Writing this blog post in the middle of what they call a 'dry thunderstorm' - wind is rattling the RV, and I can see about 200m in every direction. The mountain vista that surrounds us on three sides is hidden behind dense cloud, dust and smoke. Looks like a scene from 2012 or The Day After Tomorrow, or Lewis' bedroom.
|Main Street, Silverton|
Back to Silverton - a place we stayed a couple of nights. The first night was on a rather odd little RV park below the hillside cemetery. When we arrived, I sorted out the booking with the elderly lady who opened up especially for us, and then I asked her for some blue stuff for the black tank.
"Do you have a blue, or green version - I'm not particularly fussy about the colour, as long as it nukes the smell of sh..."
"Sorry - - you know, the black tank?"
"Oh yes dear, it's in the freezer over there..."
"In the freezer?"
"Yes," she said impatiently, skipping around me to the chest freezer against the far wall, "where else would you keep it?"
Duh. I am a stupid idiot! ??
"Errr.. okay. Great, it must be very powerful if you need to keep it in the freezer?"
"Of course it's powerful sonny, it made this valley didn't it?"
Now I was really confused. Was God actually a black tank deodorant and treatment? Did He create everything on the first 6 days, and then flush all the shit away on the 7th day? Or just rest on His Throne with a Good Book?
She lifted the lid on the freezer,
"There - do you need something to put it in? A bag or some't?"
"Err... yes please. A bottle would be better?"
By now she had started to sound (if not even look) a bit like Sméagol.
"A bottle? A bottle? How's you s'pose I gets it in a bottle? My precious?"
I had visions now of God, the despotic toilet deodorant, refusing to enter the bottle - like a genie rubbed the wrong way.
"Well, don't worry then. A bag will be fine."
"Well help yourself then."
I walked over, to a freezer full of loose and bagged ice cubes.
"This is ice!"
"That's it. Just take a bag."
And that's how we managed to obtain a huge bag of ice cubes, which still resides in the freezer, at the expense of several boxes of curry ready meals.
So that was base camp 1 in Silverton. Except it wasn't - we ended up driving into the centre of town and then sleeping in the RV on the street....
This should give a reasonable impression of Silverton's streets and 'happening vibe, man'.
|The Arcade. Obvious really, when you get the hang of it.|
|Also a sidewalk|
The place depends upon the Durango-Silverton rail line in the summer for tourists (plus those passing through like us), and on the snow-bum skiers in the winter. Until the 1980s the place was truly the silver and gold mining capital of the Rockies; at it's peak up to 6000 people lived in the area. Today, the mines closed, the population is nearer 500. Incidentally, we were told it's name comes from a derivation of tonne rather than town. Find that difficult to believe, but there you are.
The next day we checked into another RV park, nearer to Downtown - the Red Mountain RV Park. Good place; they put us, at our request, right next to the sidings where the trains park while they wait to take the punters back to Durango. (Do trains 'park' ? Or do they 'stand', or 'pause'; 'station-ary' perhaps?. Hmm)
Anyhow. I got a bit carried away trying out my newly acquired basic photography knowledge (historical and technical), and hence I ended up taking 400 pictures of trains. Not really terribly exciting to view after the first 200. Or maybe 20.
Here's my 'money shot' attempt - I prepared for this for 45 minutes :) So much for an action picture! .....Composition, exposure, focus, golden triangle, depth of field, movement, damn focus again, press the damn remote. Phew.
Plus a few others :)
|My money shot attempt (in a photo competition with Sarah...)|
|Soots you sir|
After all that, we walked late into town, to a little micro-brewery cum pizza parlour that we had tasted for breakfast; Avalanche Express. A fun place - good people, and a welcome hang-out in a small town.