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My family and I drove nine long hours to attempt the exciting train ride once again. My step dad had ridden the train when he was young and wanted us to experience it. We were to board the train in Durango, Colorado and arrive in Silverton a few hours later for lunch. In 2005, we had been disappointed as our train trip had to be cancelled due to the Arizona and the Colorado fires. So, in 2007 we attempted this trip once again.
The morning of one of the worst days of my life only seemed to continue to get worse and worse. No cell phone reception seemed to be the main reason for my bad day. How dare modern technology fail me. My brother, step dad, mom, and I arrived at the station around six a.m. only to find that we were going to have to wait another hour to board the train. Hurry and wait!
The weather in Durango was quite comfortable that morning. My cute southern California outfit seemed to be perfect. The conductors call “all aboard” could not have come at a better time. As he made his final call my family and I were on the train all ready to go. My heart beat faster and faster with excitement as we picked up speed. The cars on the train were half and half. Half were open cars and the other half were closed cars. Not really concerned with the weather we thought we were lucky to get an open car.
As we chugged along the weather started to change. As we got closer and closer to Silverton, the temperature dropped more and more. I pulled on my sweater to cover the goose bumps. We were about a fourth of the way there when the train came to an abrupt stop. The wind started to blow harder and harder. People started to panic and wonder why we stopped. I sat freezing. My cute southern California outfit was not cutting it any more. I thought my toes were going to break off. The trees swayed from side to side. Finally, the huge gusts of wind broke several of the trees.
Trees were coming down left and right. The train was stuck. The wind had blown down so many trees we couldn’t go back or progress forward. We now regretted not getting a closed car. For three long hours, we sat huddled together trying to keep warm. Obviously our light sweat shirts and flip flops weren’t enough for the freezing winds. To make matters worse we hadn’t eaten much of a breakfast and were all starving. The peanuts and popcorn sold on the train were long gone and so was the water for the single bathroom. I thought what are we going to do! I couldn’t even call anyone.
Finally, the conductor came on and informed us that the track ahead was damaged and that they were clearing the trees so we could head back. The back ward trip home was a slow go. When we finally made it back, I was enthralled. Back at the hotel we ate an enormous dinner and defrosted in the Jacuzzi. In addition, we unanimously voted that we wouldn’t be attempting a third trip!