Well, as most of you probably never noticed, I’ve been gone for a while. My family and I went chasing trains for a couple of weeks in Durango, CO. Not only is it a LOT cooler than Phoenix, it’s also prettier and hmmmm, better in just about every way I can think of. We stayed at a campground about 12 miles north of Durango right in between the Animas river and the Durango and Silverton RR line – paradise! They were running five trains a day and starting about 8:30 or so, as the first of the ol’ mudhens started chugging up the grade for the day and passed the campground, my family and I would give out the yell, “TRAIN” and we would all run around to the side of the trailer where we could see it pass by several hundred feet up the canyon wall above us After that, every 45 minutes or so, another would chug on by till all 5 had passed for the morning. Just up from us was a crossing and the engineers would play their whistle song that bounced and echoed around the valley for a few meager but very satisfy seconds with the passing of each train. In the evenings, it was the same except in reverse order and since they were headed down hill, the chugging was much quieter and tired but almost restful sounding. The first Tuesday we were there, my father had something special planned for all of us. We drove down to Durango very early that morning and boarded the second train of the day. We then rode it halfway to Silverton, stopping at a secluded resort called Tall Timbers. It was here that we disembarked and spent the entire day riding zip lines through the trees and over the river for a total of 52 zips. Even my five year old participated and all had a grand time. As the afternoon came around, we all finished and caught the same train back into Durango. Several days later, we spent some time dinking around little back roads trying not to get into trouble and enjoy the scenery. We did finally make it all the way to Silverton but we drove over the divide and dropped in by car. Anybody looking for a short line to model? Try this one… And Silverton… One of the days, I went out to specifically chase a train from Rockwood to Durango and very quickly discovered that unlike the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic RR, there were not a whole lot of places to obtain great and wonderful scenic pictures. Never-the-less, here are the results of that day…. I’ve been watching the progress of the Blackstone Hon3 mudhens for quite some time and a while back, I mentioned (on here) that I was going to Durango and another member gave me a contact name for a tour of the Blackstone/Soundtraxx facility (which is in Durango). I called them up, took my family, and had a great tour. As we were finishing up, Allen, our tour guide, was demonstrating one of their finished products. I could stand it no longer and purchased a Blackstone Hon3, DCC with Tsunami sound card K-27 2-8-2. It is my first narrow gauge piece but I hope to build on that at some point. The level of detail on this piece is absolutely incredible and my photography skills do it no justice. Finally, as a last little bonus on our way home, we happened to catch a glimpse of the electric coal line near Page, AZ. My wife wanted to make sure that I gave her credit for the last two pictures. She did a great job considering she had her head stuck out the window at 65m.p.h. and still managed to pop off two pictures!