Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad's Cascade Canyon Express

After visiting Mesa Verde for the first time, we drove to Durango to ride the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad train.

The most well-known route for the D&SNGRR is the Durango-Silverton train, but we opted to go with the shorter Cascade Canyon Express because we were able to visit Silverton just last year (twice).

The train ride starts from the D&NGRR Durango Depot and travels through Durango, which is interesting to view along with its surroundings.

Once the train starts climbing into the mountains, the scenery turns spectacular.

There are several locations where steep rocks wall rise from either or both sides of the train.

Some leaves were showing early signs of turning colors for the fall on our late September 2022 visit, but the predominant color of trees was still deep and varied greens.

The river that ran alongside the tracks, and which we crossed at one point, is very photogenic.

The steam strain stops to load thousands of gallons of water, which provides a good opprortunty to take photographs.

The train stops at Cascade Canyon for about 45 minutes and it is a gorgeous setting.

Besides taking numerous photographs, we also ate lunch at the picnic tables under the trees with views of the river. We had pre-ordered boxed lunches when we purchased the train tickets, but some passengers purchased food while riding on the train and some brought their own lunches.

We were able to see the other side of the route on the way back to Durango and enjoyed the fantastic views.

Riding the Cascade Caynon Express is a low-stress way to see some gorgueous Colorado mountain scenerey. I suspect one week later would have been even more spectacular with the changing leaves' colors.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Paint Mines Interpretive Park

There is much to do in the Colorado Springs general area such as the deservedly well-known Garden of the Gods and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument, but we just learned of Paint Mines Interpretive Park a few years ago and visited it for the first time this month (late September 2022).

Paint Mines Interpretive Park is located by the town of Calhan, Colorado (which their web page states is "the highest incorporated non-mountain town in the United States"), east of Colorado Springs.

The cool late September morning we had enjoyed for hiking at Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument became much a significantly cooler afternoon with occasional rain when we visited Paint Mines Interpretive Park, so most of the photographs in this post were taken from the Overlook near a smaller parking lot dedicated to this overlook.

Probably because of the cooler day and the threatening skies, we saw fewer than ten other people while we were at Paint Mines Interpretive Park.

The combination of vibrant colors and interesting hoodoo and other formations at Paint Mines Interpretive Park provide much to look at.

The larger main parking lot was nearly empty (one vehicle besides ours) on the day we visited Paint Mines Interpretive Park.

This is the restroom facility at Paint Mines Interpretive Park.

This is the main entrance to Paint Mines Interpretive Park (the small building was closed up when we visited).

This map of Paint Mines Interpretive Park shows the main parking area and the parking area near the overlook as well as different hiking trails.