Tuesday, September 25, 2012

American Southwest Trip: Day 4 II- Historical Silverto, Co

     After we left Durango, we entered San Joan National Forest on Highway 550 to Silverton. It was a winding but enjoyable road. The highway from Silverton to Ouray is also called the Million Dollar Highway which was also interesting to me. My husband said "no time" to me  when I asked to drive to Ouray.  
Our first rest stop was at the Coal Bank Pass Summit
which elevation is 10,640 feet (3,243 m.) We saw
motorcyclists on the highway. They definitely had 

a lot of fun poseing for their pictures.
The view here was to not much to see. However, the
introduction sign for this area was interesting to me.
After this summit, we would enter an avalanche section
on this highway. I think the most beautiful highway is
also the most dangerous interactive highway. No matter
where it is in the world. Also it was a toilet stop. 
(View 1)
The highway after the Coal Bank Pass Summit was
gorgeous and fantastic. Here was the Molas Pass.
Its elevation is 10,970 ft (3,358 m) high.
View (2)
View (3)
The view (1-3) was about 270 degree of the Molas
Summit which is a breathtaking and must-see view.
It made me think of the scenic view on Highway
14 from Puli to Hohuan mountain in Taiwan were the
highest elevation is 3,725 m (10, 746 ft.)    
We almost arrived at Silverton and
caught up with the train we saw in
Durango this morning. 
Driving along the scenic mountain view, it reminded
me of a Fengshui theory which was - if a mountain top 

often is surrounded by heavy clouds all year, it is a 
sign that themountain is filled with precious metals like 
gold or silver. Is it true? I saw a lot of clouds covering 
the mountains which have splendor of gold and silver.  
Visitor Center in Silverton
     "Gold was discovered here in 1860, and after negotiations with the Ute
       Indians, the area was opened for settlement. The Town of Silverton was
       platted in 1874, and by 1875 the population had doubled. The Stony Pass
       wagon road became a toll road in 1879, and supplies came in over the
       Continental Divide from Del Norte. The greatest boom to the area was the 
       construction of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad (now known as the
       Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad) in 1882. By that time, there
       were seven towns, including Animas Forks (now a well-visited ghost town in
       the summer months) and Howardsville, which was the first county seat on the 
       Western Slope.........Silverton is now the only town left in San Juan County. 
       Its year-round population of 500 and is supported by the tourism industry rather than by mining." the Silverton Area of Chamber Commerce

After we got out of our car, I spotted
the stature of Mother Mary standing on
the hill. I pointed to my husband. I knew 

it would be our next destination to explore. 
The view of main street 
This was another first time experience for me which
was an auction event. The auctioneer's voice sounded
like he was singing a sound without a break. Cool! 
We were walking to the river and the
train was backing into the station area. 

This was also my first time to see an 
entire train backing up. 
The multicolored Animas River 
My husband said why I didn't pose
differently. Ok, let me try to jump.
This was my first jump and my
husband first experience of taking a
motion picture.   
We walked back to the town and the train was getting
ready for loading its customers. A group of
motorcyclists just pulled in and took over the best
place for taking their photos. It was unexpectedly for
people who were waiting for taking photos. Sometimes,
I took my pictures by chances which made my pictures
more interesting.       
The train left which meant it was 2 o'clock. My
stomach was singing a hungry song. It was time for our
lunch. One local resident told me this was a good
This homemade chili soup reminded me of my mother-
in-law who made delicious chili soup when she was
alive. My husband ordered an elk burger. 
This historical hotel was built in 1882 when mining
gold was flourishing. I was told it was also a good
place to visit for its original decorations.     
This was its lobby decoration. The hotel operator
tried to maintain it as it was before. It was three
story high without an elevator. The front desk was
very friendly to talk to us about its history. My
husband also promoted Taiwan to her. 
When we shopped at a souvenir store, my husband
asked about the Mother Mary's stature. We learned
it was a cemetery which burried more than 800
people in one space. These people died from
the 1918 flu pandemic. She was surprised that we
noticed this place because few people asked this
question. So here we were. But we took a wrong
turn and couldn't get close to the site.  
This stop sign was in the middle of the intersection.
Also only the main street was paved in the entire town.
Other streets were unpaved. 
My husband decided to visit two former abandoned
gold mills. This was Mayflower Gold Mill. 
     "The Mayflower Mill was the single longest running mill in the history of the 
      San Juan Mountains.  In its 61 year milling career from 1930 to 1991, it was 
      shut down only a total of 12 years, resulting in 49 years of actual milling. 
      The total amount of rock milled is estimated at 9,700,500 tons.  The Mill 
       produced 1,940,100 ounces of gold; 30,000,000 ounces of silver; and 
      1,000,000 tons of combined base metals -- a remarkable record for hard rock 
       mining in the 'old' techniques seldom employed in today's modern mining

My husband went to the store to ask some tour
information because we didn't have time for the tour.
I insisted to stay outside to take photos. 
The tour operation service center  
Some people had just finished their tour. 
Old mining equipment
A beautiful view: I saw people riding
ATVs in the valley. There were
some unpaved roads which required
four wheel vehicles for entering the
roads. I would love to try the roads
if we had a four wheel drive vehicle. 
We met and had a short conversation
with two gentlemen who were fly fishing
in the stream. One gentleman showed
me the picture of a beautiful fish that
they caught.    
They were very generous to share their
finishing experiences with me. This was
the bait that they used for fly fishing.  
We drove back to Silverton and did a drive through
tour of the town. 
An old broken bridge was telling
the history of the mining industry. 
We were on Highway 550 back to Farmington, NM. 
I had a tranquil moment alone next to the Little Molas
Lake which was not far away from the Molas Summit. 
A natural hot spring on the road side. Ranter than hot,
it was just like room temerature. But the form was
different which attracted people's attention.
In our mind, we thought the railroad was below the
highway. When we saw it was above us, we were
really surprised. We decided to trace the train. 
We parked our car on the road side and waited for
the train. We met a lady who dressed with traditional
Indian clothes. She told me she voluntarily followed
each train and greeted tourists on the road sides and the
two stations. This was her 100th days waving streak.
She was ready to go back to Durango for a celebration
party. What a nice lady for taking her time to promote
the train ride and give the tourists a welcome waving.    
On our way to Durango from Farmington, we saw
this glider airport. My husband asked me if I would
like to try. He had done this kind of flying before.

 So he wanted me to try it and enjoyed the ride.
I appreciated his offer and rejected the offer since it
was not in our itinerary. So, we stopped at this airport
for asking some information when we were on our way
back to our hotel in Farmington, NM.  
A potluck party was being held while we were there. 
A gentleman was very friendly to answer our questions 
and let us to walk around and check the airplane. 
Our day ended with a beautiful sunset and nice

Million Doctor Highway: 
"The origin of the name Million Dollar Highway is disputed. There are several legends, though, including that it cost a million dollars a mile to build in the 1920s, and that its fill dirt contains a million dollars in gold ore.[1]"

1 comment:

  1. 9 days trip is a pretty long journey, I know for sure you visit handful or sceneries during that period.

    check this out


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