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Road Trip Day 13 – The Durango to Silverton Railroad

 Sunday 16th September 2018

Great excitement today as we arrived at the station in Durango ready for a two and a half hour trip on the historic steam train through to Silverton and back again. Join us on this delightful trip, enjoy the steam engine and the spectacular leaf colours.

We had lunch in Silverton, took the train back to Durango where we had an excellent dinner at Ken and Sue’s and ended the evening with live music in the Diamond Belle Saloon.

 

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Road Trip Day 12 – Ghost Town at Animas Forks

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.

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?

If you’d like to know more about Animas Forks, here is a link to Wikipedia 

 

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Road Trip Day 8 – The Million Dollar Highway

Sunday 11th September 2018

Oh my, what a ride that was from Mesa Verde to Durango and on to Ouray over the Red Mountain Pass! Switch backs, mountain edges, trucks on narrow ledges, fabulous views for the non-driver and edge of the seat stuff for us both! We were both surprised and delighted to see the start of the glorious Fall colours, something we hadn’t anticipated.

Harleys with Mesa Verde behind

The road

Fall colour

Some of the switchbacks

We found our ride through the Red Mountain area particularly interesting as there was evidence of the mining that happened here in the late 1800s. Many Cornish miners, Cousin Jacks, left Cornwall to bring their hard rock mining skills to Colorado.

Info about The Red Mountain Mining District

Left behind house at the Red Mountain stop

Red Mountain

A truck taking one of the switchback turns

Edge of the seat riding

Black Bear Manor, our delightful B&B in Ouray

You might, or might not, like to look at this information about the Million Dollar Highway.
I’m glad I didn’t quite know what we were about to drive!

 

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