Rollin' on the Road -- Saturday, 10/25/14
So, what's it gonna be? Durango, and the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge train? Or Pagosa Springs and their healing hot springs? Coming from Canyonlands in Utah, both spots are relatively close. Jimmy wanted to ride the train one more time, so Durango was picked. On our way, I thought a phone call to the train station might be in order. Haha, the joke was on us -- today was the last day the train would run this season. Missed it by a few hours! Oh well, we've ridden it before and without advance reservations, I doubt we would've gotten tickets.
Nevertheless, we drove on to Durango CO, and since riding the train was out, we decided we'd just drive Smartie on the "Million Dollar Highway" to Silverton. We pulled in to Alpen Rose RV park in Durango, hoping they'd be open, and this one we did make in time. They're closing for the year; their last day is Friday, the 30th. After setting up and lunch, we hopped in Smartie for the heart-stopping 50-mile drive north to Silverton.
Driving in Cortez, CO, we spotted a farmer's market, found an easy on-street parking space, and checked it out. I bought a 16-oz baggie of hand-picked dried pinto beans, and then we bought muffins at Mr. Happy's!
Alpen Rose RV Park in Durango @ 6,500+ ft. Very nice.
Two passes on the road to Silverton are over 10,000 ft. The scenery is, of course, incredible, even tho much of leaf-peeping season is over at this elevation. Some spots of color can still be seen at lower altitudes, which you can see at the RV park, but this late in the year, the reds and yellows are almost finished. Now it's leaf falling season!
At Molas Pass - elevation 10,899 ft. Beautiful alpine-blue Molas Lake in the background.
Most of the peaks are over 13,000 ft.
The day was fine, sunny and cool, but not cold. We walked around a few of Silverton streets (there aren't many) and were dismayed to discover the entire town, with a few exceptions, was "closed." Stores and restaurants would reopen the end of November for snow skiing season. How disappointing. We found one open cafe (Mattie and Maud's Cafe) and went in for a cuppa coffee. We ended up eating a delicious dinner and talking with the personable owner, Lori, for quite a spell ... even closing the joint down! (She closed at 4 pm this day.) Jimmy says the biscuits and white gravy are to die for! Thanx, Lori, we enjoyed!
This is Silverton! Elevation 9,318 ft.
Getting closer to Halloween!
What a lovely living room? Kinda ... this is Silverton's Library. Housed in a vintage Andrew Carnegie bldg, the library looks virtually the same as it did on opening day, June 12, 1906, altho the librarian just "redecorated" with new rugs and furniture. Over the past 100 years, Silverton has managed to maintain one of the best turn-of-the-century libraries in the state. Carnegie libraries are so distinctive and well-built, they're easy to spot.
A very fine-looking City Hall, circa 1908. Silverton is a former silver mining camp, but now depends on tourism for their economy. Day-trippin' train people in the summer, skiers in the winter.
Think it gets cold here? A pile of firewood like this makes you think so!
We left Silverton and wound our way back down to Tergel, covered in leaves, in Durango.
By gum, on our way home, if we didn't pass the train on it's way back to Durango. As soon as we drove into the RV park, I walked out to the road in the hope of waving to all the people and taking a picture.
Here she comes, with a full load of passengers, huffin' and chuggin' her way to the barn.
WE didn't get to ride it, but we did get to see it!
Or is it? Where to tomorrow?