The stopover in Silverton is a little under two hours, which was plenty of time to eat lunch and browse around the little touristy shops. While we riders were off having fun, the train guys were getting ready for the ride home.

Here's the engineer oiling the engine and checking everything out.

Shop-weary passengers are heading back and getting aboard.

Pointed home.

Here's Mike, still soaking up all the train atmosphere he can!

Four long blasts means it is time to hurry, because the train will leave in ten minutes. The whistle is very loud.

This bridge is part of one of the many hiking trails up near Silverton.

Starting down into the canyon. There's Mike peeking out again!

The cliffs and rock formations along here are spectacular!

The lighting for pictures got tricky, because as you can see, the sun was still fairly high, but it had passed the point where it shone down into the canyon.

You would be surprised how far out the window I did NOT have to hang to get this shot! I'm actually pretty much looking straight down the side of the car!

It's only around 4 o'clock, but the air down here is already cooling enough to make moisture rising from the river begin to form wisps of clouds.

I guess sometimes, to acquire the old engines or cars they wanted, the company had to buy a whole batch of rolling stock. These are some of the unneeded derelicts, scenically going to rack and ruin.

The canyon keeps on getting deeper and steeper!

Yes, that black rock IS the edge of the roadbed...and THAT'S a wide spot!

This gives you an idea of how steep the grade is. Can you imagine what it must have been like riding this train in the 1880s? Not even to MENTION building the rail line!

It's really beautiful up here, though. And it's so nice to not be driving, so you can look around!

If I had known, I would have bought our seats in the open gondola car, but I was afraid we would have to stand up the whole way, because that's how the open cars on the Royal Gorge train are. Next time that's what I will choose (if it's another warm day).

Only a fair shot of the engine, but a pretty good one to show what it takes to keep the rails from sliding down into the river!

The Spanish named this river "Rio de las Animas Perdidas", or the "River of the Lost Souls". I can kind of see why.

With us stopped to take on water, I was finally able to lean out and get a good picture of our engine. And a conductor. And a guy's head.

And here's an earlier shot of the caboose. Which, as you know, means the end. For now.

Next up, a special tour of the workings of the train yard in Durango, plus a few last shots of Silverton.

Page 4
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Pictures copyright Susan Crites 2006