Steaming out of Durango on the way to Silverton early in the morning, it was very warming to see all the locals waving goodbye as we set off on the narrow gauge railroad on our 'trip to yesterday'. Our fellow passengers juggled for space to take their photos from our open carriage although to be fair there was plenty of room and the seats were very comfortable. We kept a sharp lookout for wildlife and were rewarded for our efforts by seeing a deer bounding through the long grasses on the outskirts of town. It didn't take long before we left the town behind and set off alongside the Animas river. There were quite a few courageous people rafting on the river and most paused in their paddling to wave us farewell.Not much further along the train tracks, the train curved around the bends in the river so we could see the steam engine and the bright yellow carriages - all full of people admiring the view and taking photos of our "Rio Grande' open carriage towards the rear of the train. They had warned us about smoking cinders but that all just added to the experience although having said that
my choice of a white teeshirt was not the wisest! That train sure was smoking!Suffice to say that my obsessive photography habit was fully indulged. Hanging out of the carriage as the train climbed the mountain, negotiating the tight turns and steep inclines was all part of the adventure. Some of my fellow travellers bravely touched the rocks as the train passed so close by the rocky walls but I was way too busy capturing images of the incredible scenery.As the train started up the the steep incline into the mountains, the scenery became even more majestic. The gorges and rocky outcrops were spectacular. At times the train tracks were scarily close to the edge and it was nerve-wracking looking down the long drop off to the raging river below. It was quite an experience to see the front of the train disappearing around a steep curve around the mountain.The rugged terrain inspired much admiration for those that actually built this railroad so long ago. What an amazing feat of engineering. The builders must have been as rugged and tough as the terrain within which they toiled. Likewise those first train passengers must have wondered where they were going to,
and if they would survive the journey.After three hours we arrived in Silverton to be welcomed by a sudden rain storm and quite a drop in temperature - all part of the experience. The little town of Silverton was swamped by all the passengers looking for shelter and food. Lots of shopping opportunities for the souvenir hunters before boarding the train again for the return journey. Whilst there was a bus trip option to return to Durango it seemed most, like us, opted to return on the train. A good choice I thought as it was so comfortable and we could catch up on the scenery we might have missed on the way up. All in all, this was a great relaxing trip and I highly recommend the experience to anyone who enjoys majestic scenery, appreciates the history of the engineering feats of yesteryear, loves train trips and of course has a compulsive need for lots of photo opportunities!I hope you enjoy the photos as much as I enjoyed taking them.
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