Sunday, January 4, 2009

Road Trip 2008: Silverton

Agnieszka wanted to see a typical "Western" town. Upon recommendation of Mike I suggested visiting Silverton, a small town in Colorado that used to be a silver mining camp. What makes Silverton even more attractive to tourists is that it can be reached by a narrow gauge railroad that originates in Durango.

The line between Durango and Silverton was constructed in 1882. Initially it was used to to haul silver and gold ore from the San Juan Mountains, but soon it started to be used by tourists as well. Even though the distance between Durango and Silverton is only 72km, it takes the train 3.5h to reach its destinations. That could seem as a lot, but actually it isn't. The rail tracks wind through such spectacular and breathtaking scenery that one wishes the trip would never end. Moreover, the train is pulled by a coal-fired, steam-powered locomotive that makes whistle sounds and produces a lot of exhaust steam, which is also a lot of fun to watch. We truly enjoyed this trip, which almost became trip in time for us. In Silverton we visited "Olde Tyme Portraits" were we had photos of ourselves taken in original 19th century outfits of ladies of dubious reputation...

Here I am standing on the platform in Durango in front of the steam engine of the narrow-gauge Durango-Silverton train:

Our train going up the mountains to Silverton:

Inside the train (we choose open compartment to have better views):

The train crosses Animas River four times in each direction:

Old Thyme Portraits in Siverton:

Agnieszka trying to ride an old type of bicycle:

Few other buildings in Silverton:

On the way back to Durango: