Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Durango to Silverton Colorado

While trying to figure out our next stop after New Mexico someone told us we should see Durango Colorado so Jackie found a great campground on a little lake in the trees at about 8000' elevation where it is nice and cool.
Lake Haviland Forest Service CG with 50 amp power at a few sites but no water or dump.  Our first few day we tried out the solar for the first time but had to use the generator because of clouds and a power hungry refrigerator.  We extended our stay and moved to a site with power and that is working well for us.  The CG is about 18 miles north of Durango and the power sites are booked well in advance.

We have spent two days touring the lake with our little boat.  People are fishing all around and in boats and we saw a few fish caught.

On another day our Tour Director, Jackie, got us set up to take this narrow gauge train from Durango to Silverton in an open gondola.  It is about a 42 mile trip that takes about 3 1/2 hours each way.  Some people take the train up and ride a bus back.    
Getting ready to leave Durango in one of the open cars.  You have a choice between the cheap seats or sitting inside a car with small tables and food and beverages served.  Of course we took the cheap seats--how else could you get the views and pictures?

Off we go heading North and up, it was a cool morning so we had sweaters and shirts to be shed later.

They warned us not to stick our heads out the side to get pictures without checking what is ahead.  Several places you could pick the wild flower growing in the rocks.

We followed the river most of the way up and here we crossed over it again.

We had to stop for water twice going up and I think once on the way down.  We also stopped to drop off and pick up hikers and fishermen along the way.

Pumping out the black soot and smoke.  Had to wear glasses to keep it out of our eyes.

Finally arrived in Silverton, an old and small mining town turned into another tourist trap but a fun little town.

We had about 1 1/2 hours for lunch and a short walk around town before boarding for the the trip back down the mountains.  While there they turned the train around so we would see the view from the other side on the way down.

The track on this ledge was about 18" from a free fall to the bottom.  And it's a long way down.

It got cloudy on the trip down with a little rain.  We think there was the engine and about 11 cars and we were 4th from the back so you can see this is a pretty sharp curve.

Our last shot as we are about 1/2 hour out of Durango watching the sun creep up the side of the mountains into the clouds.  What a beautiful trip!

And tomorrow is our last stop for a month at Arches National Park in Utah.  Checked the weather and it's high is about 95 and we will be without AC, at least for the first couple of days.  Wish us luck.

To be continued...

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