Karl Arnold Belser
22 June 2017

Jackie and I made a road trip from San Jose to Durango, ColoradoWe went there especially to ride on the Durango and Silverton Narrow gouge railroad and to visit with Jackie's grandson Ryan who is a student at Fort lewis College.

The railroad was interesting because the steam engine is coal fired and spits out cinders. We sat inside a closed car to hear a narrated guide and avoid eye problems.

It was hot and dry.

To avoid fire the train was followed by a two person work car to spot fire. In addition the train company had a helicopter follow each train loaded with water in order to put out any other fire that the train might ignite. The day after we took the train the train derailed probably because the tracks buckled due to the heat..

There were a huge number of tourists in Durango. There were three or four trains a day to Silverton for at least 1000 passengers per day. The train business is apparently quite profitable, between 50 and 100 thousand dollars a day.

There were lots of tourists everywhere and the hotel rates were high, at least double of what we expected. Some national parks including Zion, Yosemite, and Kings Canyon had people park and take buses within the park. I was astounded at how crowded the parks were.

We also went to some of the Anasazi ruins at Navajo National Monument, Mesa Verde and Chaco Canyon.

My general conclusion is that the desert temperatures are hotter than in the past and that everything is more crowded aNd expensive.
Last updated June 22, 2017
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