Posted by: sunnyharvy | May 7, 2014

Into Southern Colorado

We spent a quiet, comfortable night at Lake Heron State Park on our way to Southern Colorado after leaving Taos. The lake itself was extremely low, but the campgrounds were very nice and we grabbed a lovely private site where dozens of hummingbirds entertained us for hours. I’m not sure why there were so many there because we didn’t see hardly any flowers, just mostly pine and juniper trees.

The next day we watched the terrain change dramatically as we got closer to the state line. The dry desert of New Mexico slowly gave way to green pastures and distant snowy peaks.

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We had lunch in picturesque Pagosa Springs, Colorado before continuing west on scenic Route 160 to Durango.  Once a frontier mining town, Durango draws thousands of tourists year-round for outdoor recreational activities and scenic beauty. The downtown area, which appears to be thriving, has a bit of a Wild West flavor to it with some great old buildings. Our primary reason for stopping here was to take a ride on the historic narrow gauge Durango & Silverton Railroad

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We boarded at 8:45am to begin our SLOW 45 mile ascent to Silverton where we had a two-hour lunch break before our afternoon return trip.

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The route followed the Animas River, which was flowing rapidly due to the recent snow melt. We even got to see some spectacular waterfalls.

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Parts of the route were at river level, while others rose high above the deep canyon the river has carved over millions of years.

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Natalia’s 1912 Restaurant served an adequate lunch amid historic ambiance. The town had many interesting buildings housing galleries, jewelry stores, high-end craft shops, and restaurants.

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Heading back down (nearly 3,000 vertical feet lower in altitude) to warmer temperatures.

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This is how close to the edge the train actually rides…pretty scary! We made it back safely though and headed off to Pleasant Journey Alpacas in nearby Hesperus to spend the next two nights at this Harvest Host location.

As brand new hosts, Glenn & Susan Kacsh warmly welcomed us as their first guests. The next morning Susan gave us a thorough tour of their farm and introduced us to some of their amusing Alpacas. In their store we purchased a beautiful rug for haRVy woven with Alpaca fiber. It is warm under my feet as I write this post. Thanks Glenn & Susan, we enjoyed our stay at your lovely property.

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A couple of our new friends.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Responses

  1. We drove the Million Dollar Highway instead of taking the train……Silverton has gussied up a bit. Durango and the area was a favorite for fishing trips….so great to see it all again. Glad you are having such a beautiful journey….


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