A wagon ride from Silverton to the railroad

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Photo courtesy John M. Motter Keeping the railroad pass open across Cumbres during the heavy snowfall of winter has always been a challenge, as attested by this photo of coupled engines fighting to clear the track near the summit of the South San Juans.
Photo courtesy John M. Motter
Keeping the railroad pass open across Cumbres during the heavy snowfall of winter has always been a challenge, as attested by this photo of coupled engines fighting to clear the track near the summit of the South San Juans.

In November 1880, the La Plata Miner editor gave readers an account of the southern route between Silverton and the end of the approaching narrow gauge railroad, then nearing the top of Cumbres Pass from the east side.

The editor’s trip was made from Animas City to the railhead with a freight team “in order that those who may desire to follow after us may know what they have to go through.” A party of eight hired the freight team for a total cost of $64 for five days — time to make the trip. Here are the writer’s own words describing the trip.

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