After several fine days camped at Priest Gulch, we drove back to Durango to meet Tyler and Mindy and the grandsons at the airport. Flying in from Houston, all of them were looking forward to the ride from Durango to Silverton on the old steam train. The grandsons, Mason and Pryce, are heavily into trains, and I think they may possess everything imaginable related to Thomas the Train.
The next day, we boarded the train shortly after 9:00 a.m. for a 9:30 departure, having booked a gondola car this time instead of a passenger coach, for the sake of better photo opportunities. It did afford a much better platform for photographers, but the smoke and cinders from the engine proved to be a bit unpleasant. However, since the whole purpose of the trip was to enjoy the scenery, the gondola was the far better choice, in my opinion, irrespective of the smoke.
|Durango Railroad Depot Downtown - Departure point for all trains|
|Mindy, Pryce, Tyler and Mason shortly after departure from Durango.|
We pulled into Silverton after about 4 1/2 hours and had lunch at the Brown Bear Cafe (pretty good).
|Meeting another train ready for departure from Silverton to Durango.|
|The Train Stops in Downtown Silverton|
|Mason, Pryce, Tyler, Mindy, Sandy and Mike Leaving the train in Silverton|
Silverton is a wonderfully historic old mining town that bears more investigation. We were a bit pressed for time, so that will have to wait for another trip. It's a very busy time of year for tourism, of course, and the RV park just west of town looked completely full.
At the end of the trip, one of the train's young brakemen paused for a photo with Mason and talked with him for quite a while about the train. As you might imagine, Mason was thrilled:
Thank you, Lord, for this wonderful life; please forgive me if I don't appreciate it enough each day.