We checked out of the cheap motel at 7:30 this morning and went on to the railroad depot. We were to board our train at 9:15, but we figured to spend the time prior to that in the railroad museum at the roundhouse; indeed, that was enjoyable.
We both agreed we should ride in one of the open cars this time, breathing fresh air and looking straight out upon nature's delights. Wonderful plan, that: unfortunately, nobody warned us about the smoke and cinders and soot that speckle your clothing and any exposed body parts with black dots.
On our trip from Durango to Silverton, we were facing away from most of the wonderful scenery, but when we headed back, we saw all the stuff we'd missed. It truly is awesome; the only thing is, it lasts about two hours too long, heading back, because the train moves slowly... and the last couple of hours, you're out of the high country, looking at farmhouses and suburbs.
Here was our problem: We got back at the depot at 7 PM. Our original plan was to head east and camp someplace, but we hadn't planned on being so tired and dirty, or on getting back so late; the last thing either one of us wanted to do was put up a tent and inflate an air mattress. We truly regretted the fact that we hadn't booked another night at the cheap, clean motel.
Cliff suggested we go see if they had any rooms left; I warned him that it's the weekend, when prices are usually higher... and rooms fill rapidly.
Thank the good Lord, there were still rooms left, and at the same rate. We're in the room adjecent to where we spent last night. We've showered all the soot from ourselves, decaff coffee is making on the propane stove for Cliff, and the TV captions are on.
Life is good.
Tomorrow, we'll head east for sure.