Look Ma, No Guardrail!

27 May

Original Post: July 7, 2007

Want to give yourself a heart attack?  Take a drive to Silverton, which is a tiny ‘old west’ style town about 40 miles south of Ouray. You have to go over a huge pass to get there and there is no guardrail and no room for error.  The pictures below do not do justice to how flippin’ steep the cliff is . It’s all tight little switchbacks with no more than 6 inches of shoulder room and it’s terrifying. I can just imagine the tourists from flat lands (say…Nebraska or some such place) getting on this road and just freaking out.

The road is the slice about halfway down the mountains on the left.

Silverton was cute, but the main reason we went is because there is an old narrow-gauge train that you can take to Durango. It’s one of the only trains of its kind left, and it’s old and little and still runs on coal. As a side note, if you happen to ever venture out onto such a train, it’s not the best plan to wear white linen pants, not that I’m speaking from experience or anything. That whole ‘runs on coal’ bit pretty much means that it blows smoke, ash and embers all over the passengers, so we were all quite dirty when we finally got there. The cars are open and it takes 3 1/2 hours to go about 35 miles, which was an hour and a half too long for me, but the views are amazing.

Downtown Silverton

Remember, this was 2007. Silverton has a sense of humor.

Old-school, coal powered, narrow-gauge railroad.

Views from the train.

More views from the train.

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