Home LuxuryTravel Luxury Vacations Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad Train

Posted: Aug. 4th, 2009  |  By Ruth Mitchell
Luxury Adventure: It was my first time to ride the Durango and Silverton narrow gauge railroad. Long before I met and married a train geek I had heard about this train ride. People who have no special passion for trains or even a passing interest have told me, "you have to ride that train out in Colorado." And ever since he rode it a few years ago for the first time himself, my husband has been talking about taking me out there to ride it.

On the way to Durango, I asked him which was his favorite train, the Cumbres and Toltec or the Durango and Silverton. Mitch struggled to commit, but couldn't. All he said "you'll just have to see for yourself."

For someone who suffers from vertigo, I knew this ride would be a challenge, but the previous two days had been spent riding the Cumbres and Toltec from Chama to Antonito and back. I had been so overwhelmed by the beautiful scenery that it was downright silly to worry about dying. For those of you who have never experienced vertigo, it's really not too useful to try and explain. Let me just say this: the experience is like having your left and right brains at battle. On the intellectual side, you know you are not going to go flying off that cliff, but another part of your brain is busy exploring the idea, which sends another signal back to the rational side of the brain that says you are in danger, because "loosy-goosy" side is contemplating jumping." Meanwhile your legs have turned to Jello, and you feel faint and nauseated.

With that said, the ride along the Animas River was so stunning; I was okay with falling off the cliff. And while I didn't lean out over the gorges, I enjoyed the ride immensely.

Durango is an adorable town, and because of the beautiful and highly populated depot and steam engines coming and going, has a Disneyesque feel to it. We got there late in the afternoon, and after exploring the depot area a little, we plunked ourselves down on the veranda of the restaurant next to the depot and ordered a brie and fruit plate for starters. The two of us were absolutely giddy, Mitch more so than I. He just kept wandering off in mid-sentence, which caused me to comment to the ticketing agent at the depot, "My husband couldn't be more distracted if he were in a roomful of scantily dressed women." She laughed knowingly. Trains just have this effect on certain people.

The ride up to Silverton follows the Animas River. Silverton is somewhat land locked by mountains, ironically being held back in time by the very mountains that provided the minerals which once fueled its population. You can still see huge holes in the side of the surrounding mountains where the mining industry catapulted the area from wilderness to thriving mining town. Clever residents have left the old mining town to its original state, including some dirt streets. The stagecoach that circles the old town is as at home as a camel might be in the Sudan, it's just kind of startling at first. Then you look down the street at the two steam trains waiting to depart and you instantly get caught up in the time warp.

It?s all really quite dreamlike. The rocking motion of the train actually helps to sooth the torment of vertigo. Hot cider in your "all day fill up cup" keeps the slight chill of the high altitude at bay, and the glistening river winds like a bubbling, silvery ribbon back and forth beneath you for hours. Yes, today would be a good day to die if one had to, but better yet, have lunch in Silverton, partake in a little retail therapy, then board for the journey home. Then sink into the beckoning sheets of your luxurious bed at the General Palmer, after a sumptuous dinner of prime rib at a local restaurant.

Rocking, rocking the motion of the train stays with you much like that of a ship, and you are rocked to sleep like a baby in a cradle.

By Ruth Mitchell
JustLuxe Contributor
www.BuyOutsideTheBox.com
You might like :
Related Topics : Luxury Travel
Write a Story/Review about this topic

Post a Comment

 
Need to Get Away?
Top 10 Business Hotels
Who says you can’t mix business with pleasure?
Read More
Featured Contributor
The JustLuxe TeamThe JustLuxe Team
It’s hard to believe that back in September 1864 Johannes Badrutt made a bet with his English...
Read More | View Profile
Related Articles

The World's Best Luxury Hotels
Find a Luxury Hotel

Search Hotels

Travel Options

Guests

Rooms

Search Hotels
expand
The JustLuxe Collection presents Featured Luxury Hotels
Current News & Features
The Red Sea & Madagascar Among Variety Cruises' New 2015-2016 Itineraries
Relish in Sustainable Luxury & 400 Acres of Organic Farmland on Kittitian Hill in St. Kitts
Sir Richard Branson Is At It Again With Plans to Take Over the High Seas, Virgin-Style
The Ritz-Carlton, Kuala Lumpur is the "Best Business Hotel" in the Capital
Cruise From Prague to Berlin Year-Round Aboard Paddle-Wheeled MS Elbe Princesse
The Family-Owned Iberostar Grand Paraiso in Mexico is Extravagant, Authentic & Wild
Miraval Resort & Spa: A Luxurious Approach to Creating a Life in Balance
Why Choose Just One Caribbean Destination When You Can Island Hop With a Catamaran Yacht?
Experience Southern Sophistication at the Luxurious Le Méridien Atlanta Perimeter
JW Marriott Hotels & Resorts Venture Into Italy With Newest Venice Property
See the complete list
Play Video Play Video Play Video
L'Auberge
Del Mar
Berlin
City Guide
Vancouver, Canada
THINGS WE LIKE