So, if you read my previous post you know that getting to Durango turned out to be a challenge we didn’t expect. In Durango, we found ourselves in a hotel with our truck at the local Ford dealer service department. The RV sat in a dusty overflow lot at the same Ford dealer. Not at all what we’d planned.
The bright side of Durango is that for the third time on our big trip we have extended family with us. Dawnie’s mom flew out to join us here. We’re lucky again with the truck troubles that this is a destination where we’d planned a longer stay (three days) right from the start. While the truck’s being tended to we were able to continue with our planned activities. So let’s get to that.
The highlight in Durango is definitely the Durango & Silverton Railway, wow! This three and a half hour (one way) ride on a historic steam train takes you through some of the most beautiful scenery our country has to offer. I felt like my head was on a spindle trying to see the sights in all directions. By the time the ride was over, I’d shot over 12GB of photos! It was one spectacular scene after another. I’m adding a group of them at the end of this post. If you ever find yourself in southern Colorado I highly recommend making time to take a ride on the Durango & Silverton Railway!
Our trip on the train took us from Durango north about 45 miles to Silverton. The return trip was by bus and took us down the Million Dollar Highway, also a non-stop panorama of spectacular views. But while we were in Silverton we took a tour through one of the local mines, the Old Hundred Gold Mine. This tour took us 1/3 mile into the heart of Galena Mountain on the “man car” tram, an uncomfortable and quite wet affair. Once inside we saw and learned how gold mining was done over the years, all very loud and unpleasant work for sure. It was a real education and left you with an appreciation for how difficult and dangerous the job was (and still is). While at the mine the boys, and I, also got to “pan for gold”. With a little guidance on the technique, we all managed to find some small bits of precious metal, mostly copper with some silver thrown in here and there. I even found a fleck of gold! Only to have trained eyes point out it was “Fools Gold”.
Last but certainly not least I want to tell you about our evening visit to see the Bar-D Chuckwagon Supper Show. This was an authentic western supper show in the truest sense and completely entertaining. The dinner was excellent, served buffet style the bar-b-que meal offered all you could want and then some. The real treat though came after dinner when the Bar-D Wranglers took the stage and offered up a true western music show. Great stuff, really talented musicians, and a fair dose of family-friendly laughter mixed in. All in all a great night for the whole family.
So, we had a bit of a tough time getting to Durango but once we got there we had lots of great things to see and do!
Here are a few more photos from our time spent in Durango.