We'll be Comin' Round the Mountain, When we come....

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October 2nd 2013
Published: October 10th 2013
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Open cattle car seatingOpen cattle car seatingOpen cattle car seating

Although cooler, it offered better seating and a superior viewing platform.
OK, we took over 170 pictures on the ride from Durango to Silverton and back. Instead of trying to select 3-5 for the previous blog, I opted to do a separate one of mostly pictures. But no picture, not even video, would be able to capture the smell of the coal burning car, the feel of cinders in the eye, the spray of steam as the engine released pressure, nor the bounce, sway, and rocking we experienced for 3.5 hours up and then 3.5 hours back.

We sat in a "cattle" car, open sided, but facing out. Yes, colder; but, more leg room, wider butt room and better views. When we got back, we definitely needed a shower for the coal dust and to warm up. But what a wonderful experience!!

When we got to Silverton, we had two hours to look around and grab some lunch. There were many good spots to eat, but we settled on a recommendation from the Conductor for a good Elk sandwich. It was good, but not as good as the buffalo.

The ride home we were on the opposite side of the car so we had different views. This time we
Passing our campgroundPassing our campgroundPassing our campground

About 5 miles out from town, we passed our campsite.
could look straight down to the river far below. Yep, still cold, but it was fun. Hope the pictures give just a glimpse of the great ride we had.

Additional photos below
Photos: 35, Displayed: 22


Pickup at small townPickup at small town
Pickup at small town

Part way into the ride, the train stops to pick up and let off passengers at a small town. It would make other stops to let off hikers at designated points.
Climbing the grade and over a bridgeClimbing the grade and over a bridge
Climbing the grade and over a bridge

This was taken from our car, and we were only back about 5 cars! Gives you an idea of what a tight turn this was.
Same curve, looking backSame curve, looking back
Same curve, looking back

You can see the other "cattle" car and the first class passengers in the red cars behind them. We felt lucky because the food car was just behind us; easy to get more coffee quickly in the morning.
It's a LONG way downIt's a LONG way down
It's a LONG way down

This was a LOT of ledge between the rail and the edge. In some spots, you couldn't see any rock!
Venting pressure from the boilerVenting pressure from the boiler
Venting pressure from the boiler

The steam created beautiful rainbows but also brought the droplets back to mix dampen anyone in the cattle cars.
Animas River valleyAnimas River valley
Animas River valley

We followed the river from Durango up into Silverton while climbing almost 3,000 feet.
Water stopWater stop
Water stop

We stopped twice on the way up to fill the boiler with water. The water is heated (by coal) to create steam, which powers the engine. It takes a lot of coal and water to get up the mountain.
Interior of a "standard" carInterior of a "standard" car
Interior of a "standard" car

They did not appear to be having as much fun as we were in the outside car. Maybe they were crammed in a bit tight.
Changing colorsChanging colors
Changing colors

We had hues ranging from dark green of the firs to the light yellow of the aspen. Add to that the gray of the mountains and the white snow capped peaks and it was a wonderful natural rainbow of changing colors.
Approaching SilvertonApproaching Silverton
Approaching Silverton

This bridge used to be part of a spur going to the hills; it is not used any more.
Arriving in SilvertonArriving in Silverton
Arriving in Silverton

Twice a day, a train arrives and passengers disembark to prowl the shops and eat at the various establishments. It is what keeps the town solvent, cause there sure is not a lot else there!

10th October 2013

The photos are fabulous and I loved the look on Trish's face when she was sitting in the cattle car!
10th October 2013

"The Mountain"
How magnificent... what a wonderful experience...
11th October 2013

15th October 2013

Hope you were singing \"We\'ll be coming around...\" Thanks for all the photos. I could almost feel cinders and smell smoke. Any further thoughts re: when you will be in Phoenix??? Eager to see Josh and boys on Thursday. Love- me

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