I forgot to mention our special visit with Norman in Truth or Consequences, NM on our way up to the VLA. Norman is a 93 year old Senior Olympic Running Champion and a delightful person with whom to sojourn. He is thoughtful enough to find a restaurant in T or C which has easy in and out parking for both our big rig and Jim’s 5th wheel where we can enjoy a relaxing meal with him. I am inspired by Norman’s energy and zest for life and am thankful to him for explaining how T or C got its name and for spending an fascinating couple of hours swapping stories of our mutual travels since when we last saw him at Nicole and David’s wedding .
After our visit with Norman and our trip to the VLA, we scoot through Albuquerque and up US Hwy 550 – a scenic, traffic free highway which after a short, steep grade deposits us in Durango. We are greeted at the Alpen Rose RV Park just north of town by a new “Jim” on a golf cart. New Jim is expecting us and leads us to our spot without our even having to get out of the coach. Great Service!!! Our wide lot with lush green grass which parallels Jim Brown’s site is the perfect place to hook up with George and Michelle from the balloon Fiesta and spend an evening sharing more traveling tales.
We are eager to board the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge winter train from Durango up to Cascade Canyon the next day and we are especially thrilled with Jim’s choice of cars. We ride in the premium service, glass top “Knight Sky” car which affords us expansive views of the canyon as we are gently rocked up the climbing tracks. The summer train goes all the way to Silverton but the winter journey is shortened to a turn around at Cascade Canyon. Once the train backs into the wye, we enjoy a picnic lunch beside the rushing Animas River. As an extra special bonus on this train, I have the great privilege of meeting the world’s foremost photo bomber! I am thrilled when I can get someone to agree to photo bomb my videos but I had no idea when I spoke with this young lady that I was engaging the services of a professional photo bomber. Check her out in my report on our train ride: