We got started about 6am. It was 58 degrees when we left. We had on our jacket liners, but we had to stop a few miles down the road and put on our heated jacket liners. We were toasty warm after that. From US 56 out of Hugoton, we traveled to Clayton, NM, then northwest on US 64 & 87 to pick up I-25 at Raton, NM. US 64 is one of the gems of the US Highway system of “red” roads…often 4 lane or divided highways with speed limits in excess of 60 mph. The wide sweepers were wonderful as we climbed out of the high plains into the foothills and mesas of the Rockies.
It only took us 3-1/2 days to get to the mountains so we could have a half-day riding in the mountains, and the scenery was spectacular.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Snyder vacation without a train. We actually landed in two historic train towns in one day. We had ridden the Cumbres and Toltec RR from Chama to Antonito back in 2000 on our western camping trop with the boys. This time we arrived in Antonito for lunch and then headed on the bikes toward Chama in hopes of catching the train on its return trip.
We saw the train leaving the station near the top of the mountain. Of course, bikes are faster than a steam locomotive that has to navigate many switchbacks. So we left the train and headed on to Pagosa Springs, encountering some rain and HAIL along the way. We were dressed for it.
Both bikes handled well the sweeping curves and tighter switchbacks of our rides up and over the mountain passes…such a contrast to the flatlands of Florida. We have been particularly lucky the past couple of days with weather that is warm, yet pleasant with low humidity.
We arrived in Durango this evening, which is home to the other historic railroad, the steam train that goes from Durango to Silverton and back. Tim rode that train in his younger days. This time in Durango, we opted to end the day with a trip to the Durango Brewing Company about a half-mile from our hotel. A couple of pints and an antipasto salad fixed us up, and now we’re ready for some shut-eye.