This morning we made our way to the train station in Durango. It was a 1 block walk - but when it's brisk and chilly, it feels like forever. The train was this old fashioned steam driven locomotive type train with a whistle that wails and goes right through you. We took the inside car to Silverton. It was only 40 degrees and with the wind, it was a smart idea. We had a slow 3 1/2 hour trip through the wilderness. We arrived in Silverton and it was this old fashioned town - like the Wild West. We headed to this place for lunch that was was featured in Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives - Thee Pitts - and it was absolutely yummy. I ordered the ribs and beans, Dave had the BBQ. Of course Dave detected mustard in the sauce...but he ate it anyway.
We roamed the town until it was time to head back to the train. We opted to take the outside train this time. It was warmer - but the down side was the train is fed with coal, and the ashes and cinders were all over. Not exactly Eco-friendly. We were covered with little soot pieces - all in our hair, ears, everywhere. The views were great so we didn't mind. Once we were back in town - people along the road would stop, pull over, wave, beep, and take photos. It was like we were in a parade. I waved to everyone along the way.
I noticed small pieces of coal on the sides of the track. These pieces must have fallen from the engine. My dad used to tell me that when he was little his mom would send him out to the train tracks to pick up the coal pieces so they could have heat. I had to take a picture of this little lump of coal. It seemed so insignificant to me - but this lump of coal was very important to him. I can't imagine having to pick up these pieces of coal to be warm. It was my father's story brought to life.
Off to Four Corners and Grand Canyon tomorrow - then Utah. Can't wait!