Rails and Ales

What a beyond super duper fun event! I had heard about this event a couple years ago. Coloradotrain.com is where to get the info. Obviously the event just happened, so i can’t get a link in there right now – but here is the FAQ

Basically – train to no where, beer and music. Um, hello, yes please!

I’m writing this post because there was not enough fine print information to know all you needed to know about the event!

Tickets:

There are 3 different levels

  • Standard – we call that the poor people and that is where we sat! ($59)
  • First class – this is the domed glass roof cars ($99)
  • Diamond Class – this is a private car where you get very fancy seats and access to the band ($125)

Opinion on tickets – standard class was fine, regular every day seats, windows open, bar service

The glass domed car- super cool and a table to hold your snacks, and card games along the way, and the bar is in your car.

The diamond class- i’m thinking if you are really into comfort and having someone wait on you and access to people in the band…  go for it. They don’t play as far as i know. (I mistakenly wandered into that car…  they don’t like peons in there….)

Add ons – get the lunch ticket. It’s easier than bringing cash for when you get there. It’s not an amazing meal, but it’s food, in the middle of nowhere…

Getting your tickets:

We received an email indicating that we could retrieve our tickets up until 9pm friday night before the saturday event. We raced down from Denver, didn’t eat, didn’t pee, didn’t gas up…

Arrived at 8:20pm….  Closed up tight.

Apparently there was a disconnect between those that sent the email and those that worked the booth to give out the tickets. Le sigh.

Next up, the email said, starting at 7am we could get our tickets

I called the number at 7:15am confirming this was still the case. The person on the ticket line wasn’t sure, attempted calling, and ended with – “they should be there”… to which i replied, they should have been there last night as well.

So info point here – be sure to confirm when they will be really getting there or staying until, and plan accordingly for your travel to and fro.

Arriving to board the train:

Parking: You can park across from the depot, diagonal from the depot, and to the left of the depot in the gravel lot.

You can start getting your id checked, your waiver signed and your glass retrieved around 8:30 or so. So get there early.

The sometimes check your bag, sometimes don’t, so no weapons… *shrug* (FYI – they hire a good amount of gun tottin’ sherrifs from a nearby town, so don’t be stupid)

For the standard seats – Be aware – one way in the train you will be facing forward and the other backward. Being a motion sensitive individual, i spent a bit of my time sitting on the arm rest sideways so as to alleviate my discomfort. I tried the motion sickness gum – nope… I forgot to bring my ginger pills, maybe next time.

 

What to bring:

Chairs – bring your collapsable chairs, and put a phone number on the outside. We chose to do it with duct tape for removal later if we so chose. (there are over head luggage places in standard, other “special locations for items” on others)

Water – there is water on the train, but i like to not loose my expensive lunch from too much beer and heat – so having a camelback for easy access between adult beverages.

Hat – bring a bold old floppy hat and plenty of sun block!

Hand Sanitizer – the bathroom are limited in their accoutrements, both on the train and off.

Snacks – they say only pretzel necklaces – but you get snacky on the way out unless you over do the breakfast buffet at the hotel. So stash a couple things in your back pack! (the people in the glass domes cars certainly did!)

BTW – the trip out is 1.5 hours, back it seems closer 2

Where to sit:

This is a tough one. Will you generally just be meanding around getting tastes of beer, so it really doesn’t matter?

Did you want to see/hear the band – sit straight out and in line of site – to the sides, the sound dims

Shade – basically there isn’t any, except a picnic table area, get to the right side facing the stage and claim your spot. You will be very very close to all your neighbors…

We chose a spot, kind of in the pathway of the first row of beer, but near the stairs down, that was great for us. We would probably choose to the left of the stage next time.

What to wear:

It’s 9000 feet. The temps can be boiling or cooler.

Layers people, layers. Unless you are there to attract a man, be comfortable, closed toe shoes for both the train and then tromping around in the “grass” which is really a whole lot of dust.

I chose a tank for the the inevitable “missed sunscreen spot” so i could even out other missed spots. It was a warm day with an amazing breeze. I carried my sweatshirt most of the time.

Post event:

Rubi Slipper was the suggested location for a post event burger. The wait was 1.5 hours. No matter how good that burger was, i really don’t think so. Obviously this location is the closest to the depot. If you really want that, make a reservation when the you get signal again on the way back, about 20 min out.

We ended up at the thai restaurant, one more block up. Very tasty, very friendly and very big servings.

Other tidbits:

There is a lot of beer. A lot. Pace yourself. Don’t be “that guy”.

As the day wanes on, they start pouring more into your glass. Squee –  but dangerous…

Bring a koozie to keep your beer cool in your cup, or your hand from heating it up.

Do a lap with your first pour, so you can get the lay of the land and pick your next selection.

The food is at the top of the hill. Think about getting it earlier, rather than after you have had a few…  as in, you don’t navigate the stairs as well.

Cash – if you want to tip your car manager (the fella that brings you booze or water on the way to the event and leaves you a cute snack and another bottle of water on the way home), or want to buy anything on site, you need cold hard cash.

Take a picture of the logo of the beer you like. There is no signal for untapped, etc to save your favorites! And you won’t remember otherwise…  promise.

Make a friend. Hubby and i went solo (as in, all our other friends couldn’t figure out how to commit to get a ticket before it sold out) so we shared our 4 seater with a lovely couple from broomfield. It was super fun and we’ll be enjoying pizza and beer soon! You never know who you’ll meet! Also chat in line, you might get a good tip on a beer you haven’t tried yet!

It sells out. For real.

Other info links:

 

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