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  • Writer's pictureInger and Jeff Latreille

Barely Made It!

~Saturday, October 10, 2020~

Day 118

Spent all morning planning out the rest of our stay here in Colorado. It’s amazing how many RVer’s campers are still out here in mid-October with most everything booked. The weather can be hit or miss in Colorado this time of year, so we feel very fortunate that we’ve witnessed the most gorgeous Fall weather. The one town Jeff thought would be a slam dunk in booking was Colorado Springs because of the size of the town. So we had to keep looking more on the outskirts. But even those posed challenges. So then came another idea….what if we flip our dates and see what shows availability. Instead of continuing our “J” -shape counter clockwise route from Sand Dune National Park to Colorado Springs, we’ll go Sand Dune National Park north to Fort Collins, then back down to Colorado Springs. We have to head south anyway to get to warmer weather. By pushing our stay in Colorado Springs back by one week, all the sudden more options became available. Now for booking the Fort Collins area….we’ll have to figure that out tomorrow as we have a train to catch.

Jeff took Sadie on a long walk before we headed out for the Durango/Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad trip. As you can imagine….no dogs allowed. Our departure time was 3:15, which we thought was 3:30, and then we read the fine print on the confirmation that you should arrive 30 minutes before boarding. Well that ain’t gonna happen. Of course this added a huge amount of stress realizing that we might not make it which prompted my phone call to them as we flew down the highway. “Don’t worry honey, you’ll make it”. I was sweating the whole way as we didn’t want to waste $200 by our careless time management today. We made it to open car #2 with 10 minutes to spare…..hallelujah!!!! Now for a little relaxation on a steam train.

The cars were pretty full, with a little less than capacity due to COVID. Everyone was required to wear a mask at all times. We were so glad we booked the steam engine instead of the diesel. Much more traditional in a sense with the whistles, the overall rumble and struggle of the engine as it pulled us up the San Juan Forest overlooking the beautiful Animas River. At times during the 2-hour ride, the train moves within inches of the granite boulders that frame the tracks.

And it doesn’t matter which side of the train you are on, because whatever you may have missed on the way in, you’ll see on the way back. The only thing that would have been a nice addition...some historical narrative about the railroad or an explanation about the differences between the steam and diesel engines that everyone was riding today. But other than that, it’s a great once in a lifetime experience. The whole time we were on it, we thought about our grandson Easton and how much he would enjoy this. Someday!

After the ride, we were quite thirsty and hungry with no lunch and it was 5:30, so we stopped at the world headquarters for Ska Brewing Co. in Durango. It was worth the 40 minute wait to get seated (outside seating only). Jeff loved his Modus Hoperandi IPA. In fact he purchased a six-pack. And their freshly made smoked mozzarella/basil flatbread to go with it was a definite hit. We found out from the waitress that there had been 2 restaurants in the area, shut down today due to violations related to COVID. So as of today, Ska and all other restaurants/breweries were on high alert.

On the way back to our site, we needed a few grocery items so to Wal-Mart we go. This was the nicest Wal-Mart we’ve ever been to. Clean, bright, nice grocery/organic section. Wow...impressed.

Sadie was so happy to see us and eager for a walk. So we did a starry night stroll around the resort, with it being the clearest night in a long time. A delicious leftover dinner while watching some college football. Jeff and I haven’t watched TV in weeks, but once in a while it’s a nice addition to being in the trailer. We even tried out the TV in our bedroom. Our whole married life we believed in no T.V.’s in the bedroom, but the trailer came with it so we thought we’d try it out. It’s so James Bond with the T.V. recessed in the credenza that by a push of a button, magically rises. It’s pretty cool. We imagine on cold, rainy days this will be a nice feature as we cozy up on the bed with our popcorn, watching old movies.

While doing dishes, we noticed the sink was a bit smelly so Happy Camper to the rescue. Without going into too much detail, this tank sanitizer is not only good for the black tank, but the gray tank as well. So 2 gallons of water mixed with Happy Camper and away those troubles down the drain.

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