In the midst of a Southwest heat wave friends Marty and Ann came to visit Durango from Pine Island. We hit the ground running and within 48 hours we rode the Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad to Silverton, had a great dinner at Cyprus Cafe and had an all day tour of the high country of the rugged San Juan Mountains above Silverton. The train ride was spectacular as usual although Silverton was shrouded in smoke from the recent Weber Canyon fire near Mancos. We were concerned about our four wheel drive tour the next day since visibility was so limited.
Sunday dawned clear with a bright blue sky and we set off on our Mild to Wild 4WD tour with Shane our driver and guide. We headed up Cement Creek Canyon North of Silverton. Then past the old mines of Gladstone, the new Silverton Ski area, California Pass at near 13000 feet, then down California Gulch, the headwaters of the Animas River to the ghost town of Animas Forks and the old mining communities of Minnie Gulch, Eureka and Howardsville. Our flat land friends did great considering they had traveled from 5 feet above sea level to 13000 in a little over a day. The high country of Colorado is a experience not to be missed.