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Unread 8 Apr 16, 09:05 PM  
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geoffa
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Grand Train Journey across USA - Day 10

Day 10 (27/6/06) Back to the bordello.

We take breakfast at the Strater Hotel then its time to head back to Grand Junction.



Before doing so we go to watch the departure of the 480 locomotive as it takes another load of passengers to Silverton and back. We spot Dot, the Presidential Car attendant and go over to say Hello and also Goodbye. She had been a star on our trip and had a fabulous sense of humour. We have all day and so take the road towards Silverton. We can have lunch there. We obviously arrive well before the locomotive and so have time to wander around the shops and attractions again. When the train finally arrives we ensure we are level with where the Presidential car will stop. Sure enough Dot descends from the carriage to place the foot stool in place for its leaving passengers. She spots us and bursts into hysterical laughter. You devils! she declares.



(When we got back to the Uk we sent her some British goodies care of the Durango Rail-road address. She was good enough to send a card back thanking us.)

Silverton is a former silver mining camp, most or all of which is now included in a federally designated National Historic Landmark District. Its population is around 600. In 2002 an extreme ski mountain, Silverton Mountain, opened near the town. It is one of the highest elevation towns in the USA at 9,318 feet above sea level.

We go off to the Bent Elbow (the former bordello) for a coffee. It has an amazing bar. There is a pianist who knocks out those saloon type honky tonk tunes whilst people eat and drink.



Time to head for Ouray. We climb roads leading us back to 11,000 feet and pass the peak of Red Mountain again. The drop into Ouray snakes back and forwards until we reach the valley floor. Originally established by miners chasing silver and gold in the surrounding mountains, the town at one time boasted more horses and mules than people. Prospectors arrived in the area in 1875. In 1877, William Weston and George Barber found the Gertrude and Una gold veins in Imogene Basin, six miles southeast of Ouray. Thomas Walsh acquired the two veins and all the open ground nearby. In 1897 opened the Camp Bird Mine which produced almost 200,000 ounces of gold by 1902, when Walsh sold out to Camp Bird, Ltd. By 1916 that mining company had produced over one million ounces of gold.

The town is also famous for its hot springs which you can enjoy at the open air swimming pool.



We plough on to Grand Junction. We are staying at an airport hotel here so its handy for returning the hire car. Once we have sorted ourselves out we head out into town for something to eat. In Main Street we find the Il Bistro Italiano. I can only refer you to Trip Advisor. People praise this place to the rafters.



Its hot and sunny so we sit outside with a nice bottle of Pinot Grigio and have the sweetest, most tender calamari in a lemon butter sauce. It literally does melt in your mouth.



Grand Junction has sculptures around town and my favourite is right opposite where we are sat. Its a full size bison made from car fenders (bumpers) and it is entitled Chrome on the Range.



How about this one? End of the rails.



Our train is due to depart the following morning at 9a.m. and so we make use of the hotels spa and swimming pool and then watch some TV before retiring for a good nights rest.








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Edited at 08:29 PM.
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Cancelled because of illness.
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Unread 8 Apr 16, 09:21 PM  
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Mr Tom Morrow
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Geoff. Good to have that small break before heading back for the next stage. Time to recharge. That Bison is iconic, and the railway wheels. Bet they took some bending!
The meal looks good, not for me though I find it chewy!
Hot springs, did you try the pool?
What a nice gesture sending that gift. You guys are so well mannered.
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Edited at 09:22 PM.
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 09:44 AM  
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DisneyGill
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Another fab day
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 10:11 AM  
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I'm really enjoying reading all about your trip, sorry I haven't commented on each day but I just can't wait to read what happens next! An amazing trip with some breathtaking scenery, you have definitely made some fantastic memories together.
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Unread 9 Apr 16, 10:22 AM  
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geoffa
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Originally Posted by OB1LukeLucas View Post
I'm really enjoying reading all about your trip, sorry I haven't commented on each day but I just can't wait to read what happens next! An amazing trip with some breathtaking scenery, you have definitely made some fantastic memories together.
Thank you for your kind comments. We've never been ones for sitting on a beach. Like to see local life and the magnificent scenery. May never get the chance to see it again. There's a big old world out there.
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Unread 10 Apr 16, 02:10 PM  
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Nice to have a chill day.

Thanks for sharing.
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Unread 10 Apr 16, 08:04 PM  
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Love that bison !
Enjoying your trip report.
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Unread 12 Apr 16, 05:13 PM  
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Just catching up now, loving reading it all
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