Wintery Tefft

It was early afternoon in Tefft, Colorado, and the train was due in soon. Those who could scurried outside to get ready for it; the rest, the young, sprinted up ahead so they could race, and hopefully beat, the train as it pulled in. The sharp whistle from the steam engine broke what silence remained; right on time, but when was the railroad not punctual?

As the steam engine crossed the Animas Rover and pulled into the tiny depot nestled high in the San Juan Mountains a flurry of activity happened all at once. Passengers got off while others hustled to get on. The conductor did a quick inspection of the train while cargo was exchanged from train to depot. Before long, the whistle sounded two long blasts and the train was underway, headed back down the mountain to the mining town of Durango.

Although this scene happened in the late 1800s, today the township of Tefft has been forgotten by all but the railroad. As the silver and precious minerals played out, the hardy mountain souls drifted away to the next boom. All that remains of Tefft today is the name and the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, which still stops there. The railroad is, as always, punctual.

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