Kent and Carol - Mobile travel blog

D & S Narrow Guage track thru RV Park

D & S Train thru RV Park

D & S Our Engine Today.

D & S Two Engines pulling.

D & S Mountains

D & S The town of Silverton with gravel streets.

D & S Along the Animas River

D & S Along a Rock Ledge.

C & T Our Engine today.

C & T Fall Colors

C & T Fall Colors

C & T Through some rock formations.

C & T Rock formations along the track.

C & T River in the Valley

Note: On the Photos above D&S = Durango Silverton and C &T= Cumbres & Toltec.

Thursday, Sept. 23, we took Highway 191 south through Utah, which is a very scenic route. At Monticello, Utah we then caught highway 491 east toward Colorado. The terrain changed into relatively flat farming land. At Cortez, Colorado we took highway 160 east, through some mountains, and on into Durango, Colorado. We set up our home at the United Campground where we stayed last year. It has the Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad tracks running right through the RV Park. The railroad operates two trains daily so I stepped out of the RV to take photos of the two trains as they retuned back to the Durango depot.

Friday, Carol and I took the Durango Silverton train on its very scenic journey up into the mountains to the neat little town of Silverton. The train stops in Silverton for about an hour and a half so you can eat lunch and do some shopping. The last time we rode this train it was really cold in Silverton but this time it was a very nice temperature, especially in the sun. We then took the return trip by train back to Durango. This return trip had less people on it because some take the bus back to Durango or stay over in Silverton. The less people allowed us to move about the rail cars and for Carol and I to each have a window seat. I also found a vacate seat in the open-air car and was able to take photos. This year they did not allow us to stand on the deck between cars, last year nothing was said about it and that was where I took most of my photos. The scenery on this train ride is spectacular, climbing up into the mountains, looking across the valleys and down into the Animas River Gorge. This year our trip had the added attraction of the fall colors. It is a long day with the morning departure at 9:00 am and the return at 6:15 pm but it is worth every minute of the trip. This trip they added some coach cars so during part of the climb into the mountains they used two steam engines to pull the train. I really like the sounds of the steam engine as it chugs along and the echo of the whistle in the mountains. As you might be able to tell, I really enjoy myself.

Saturday, we just bummed around, I found a few geocaches and we did a little shopping.

Sunday was moving day. We drove east on highway 160, which takes us up through Wolf Creek Pass and tunnel. It is a steep climb up to the 10,000 ft. pass and then the steep decent. The exhaust braking system on the RV does a good job of slowing our decent so we do not have to ride the brakes all the way down. At Alamosa, Colorado, we took highway 285 south to Antonito, Colorado. We pulled into the Mogote Meadow RV Park, which is five miles west of Antonito.

Monday, Carol and I took the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad trip. We rode part of this train route a couple of years ago. There are several combinations of how to ride this route. On our past trip, we rode from Chama, New Mexico, to the lunch stop and returned to Chama. This year, Carol and I rode from Antonito, CO to the lunch stop and back to Antonito. After these two trips, we have now ridden the entire route that they have to offer. The lunch at the lunch stop is included in the ticket price. They offer three choices of food, Meatloaf, Turkey or a Soup & Salad Bar. You can visit all three lines if you want to and then they also offer desserts. All the food is homemade and pretty good food. Even the Turkey is real turkey not that Turkey loaf stuff they have at school lunches. The train ride is very scenic, but maybe not quite as scenic as the Durango Silverton but still beautiful. I really prefer the way the Cumbres & Toltec run their operation. You are allowed to roam through the train yard with out restrictions and they also have a self-guide sheet to explain all the building. While on the train they have volunteer docents that explain the scenery you are seeing. They also have the open-air gondola car that you can visit anytime you want and take pictures or just enjoy the scenery. Again the fall colors where an added attractions on this years trip. This half trip departs at 10:00 am and returns by 4:30 pm. A very nice ride with a coal fired steam engine. This year the Cumbres & Toltec are celebrating their 40th year of operation.

Tuesday, was a day of rest. Wednesday, September 29, 2010 we are heading east with a few night stops before arriving in Salina, Kansas, to visit Carol’s sister. We plan to be back in Kansas City by October 3rd or 4th. It will probably be several weeks before our next posting on My Trip Journal.

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