Durango and Moab Trip 23 April 2003

Sally left for Utah on Friday the 11th. She flew to SLC where her daughter Kelly picked her up at the airport. She got to spend a few days with her granddaughters, Alyssa and Ashlee. I got a weekend off and then I left for Utah on Monday the 14th. I drove my Jeep Grand Cherokee. Stayed overnight in St. George, UT and drove on to SLC on Tuesday. Kelly and her husband Loren actually live in Syracuse UT which is north of SLC.

On Wednesday the 16th, we drove to ......

Promontory UT

Gold Spike National Historic Site

Site of the Golden Spike on the first transcontinental railroad. This had been on my list of places to visit. This is the spot where the Central Pacific and Union Pacific met on May 10, 1869. This part of the line was in continuous use until 1904 when the Lucin Cut-Off was built. The cutoff went straight across the Great Salt Lake cutting time and distance off the transcontinental trip. This part of the line ran in branch service until Sept. 8,1942 when the Golden Spike was ceremonially "undriven" and most of the old rail was salvaged for the war effort. All that is left now is track a few miles on each side of Promontory.

Sally's  granddaughters - Alyssa and Ashlee Roundy stand right on the track of the original transcontinental railroad.
Alyssa and Ashlee Roundy

Here is a group shot taken at the visitor center. Kelly, Ashlee, Alyssa, and Grandma Sadi.

Kelly, Ashlee, Alyssa, and Grandma Sadi
On Thursday, we out to dinner with Kelly and Loren to a very nice Japanese restaurant. On Friday the 18th, Sal and I left for Colorado.

Apple Orchard Inn, Durango, CO

Durango CO - Apple Orchard Inn - April 18. 19, 20 - Wolf River Room. This was the nicest B&B that we have ever stayed at. The cabins were quiet and private. Our cabin had a hot tub on the back patio. It had a down feather bed that was very comfortable.

Pet goose at the Apple Orchard Inn.

Durango and Silverton Railroad

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad - April 19 12:00PM

We rode in a 1st Class Parlor Car One of the sidings along the route.
Springtime in the Rockies. Running along the Animas River.
Powerhouse on the Animas - the oldest  operating hydroelectric plant in the west. This little speeder followed the train the whole way. It job is to watch for any sparks from the engine smokestack that might cause a fire.
Animas River
Animas River looking down the canyon from the train. Sal took this picture of me in the Parlor Car.
Our turn around point was the Cascade Wye. We stopped there for about a half-hour and I got this picture of K-36, number 486 at the head of  our train. Nice shot of the train as we headed back to Durango.


On Easter Sunday, Sal and I drove up to Silverton. It a little little town that survives on summer tourists. This day, the town was empty and all the stores were closed. In the winter, the train does not run all the way to Silverton but turns around at the Cascade Wye.

We left Durango on Monday the 21st and headed back toward Utah.


Fire had burned large sections of the Mesa Verde National Park. The Long Mesa Fire in 2002 followed the Burcher Fire in 2000 and the Chapin 5 fire in 1996. Though a lot was burned, the areas around centerpiece Anasazi cliff dwellings were spared. Here is a picture of part of the park we drove through.

Mesa Verde National Park

Mesa Verde National Park  web site

Sally's Mom and Dad had visited all of these parks during their travels. It was her Mom that reminded me that we should be sure to visit Mesa Verde since we going to be driving right past it.

Cliff House
Cliff House

Climbing the ladders up to Cliff House
Climbing the ladders up to Cliff House

Closeup view of Cliff House. The round feature at the front is a Kiva used for religous gatherings. They were originally covered with a log and mud roof. Here is Sally climbing out of a reconstructed Kiva. Sal just loved climbing up and down those ladders.

We got to Moab in the evening of the 21st. The first task was to find our B&B and then we headed out to dinner.

Moab, UT - Arches National Park

Arches National Park web site.

On Tuesday the 22nd. Sal and I visited Arches National Park. We watched a video the night before which described the features of the park so we started out as experts.

Balanced Rock

Windows Arch - this was about a 1 mile walk to get out there.

Our long hike for the day was to Delicate Arch. It was listed as "strenuous" and was about 1.5 miles one way. The toughest part of the hike was going over this big rock outcropping. All uphill. The wind was blowing the whole way, at times very hard. Here is Sally resting after the hike to the arch (I'm resting too but you can't tell that since I took this picture)..

She took the picture of me below after I walked out the sheer cliffs to Delicate Arch. The wind was really blowing and though you can't tell from this picture, I was doing all I could to not be blown off the ledge. Delicate Arch is the symbol of Arches NP and its the one you see on the web sites and travel brochures. This picture duplicates one taken by Sally's mother of her father when they visited Arches in 1969.

Mark and Sally in front of Delicate Arch - we got someone else to take this picture of us.

Castle Valley Inn, Moab UT

Moab UT - Castle Valley Inn - April 21, 22 - Wingate Room. This B&B was about 12 miles northeast of Moab in what is called Castle Valley. If you look at the above web site, you will see pictures of Castle Rock that gives this valley its name.

Cottonwood Tree in Castle Valley UT - on the National Register of Historic Trees. It is estimated to be 100-250 years old.

On Wednesday the 23rd, Sal and I headed back to San Diego. We were both itching to get home so we drove the 800 miles in one 15 hour driving day (we were going to do the drive in 2 days).

Mark and Sally


This site prepared and maintained by Mark DiVecchio

email :  markd@san.rr.com

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