Our next stop was on public BLM land outside of Antonito, Colorado. We've been here before and there is something special about this spot. All that black smoke in Antonito is a clue.
It's the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Train on its way to Chama, NM. Here's a video of it as it passes our overnight spot. Turn your sound up for the full effect.
But we were not here to take the train because we already did that a couple of years ago. To see the post on that trip, click here.
It was a fantastic train ride, climbing up and over the Cumbres Pass to Chama. As an added bonus, I was unexpectedly wowed by the bus ride back to Antonito. Remembering that ride over state road 17, we decided to take the bus's route in the car, thinking it might be even more gorgeous with the fall colors.
The road follows the Conejos River for about twenty miles where willows and cottonwoods provided color.
After about 20 miles, the road left the river and the aspen took over.
And we crested La Manga pass at 10,230 feet.
After the pass, we began to parallel the train tracks,
If I was my father, I would have stopped right there and waited for the train to appear. However, I figured it was stopped for lunch, so we continued into Chama and had a nice lunch ourselves.
On our return trip, I was hoping to catch the train at a opportune spot, but we only caught a glimpse of it through the trees. I had to settle for more pretty trees.
I think this drive is one of the prettiest I've ever seen, especially with the fall foliage.
For anyone who is interested in our boondocking spot outside of Antonito, the coordinates are 37.05389, -106.03918. It's a little tricky because most of the area is private, but it you put the coordinates in your GPS it will take you right there.