After spending the night in Durango, we got up bright and early and headed for the train station. Hunter was like a little kid on Christmas morning...it was great. We picked up our tickets, grabbed some breakfast, and wandered around the railyard a bit. Then the glorious moment arrived, and we boarded our train.
Our seats were in one of the open cars, because Hunter wanted to be sure we had the best view. He thinks of everything! It was pretty incredible. We were far enough back that we could get some good shots of the engine chugging along, blowing steam and shooting coal cinders into the air. We timed it perfectly because the leaves are changing and the view was absolutely spectacular. There was not a single non-picturesque moment on the entire journey.
The train took us from Durango to Silverton (hence the name) and back again. We left at 9:00 am and returned at 6:30 pm, so it was definitely an excursion. The ride was sold out, which is pretty typical, and the majority of the passengers were antiques; some with grandchildren in tow. Here is our train in Silverton:
Isn't that a remarkable, majestic sight? I would never have imagined I could learn to appreciate the rugged, mechanical beauty of such an oversized beast. Before Hunter and I dated, I thought trains were so archaic and rudimentary; a jumble of metal clanking and banging its way to extinction. Now that I recognize the historical & cultural significance of this powerful force, I am more appreciative of the intricate beauty in the mass of clanging, hissing metal. There is something beautifully haunting in the mournful whistle that echoes through the mountains. It is the somber, desolate cry of history being forgotten.