By Lawson Hickman
All aboard the choo choo train! On March 30th, we adventured off on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. TTS37 rode on the 5 hour Cascade Canyon Express! At around 9AM, we left the station with huge smiles on our faces. The train chugged up the breathtaking San Juan National Forest with the Animas River flowing right by our side the whole ride. As we continued our adventure, we saw the leaves coming back to green, ice melting in the rivers, deer and doe running in the field. We all waved to the locals and watched them enjoy the beauty of the train. The train went an average of 5mph, but we all hoped it would hit its top speed of 18mph! Sux employees worked on the train. The conductor was Kayla, and our buddy Nick who gave us facts throughout the day and instructions for our lunch break. During our lunch break we had a nice scenic picnic with the train on the left and the Animas river on the right. Right after four “choo choo” signals we climbed back onboard. The first 30 mins were focused on the praxis journal and after that we got to be mesmerized again by all the nature, beauty, and catching glimpses of the front of the old steam engine train.
Kayla was the second female conductor ever on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge railroad. She has always grown up with some sort of train in her life and would go on train adventures with her Dad, just like I would with my Dad (love you Dad). After doing EMT training, she realized that working a train would be more healthy. Kayla has worked on D&SNGR for around 5 years. She started off as a photographer. She gave us some insightful advice:
- Never give up and keep pushing
- Don’t let a man control your passion
- Do what makes you happy