Love the Lord your God, listen to His voice and hold fast to Him, for the Lord is your life! Deut. 30:20

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Durango, Part 2

 We drove past Silverton and followed the stream.

This bucket is left from mining days.  Could not imagine riding these across the ravine!

This is the road to the ghost mining town of Animas Forks.

"The town's first log cabin was built in 1873 and by 1876 the community had become a bustling mining community. At that time the town contained 30 cabins, a hotel, a general store, a saloon, and a post office. By 1883 450 people lived in Animas Forks and in 1882 a newspaper, the Animas Forks Pioneer, began publication and lasted until October 1886. Every fall the residents of Animas Forks migrated en masse to the warmer town of Silverton. In 1884 a 23 day blizzard inundated the town with 25 feet (7.6 m) of snow, the residents had to dig tunnels to get from building to building. Mining, speculation and processing mills helped Animas Forks grow."

 It began to snow while we were there.

Could you imagine this view from your dining room?  Wow!
"When mining profits began to decline investment in Animas Forks was no longer justified and although mining made a brief 1904 rebound with the construction of the Gold Prince Mill, the town's mining days were nearing an end. A rail line ran through the area and also restimulated interest in mining in the community but the railroad never reached its expectations. The Gold Prince Mill closed in 1910 and in 1917 most of the mill's major parts were removed for a new facility in Eureka. The mill's dismantling signaled the beginning of the end for Animas Forks and the town was a ghost town by the 1920s."

The indoor toilet - one for papa, one for mama, and one for the children.

After we explored the old ghost town, we drove back to Silverton for a picnic.  Brrr, it was cold.  But it was yummy!  PJ's Market makes delicious lunches!!

 The train was about to leave. 

 We left Silverton after the train did, but it travels pretty slow.  We got this view from the top of the ridge.

We drove into Durango for some sightseeing and to go out to eat.

We walked around until we heard the train whistle.  Then we beat the passengers to "Ken and Sue's", a nice restaurant.

Thanks, Mike and Debbie, for the wonderful time!!  And the rousing game of Outburst!  

Friday, October 19, 2012

Durango, Part 1

On our way home from Utah, we stopped at Durango, Colorado and stayed with Mike and Debbie.

Although they live in Wichita, they have purchased this house in Durango with hopes to eventually retire here.  They had planned to be here the same time we were passing through.

You can rent this beautiful home if you go to Durango on vacation!  Click here for more information!

While we were settling in, we heard the train whistle and we quickly jumped in the car and drove around the corner to see the famous Durango-Silverton train coming back to town.

Mike grilled a delicious meal for us.  

We don't look so happy below!  But we were!  Maybe we were just contemplating.

After a good nights rest, the next morning we went to the market to get a picnic lunch to take with us on our day's adventure.

They took us first just down to Honeyville, a local shop where they bottle honey and sell all kinds of honey products.

 Al watching them bottle the honey.
The Durango & Silverton train went by.  We were going to go to the same destination.  Someday I would like to ride this train, but today we were going with Mike and Debbie.

This spring is very wierd looking.  Here is what I found on-line.

"The spring was named after James Harvey Pinkerton settled in the area now known as Pinkerton Hot Springs during the summer of 1875. He raised dairy cows with his wife, three sons, and four daughters. Throughout the year they produced and sold dairy products in mining camps in the San Juan Mountains. In the spring of 1876 they sold 116 pounds of butter for a dollar a pound to the miners north of Silverton.

Hot Springs throughout the San Juan Mountains, like Pinkerton Hot Springs, are fed by ground water that percolates downward through the earth. As it descends, the water comes in contact with magma deep within the earth. The heated water then rises and returns to the surface in the form of hot springs.

This hot spring started out on the other side of the highway. It used to come out of the hillside and flow down the drainage ditch. In winter, you could see the steam rising, in summer it just looked like a rusty orange stream. When people stopped to examine it they created a traffic hazard because there was nowhere to really park on the west side. So a few years back when the state re-paved the highway they piped the spring water under the road and into a vertical section of pipe on the other side, so it flowed out the top of the pipe. Then they built a cone of cement blocks around the pipe so the water flowed over them. In time the blocks became totally covered with mineral deposits. It is quite nice looking, just not quite as "natural" as you might think."

I look like I'm freezing  -  I WAS!!  As you can see, Mike and Debbie are taking the cold air in stride.  They just love Colorado!   Although it IS beautiful, I still prefer the balmy oceansides!

And here is Silverton. 
We passed through this town and drove up the mountains on the other side.  More to come!