Durango vacation - picture intensive

Discussion in 'Photos & Videos' started by TrainNut, Jul 3, 2007.

  1. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    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!
  2. trainnut65

    trainnut65 Member

    Trainnut that is some of the best looking pic's man i love the mountains. and all the old steamers are great to. And tell your wife she did a great job with her pic's as well. glad you guys had a fun time and i wish i could go there but i don't for see it happening.
  3. davidstrains

    davidstrains Active Member

    What a great family outing.
  4. UP SD40-2

    UP SD40-2 Senior Member

    TrainNut, looks like you folks had a GREAT TIME!:thumb::thumb::thumb: I'm really not one for narrow gauge:119: , but those mudhens are SLAP AWESOME!!!:thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb::thumb: it ALMOST makes me wish i went narrow gauge:eeki: :winki:
    FANTASTIC PICS!:mrgreen:
    :deano: -Deano
  5. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    It's certainly easy to see the appeal of Colorado narrow gauge (I've always liked the look of those locos), and that's a great-looking souvenir that you brought home, too! :thumb: :thumb:

  6. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    TrainNut65 - It is definitely a beautiful place and my son is already making plans to do some of the same stuff next year!

    DavidsTrains - We actually had way more than just my immediate family of four. My parents, a sister, and niece came from Prescott, AZ, another sister and her family came from Tucson, AZ and my third sister and her husband came from Fort Worth, TX. There were 13 of us in total.

    UPSD40-2 - I never was one for steam either. I was always a diesel man but that's just 'cause they ran better. Now, the deeper I get into this hobby and the better technology gets, I'm kinda likin' steam. Plus, Walthers is coming out with dual gauge track - HO with HOn3!

    DoctorWayne - I kinda hoped I'd be coming home with one of those but I had it in my head that it was going to be part of a wall display. Now that I have seen and heard it run, I'm going to have to figure out where in the house I can build a simple little switching layout 'cause just sitting on a shelf, "aint gonna cut it." I'm not sure if it's true or not and have not had the time to look it up on the Blackstone site but today when I was at a narrow gauge store picking up one length of HOn3 flex track, the owner told me that the K-27's with the snowplow on the front had not been released yet. If that's true, that makes it all the more special to me. I'll have to check that out when I get some time...
  7. Triplex

    Triplex Active Member

    That's the first time I've seen (all?) four of the Black Mesa's ex-Mexican units on one train.
  8. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Ahhh, I've been tempted to go to Durango for the past few years, you've just heightened that desire. As usual, nice shots,:thumb: :thumb: sounds like you all had a great time. I'm assuming that you're going to model a part of your layout after the area. :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

    COMBAT Member

    I rode that train as a kid and this reminds me of that event. Its just as I remember it and it makes me want to go back and do it all over again. Now where did I leave that money printing machine at? :)

    Thanks for the pics..... :)
  10. Chessie6459

    Chessie6459 Gauge Oldtimer

    Great Pictures.:dance:
  11. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    You lucky man!

    First, those old narrow gauge trains are awesome.

    Second, you have a blackstone k-27 now. Some day when I have the cash and a layout with broad enough curves for it to run on...

    Third, you actually saw a train on the black mesa. I have driven by there many times and saw nothing.

    And GREAT photographs, too!

  12. farish

    farish New Member

    that is kool.
  13. Bones

    Bones Member

    Firstly - Great pictures and thank you for sharing.

    Secondly - Today I finished "Uintah Railway, The Gilsonite Route" by Henry Bender Jr, 2003. So, I picked up my recently acquired copy of "Narrow Guage in the Rockies" by Bebe and Clegg, 1953.
    I picked a random page to start reading... lo and behold, it was all about the great narrow guage trains around Silverton. It was great to see greyscale photographs, lithographs, and sketches from a century ago. It was even better to read about the color schemes of buildings and rolling stock, knowing that they look the same today. On top of the 'present tense' of the book writing in 1945-1953, your pictures were priceless in conveying the splendor of this area.

  14. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    Triplex - ex Mexican hey? Learn something new every day. We must have been lucky 'cause we saw all four both on the way up and the way back! When your used to seeing diesels all over Arizona, those things sure stick out like sore thumbs.

    Ezdays - What'cha waiting for? You could make it in 7 hours or so but we chose to break it up into a two day trip up, and back. It takes a little longer when your draggin' around a 7 thousand pound trailer and are travelling with a two year old and a five year old. Of course also, just as we got back, gas prices started dropping. At the peak, somewhere in Colorado, I paid $3.40 at one point. beautiful stuff... you ever take the plunge, I can give you some pointers if you like. As far as modeling a part of my layout after this area... you betcha! I spent a lot of time looking at rocks and cuts and trying to figure out how I was going to replicate them. Bottom line is I need a LOT more huge rock outcroppings!

    Combat - It doesn't have to cost a fortune unless that's your style of vacation! Our biggest expense was gas and that's cause I was only getting 7-9 mpg.

    nachoman - I'm usually into N scale but the manual says this engine will easily take 18's and the guy at the factory told me that they had them running around 15's.

    Bones - thanks for the thanks... My family also travels to northern arizona a lot to a place called Big Lake (creative name isn't it?). One day, I found an article by another member regarding a rail line in that area ramming it's way through snowdrifts. It really meant a lot to me so I can connect with where your coming from. If you have any questoions regarding that, I'll do my best to take a stab at 'em.

    Thanks all for the comments... I look forward to more. Who knows, you just may tap into some more of my stories!
  15. MCL_RDG

    MCL_RDG Member

    Were you...


    Geez- glad to have ya back with the pics:thumb:

  16. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    you are welcome to come over and try that mudhen out on my layout - but it is only 3' x 6' and the curves are 15", the grades are steep, and the transitions harsh. But a MDC 2-8-0 will make it around!:mrgreen:


    PS - in the 60s and 70s there used to be a steam powered tourist railroad near Show Low on the old Apache railroad. I think it was called the "White Mountain Scenic Railroad". I wonder if I could find images if I googled it...
  17. TrainNut

    TrainNut Ditat Deus

    I'd love to have her tour your layout but your somwhere out there halfway to Yuma aren't you? I tried to find that article I was referring to in the white mountains earlier but can't seem to figure out where I put it! I'll keep looking.
  18. nachoman

    nachoman Guest

    i am in central phoenix, actually about a mile from Combat's house. Maybe I should have some people over someday :) Actually, the vertical transisitions on my layout are harsh, and I bet that snowplow might scrape the rails!

  19. COMBAT

    COMBAT Member

    He lives like 3 miles from me. :) Central Phoenix.....
  20. Russ Bellinis

    Russ Bellinis Active Member

    Nice pics! I didn't know about the park with all of the zip lines, that looked like a lot of fun. When you see that scenery and those mud hens it is easy to see why Colorado narrow gauge is so popular with modelers.

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