Up Early for a ride on Goose #5

Morning, August 23
Having ascertained the travel time to Silverton the day before, Chris and I were up by 6 to make our 8 A.M. trip on the Goose. We didn't tarry at the station in Durango and headed up the Animas valley. I went a tad beyond the speed limit and passed a few slugs.

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But just as highway 550 went back to two lanes in preparation for the trek up to Coal Bank Pass, we found ourselves behind a slow moving tank truck. I was about to grumble when this view appeared to our left. I quickly pulled over and took this glorious shot of what I think is Grizzly Peak. The truck was still ahead of us when we resumed our trek.

At the Silverton Depot, the Goose was there showing off it's stuff.

The line to ride in the cab was pretty big, so Chris and I decided to sit in the back.

The temperature outside was a bit nippy (we were still in the shadows of the mountains), but this fine stove kept the inside of the back of the Goose toasty warm. You can tell that wood was the primary fuel, but the crew were not above scavenging the odd bit of coal when they could find it.

Accomodations inside were a bit spartan... about as roomy as on the Pike's Peak Cog Railway. But so many people had stuffed themselves into the front of the Goose that almost all of us had our own private seat in the back.

Our trip was to be a photo shoot with a final destination of Elk Park. There we would turn around on the wye and hustle back to Silverton before the first train from Durango arrived. The crew kept the back door open (one of them sat on the steps) so we were allowed to take pictures out the only open portal. These views are looking back up the Animas River towards Silverton.

The view out the hazy plexiglass windows was none too good, but it was still cold outside. Up front, the crew kept us occupied with interesting lectures and tales. They also sold souvenirs and snacks.

We arrived at Elk Park and everybody bailed out to take pictures (except Chris, who grabbed a seat in the cab) while they turned the Goose around on the wye.

The speeder ahead of the first train from Durango arrives, meaning it's time for us to be moving on.

I join Chris in the cab. Strangely, everyone who rode in the front on the way out, moved to the back on the return trip, and most of us from the back all moved to the front.

Sitting behind the driver.

They stopped further upstream and let us off to take pictures of a "high-speed" run by.

Chris on the riverbank for his shot. (I took a video which is too large to post here)

It zooms by... at 20 miles per hour.

After a stop for photos by the bridge over the Animas, we head back into Silverton.

Back at the Silverton Station. The Goose Driver has his arm around the Silverton Station Mistress.

We parked by the railroad tracks and soon all sorts of strange characters began appearing
(I really liked the mounted women in the green dresses).

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This page updated March 15, 2004