|The pine cones are bigger in Durango|
Durango station of the D &R GWRRMy friend Sarah moved to Durango a couple of years ago. I suppose I can forgive her sister for luring her away from Albuquerque to the mountains of Colorado. I have just found out that her parents will be moving there as well. Sarah and her parents are responsible for us finding our beautiful house. I am not looking at their move as a loss, but as a gain. I too have fallen for Durango Colorado.
Could there be a better coffee shop?
My first trip was with Sarah's mom Ann. The drive is west on Route 550, then north over the border. Late spring was not the prettiest time of year. But New Mexico's mesas and colorful rock formations entertained us for the 4 hours drive. This weekend I drove with Charles, Sarah's Dad. The landscape was completely different. The road had a ribbon of gold along both sides. Wild sunflowers, chamisa, and asters were in full bloom. The grass was still green, AND the mesas were lit with early morning sunlight that only autumn has. Both Ann and Charles are great company for the ride. I truly feel blessed to be able to spend this time with both of them.
Greeting me at Sarah's is Stella, a 105 pound rottweiler. I'm crazy about her. She has the roundest head I have ever seen on a dog. It looks like a fur lined bowling ball. I run my hands over it looking for the 3 holes. :-) Sarah invited me to join them down at the Animas River for a swimming game of fetch the tennis ball.
Sarah would throw the tennis ball in the river with the orange "chucker" that she is also scratching Stella's butt with in the bottom photo. Stella is one happy girl. She was able to get the ball in the river and 2 sticks in her mouth at the same time. 40 throws and fetches wore me out just watching.
Sarah booked our tickets for a train ride I have wanted to take for half my life. We rode in an open air car which was excellent for hanging out of and taking pictures. It's 3 1/2 hours to Silverton on a narrow gauge track. It's a 130 year old steam train fired by coal. We had to stop and get water several times. The open car made us magnets for cinders careening toward our eyes. We were instructed to wear sunglasses. A blanket of ash covered everything, and everyone. But I didn't mind.
The train snakes along the Animas river. At times I wondered what our track was on...because one could not see flat terrain. There were huge drops that were below us. Everyone would take their cameras and move to the side of the train with the view. Being an old sailor, I wondered if we needed ballast to counter balance the weight hanging out the windows on this narrow ledge.
We arrived in Silverton for lunch. Sarah directed us to the "Handlebars Restaurant and Saloon".
The Handlebar is filled with antiquities, taxidermy, and mustaches. I met the owner Alice, within 30 seconds of arriving. We hit it off instantly. I told her I made mustache necklaces. She immediately gave me her card and can't wait to get the glow in the dark version! My sloppy joe sandwich was pretty tasty.
I didn't realize Bigfoot was so organized as to have a central headquarters in Silverton.
Our bellies full, we slowly rocked our way back down the mountain toward Durango. I even nodded off for a bit. We were joined by a couple from Rockford Illinois. The seats as well as the tracks are narrow gauge. 3 adults is a bit crowded, and so we got to know our seat mate. We made jokes all the way home. It's amazing how much fun you can have with a complete stranger on a train.
I leave this morning after we inspect Sarah's parents new house. It's been a wonderful trip. Too short. But I'll be back after the snow melts. Hopefully, bringing Bob with me.
I <3 Durango!
Thanks for reading.
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