D&SNG Railroad Steam Train, Colorado

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/480 sec, ISO640
“View Ahead” Colorado, 2021

The activity we came to Durango for was the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad round-trip journey through the San Juan National Forest in the Colorado high country (recommended by my friend). There are a couple of different trains, but we opted for the steam train which has been in continuous operation since 1882. What a long history!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/3.6, 1/950 sec, ISO640
“D&SNG” Durango, 2021

There are different cars you can choose from, including outdoor “Gondola” cars, dining cars, and 21+ cars. We opted for the Deluxe San Juan Coach which is an indoor car with bathroom. It was barebones, but the seats were comfortable and the views were great.

I did wander up to the concession car to grab a beverage, and checked out the open-air cars. It looked really fun, and ideal for a photographer. It was a bit chilly when we went (and rain was forecast) so I was glad we chose an inside car. But, everyone in the open-air car seemed to be having a great time!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18.8mm, f/7.1, 1/680 sec, ISO640
“Animas River” Colorado, 2021

The 6-hour roundtrip journey winds through the San Juan Mountains, following the Animas River. There were plenty of gorgeous views and we watched the landscape become more colorful as we gained in elevation. It was spectacular!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/450 sec, ISO640
“Colorful Landscape” Colorado, 2021

Our seats were on the left-side of the train, and when we booked there were only two single seats available, one in front of the other. That worked out perfectly because both of us had window seats! If you were wondering, the train turns around for the return trip, so everyone gets to see both sides of the track.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/6.4, 1/1500 sec, ISO640
“Animas River” Colorado, 2021

At the town of Silverton, the train stopped for a 2 hour layover. Mariko and I wandered into the town (along with the rest of the passengers) and immediately spotted the Golden Block Brewery and decided to have lunch there. We ordered a pizza, salad, and two local beers and dug in. The pizza was mediocre, but cold beer elevates any meal. 😀

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/60 sec, ISO250
“Cold Ones” Silverton, 2021

After that we went a couple shops over to the Rocky Mountain Funnel Cake Factory and indulged in a Black Cherry Fudge funnel cake. It was yummy!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 30.2mm, f/9, 1/60 sec, ISO3200
“Black Cherry Funnel Cake” Silverton, 2021

Soon it was time to head back onto the train for the ride back to Durango.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 27.7mm, f/9, 1/105 sec, ISO640
“D&SNG” Silverton, 2021

The rain started but it didn’t last too long before we were rewarded with a beautiful rainbow. It was awesome!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/1250 sec, ISO640
“Rainbow” Colorado, 2021

At around 6:15 pm we arrived back at train station in Durango. It was a wonderful day, and we’re so happy to have ridden the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. I highly recommend it!

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/9, 1/450 sec, ISO640
“Last Light” Colorado, 2021

Afternoon at Mesa Verde National Park

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 19.6mm, f/9, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Spruce Tree House” Mesa Verde N.P., 2021

We arrived at Mesa Verde National Park in the late afternoon, with just enough sunlight to do the motor-tour to the Spruce Tree House and the Mesa Top Loop. There was also a storm threatening so the skies were dark, but we were still able to enjoy the history of the people who inhabited the area from about AD 550 until about AD 1200.

The cliff dwellings were amazing (we were only able to view them from a distance) and we also enjoyed seeing the pit houses and kiva up close. I wish we had more time to do some hiking, but I’m glad we were able to see what we did.

Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/7.1, 1/100 sec, ISO800
“Cliff Palace” Mesa Verde N.P., 2021
Photo info: FUJIFILM X-E4, 18mm, f/10, 1/950 sec, ISO640
“Storms to the North” Mesa Verde N.P., 2021

After sunset, we hit the road again for the relatively short ride to Durango where we immediately went to the Steamworks Brewing Company for some burgers and beer. What a great way to end the day. 😀🍺🍔

Photo info: Apple iPhone 12 mini, 4.2mm, f/1.6, 1/30 sec, ISO800
“Cold One” Durango, 2021