloradogators.com/) and UFO Watchtower (http://www.ufowatchtower.com/).

Hope to see you next year.