Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mystery solved! The tale of the Galloping Goose

A quick gas station stop in Dolores was my first Galloping Goose sighting--I saw this adorable building across the street and ran over to explore more..

I had no idea this was one of eight galloping goose trains ever made...and that it was a theme for the towns ahead. I kept seeing things named the Galloping Goose as we made our way to Telluride. Hiking trails, transit systems. What was with the Goose?

It turns out that these Geece are a special flock of auto/trains: they have car engines in them! They were very small trains built to transport passengers and stuff through the little mining towns (rico, dolores, durango, telluride, ridgway) of the San Juan Mountains from about 1931-early 1950s. It helped keep many of these towns going through the Depression. Why Galloping Goose? The air vents open like wings on the trains and the horns sounded like a Goose call. That's the story anyway. 

The hiking trail? It follows the path of the old rail line that was sold for scrap after the trains stopped running. It's a beautiful one to check out in the snow. 

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