Two years before this trip to Southwest Colorado I heard about the towns of Durango, and Ouray Colorado, from my brother. I really wanted to do this trip and a photography shoot. This trip finally happened in August of 2012. I had previewed the things to see and do and my anticipation began to build. August 22nd we flew from home in San Diego to Durango, Colorado, and the adventure began. There is much to do in Durango, but our first full day we booked the 8:30 AM train to Silverton--45 miles on the 1881 built Narrow Gauge Railroad the Durango & Silverton. The railroad was built to serve the gold and silver mining industry. It takes about three hours to get there because the vintage 1925 train can only go about 15 miles per hour. This is good because the mountain scenery is "drop dead gorgeous". I got a scouting report from my photography friend David, and I purposely reserved seats in the open Gondola car, sixth car back from the old steam engine, number 482. I purposely sat on the right side of the car and it was ideal for photographing the train and the scenery. The ride produced one breathtaking view after another, and I got some excellent shots of the train rounding turns ahead of us. This was such an enjoyable, rich experience, it would have beem enough to justify the trip. We had some great meals in Durango, particularly at Ken And Sue's restaurant on Main Street. (patio dinning) There was the start of an international bike race and that brought a festive party atmosphere, and a band playing in the street. Great Country and Western music. We went to some great art galleries too. The rest of our trip was about visiting the ancient Indian cliff dwellings at near by Mesa Verde where the Indians built complex dwellings into the mesa cliffs. They stayed there from 750-1300 AD. In 1276 a 24 year drought occurred, which ended their living there. We also spent two days in Ouray, Colorado which is a quaint mountain town, elevation 8700 ft. This was billed as gorgeous scenery for photography. I can see that being true, but we were not lucky, and the weather was very dark, cloudy, or raining the time we were there. I shot very few pictures. Oh well, you can't have it all. This trip was educational with great scenery and great photographing opportunities. I will post a picture here, but I encourage you to visit my Southwest Colorado website gallery to share my experience.