Conveniently, the line ran through our campground and we were given a site in the first row, so we were as close to the line as we could possibly get.
|The view from our site|
We stayed for three nights, which gave us two whole days in town. One was dedicated to the train ride to Silverton, so on our first full day, we took the local bus the 5 miles into town. It cost us just $1 each return.
|Our closest encounter with a bear. This one was stuffed.|
|Durango grinds to a halt as the trains leave. There are many ungated crossings, so the bells ring and the whistle is sounded continuously all the way through the town.|
It's a holiday, so with all thoughts of cost cast to the wind, we have paid to travel First Class and have the end seats in the final carriage with easy access to the rear platform to hang out for pictures.
|Our seats in the First Class Parlor Car. Ann has adopted her characteristic on holiday "film star" look with the large sunglasses|
The line climbs all the way, following the course of the Animas river most of the way. To begin with, the climb is quite gentle, through trees.
Before long, we have arrived at what is called the "High Line". This is a shelf the width of the train that has been blasted into a 1000 feet high cliff. The cliff extends 600 feet above and therefore the drop into the rapids below is 400 feet. If you don't like heights, do not look down. At this point, I'm hanging off the rear platform to get the best view.
|Curving around the wide part of the highline. I'm at the back of the train taking pictures.|
|Looking down into the canyon and the rocks 400 feet below. I'm at the back of the train, now hanging over the canyon taking pictures.|
Approaching Silverton, the scenery becomes pure mountain and trees.
The old depot at Silverton is no longer used, so the train just pulls up in the street, rather like a tram!
With all the original mines now being worked out, Silverton is now a tourist town. We managed to choose probably the worst restaurant in town for lunch! It served pasties, which is about right as the pasty is an international miner's food. But not at all like the proper Cornish pasty, even though the same shape. I think the content was a mix of left overs and washing water. The beer was OK, though. We had a stroll through Silverton. Or as we are out West, maybe that should be a "mosey"
|The only paved street in town|
|A ride around the town in the stagecoach was an option, but we chose to walk|
We were intending on a meal out on our return, but the effect of lunch was still with us, so it was back to the RV and a simple salad. Good points: Durango is an interesting town; the train trip and wandering around Silverton. Bad bits; It is high in the mountains and hot, hot, hot! Hard to believe it gets cut off in the winter by the snow.
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