We packed the car and stopped at a pharmacy for a few items before leaving Durango. John said he couldn’t have planned it if he tried, but the train was just leaving the station. We hopped across the tracks where I took six shots of the engine. John agreed that I could delete one.
The most amusing road sign out of Durango was one for elk crossing. I missed it the day before, and when we passed it going fast, John offered to make a U-turn so I could take a photo. Wasn’t that kind? I said I could live without it, but I’m very happy to have it.
We stopped at Four Corners where we could have our feet in four states at once – Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona. I call that last state Arid Zone, because my lips and hands felt as dry as could be. I took a picture of my feet in Utah, because niece Chrissie was in that state for a meeting.
Williams AZ was our stopping point. Does anyone recognize Williams as a center for trains? I didn’t. I thought we were going to the Grand Canyon. We were, but John needed an evening of train watching. This suited me fine, since I would have time to write while he was out.
Before we got to the church John had picked out in Durango, we passed a very interesting one a block away. I saw a man with a big, black cowboy hat standing in the parking lot. He looked out of place to me, but then we saw the sign – Cowboy Church!!!
At the Lutheran church, two cars were parked there. I was wrong, but I figured the cars belonged to the pastor and the organist. Evidently Lutherans all over the US wait until the last minute to rush to church. When a few people had gone in, we walked to the front door and met the pastor. He was very understanding when John said we were there because of trains. If he thought we were nuts, he didn’t let on.
The service was a one man band! The pastor announced that because both organists were out of town and would be for another week, he would play his guitar for the hymns. My jaw dropped. That church had two organists and both were absent???? That never happened at our church. We had only one organist, and I was it. The man was good, playing and singing competently. John said he missed a prayer opportunity. He should have prayed for a musician and asked all strangers entering if they could play. The congregation followed the pastor’s lead in singing the liturgy. He was good. They were not. They will be glad to have their organist back to cover for them.
We were in a hurry to pack up from one train excursion to the next, going from Chama to Durango. A quick shower was all I allowed myself, because John knew there was a Lutheran church in Durango with a service at 9:30. In said shower, I thought I was clean, but when I turned my head in that small space I smelled something. Train smoke! Thick, black train smoke was trapped in my hair. Too late! If people turn their heads as I walk in church, we’ll blame Chama. Durango will have its own aroma, depending on what kind of coal the steam engine burns.