Saturday 15th September 2018
Having looped all around, we drove back to Durango today and met our dear friends from Flagstaff with whom we are to share a few days of our trip. They have a 4×4 in which they have offered to drive us into the back country on the road known as the Alpine Loop to visit a Ghost Town, left abandoned by the gold and silver miners in the early 1900s and which by 1920 was a Ghost Town. First a gallery to show some of the sights on today’s drive of 186 miles.
Ramp for runaway trucks travelling on this very steep, switchback road
A bend in the road
Colour beginning to glow
Lone Elk Ranch
Chimney Rock National Monument
Crossing the road in Pagosa Springs
A pond with reflections
From Durango off we went to find Animas Forks, a little town which I found very moving indeed.
Some of my readers may remember the research I did in 2016 into a Cornish tin miner who emigrated to Colorado, taking his sought after hard rock mining skills. This was the kind of place he may have come to. For those new to my work – his fiancée, Mary, followed him, travelling alone across the seas from Cornwall then across the USA to be with her John. They married and had a child, Foster, whose war grave is in St Euny Graveyard, just down the road from us. John died when Foster was very young and Mary returned to Redruth, with her little boy, to be with her family – another challenging and amazing journey for a young woman in the late 1800s. Foster died in 1916, while in training to join WW1 and his mother died just 6 months later. They are buried in the same grave in St Euny.
I walked around this remote town in the mountains imagining Mary, fresh from Cornwall, in this bleak environment.
The drive was another challenging one but this time we weren’t driving! The Quaking Aspens were becoming more beautiful by the day, the road rougher and the destination more remote. What must Mary, coming to meet her much loved man, have been thinking as she made this journey at only 21 years old?
Glorious tree colour
Animas Forks info board
A long view
One of the houses
The William Duncan House
The William Duncan House Info board
Poem by Robert W Service
Bleak mining area in close up
Animas Forks in 1905
I’ve forgotten the name of this bird!
Remnants from the mine
Bleak mining area
Leaves and a mountain
The rough road ahead
If you’d like to know more about Animas Forks, here is a link to Wikipedia