Durango and Beyond, Part 1: Honeyville and the Durango-Silverton Train Museum

by Sunlight Photo October. 02, 2018 426 views

Our first day back in Durango, CO was very busy. We had visited the house I grew up in (the Going Home series begins here), and a bunch of random buildings that had meaning to me in Durango (blog post here), as I relived my childhood in the span of a few short hours.

But finally, I felt that my need to reminisce was fulfilled, and it was on to new destinations!

First up: Honeyville. I had grown up having honey from there occasionally, but never visited the actual store. So, we drove north of town, and checked it our for ourselves.

We later learned from some friends that,while Honeyville is celebrating its 100th year, this building is actually new, and not at all like the original tiny store. I'm sure it used to have more character, but I thought this new facility was nice.

We later learned from some friends that,while Honeyville is celebrating its 100th year, this building is actually new, and not at all like the original tiny store. I'm sure it used to have more character, but I thought this new facility was nice.

Scott and I both love learning new information, expanding our knowledge and interests, and seeing how things are made, so I was pretty happy that you can view the processing/packing areas in the back through big glass windows, even though no actual tours are offered. So that was neat. Only thing was, we didn't get to see the honey-refining in progress, since the workers were already done for the day.

I later realized this is the distillery for the 'honey wine' they make, which we weren't interested in, haha, but the thing is a pretty neat-looking custom piece of equipment!

I later realized this is the distillery for the 'honey wine' they make, which we weren't interested in, haha, but the thing is a pretty neat-looking custom piece of equipment!

They sell every kind of flavored honey, whipped honey, honey syrup, honey dressings,honey candy, beeswax soap and lotion, etc. etc. There are also non-honey products from other local vendors for sale, so we bought some of the salsa from Gary's Durango Diner! It was SO good.

They sell every kind of flavored honey, whipped honey, honey syrup, honey dressings,honey candy, beeswax soap and lotion, etc. etc. There are also non-honey products from other local vendors for sale, so we bought some of the salsa from Gary's Durango Diner! It was SO good.

Just a very quaint, cool little store. Check out the honeycomb light fixtures! We sampled several of the flavored honeys before settling on three. My favorite has been the lemon honey. Ohhhh man, it is amazing on toast, in coffee, in tea, in a big teaspoon by itself......

Just a very quaint, cool little store. Check out the honeycomb light fixtures! We sampled several of the flavored honeys before settling on three. My favorite has been the lemon honey. Ohhhh man, it is amazing on toast, in coffee, in tea, in a big teaspoon by itself......

Bees fly into the hive through this pipe, which goes through the exterior wall, as shown in the next picture.

Bees fly into the hive through this pipe, which goes through the exterior wall, as shown in the next picture.

All of the bees come flying in from the fields, land on the flat brown area, and go in to the hive through this pipe outside! Legit wildflower honey!

All of the bees come flying in from the fields, land on the flat brown area, and go in to the hive through this pipe outside! Legit wildflower honey!

After purchasing several tasty items from the super-friendly staff, we then decided to go back into town to tour the Durango-Silverton Train Museum before it closed for the day.

This museum was packed with interesting relics! Everything from mounted stuffed wild animals to old cars and planes and, of course, train engines. I was a bit surprised that there are actually 3 (or maybe 4?) retired train engines there on display, and we actually got to go up in them! Maybe we're just nerds, but we love museums, and this was cool stuff.

Lots of things I wasn't expecting in a train museum!

Lots of things I wasn't expecting in a train museum!

I'm not a big fan of hunting or taxidermy, but.....it was still neat to see these beautiful animals. God's creation is so diverse, and each animal is perfect for its habitat and functions.

I'm not a big fan of hunting or taxidermy, but.....it was still neat to see these beautiful animals. God's creation is so diverse, and each animal is perfect for its habitat and functions.

A retired engine from about 100 years ago.

A retired engine from about 100 years ago.

This is looking into the cockpit through the engine window. The furnace where coal is shoveled in to heat the water and produce the steam for these steam locomotives. This furnace is RIGHT behind the driver! Wow. So hot. I can imagine the drivers lean out the window onto this armrest pretty often!

This is looking into the cockpit through the engine window. The furnace where coal is shoveled in to heat the water and produce the steam for these steam locomotives. This furnace is RIGHT behind the driver! Wow. So hot. I can imagine the drivers lean out the window onto this armrest pretty often!

coal furnace that heats the water and creates steam. there was a diagram of how it all works, and suffice to say, it's an impressive invention.

coal furnace that heats the water and creates steam. there was a diagram of how it all works, and suffice to say, it's an impressive invention.

my camera wasn't doing weird lighting stuff here....this is really what it looked like! These are the avocado green paneled walls in the crew sleeping quarters of a train car. Each of those black leather bench areas is a 'bed', and there are steps going up to another level of beds.

my camera wasn't doing weird lighting stuff here....this is really what it looked like! These are the avocado green paneled walls in the crew sleeping quarters of a train car. Each of those black leather bench areas is a 'bed', and there are steps going up to another level of beds.

This made me laugh! Yikes. Where DID they empty them when they were en route?!

This made me laugh! Yikes. Where DID they empty them when they were en route?!

I have a slight phobia of bears. But this one I wasn't afraid of. I liked the sign, though: "Don't touch the bear. Bears bite."

I have a slight phobia of bears. But this one I wasn't afraid of. I liked the sign, though: "Don't touch the bear. Bears bite."

There was really a variety of displays packed in here, but I think these cars were here to show the other modes of transportation when the D&S started in 1881.

World War 2 Army motorcycle! Anybody else thinking of the scenes from 'Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade,' with Sean Connery riding along calmly with his little hat on in the sidecar while Nazis chased them? "This is intolerable!" HAHAHA!

World War 2 Army motorcycle! Anybody else thinking of the scenes from 'Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade,' with Sean Connery riding along calmly with his little hat on in the sidecar while Nazis chased them? "This is intolerable!" HAHAHA!

Then we went out the back door of the museum and found ourselves in the roundhouse! This is where the engine drives on to the platform in the middle, which then rotates and can put the train on any of the tracks radiating out from it.

Then we went out the back door of the museum and found ourselves in the roundhouse! This is where the engine drives on to the platform in the middle, which then rotates and can put the train on any of the tracks radiating out from it.

This original 1881 roundhouse burned to the ground in a devastating fire in February 1989. But they have rebuilt it.

This original 1881 roundhouse burned to the ground in a devastating fire in February 1989. But they have rebuilt it.

number plate from one of the very first (or maybe THE first) engines that ran in the 1800s

number plate from one of the very first (or maybe THE first) engines that ran in the 1800s

Train cars in the iconic gold

Train cars in the iconic gold

And of course, what's a train museum without electric toy trains running through a to-scale replica of historic Durango?

And of course, what's a train museum without electric toy trains running through a to-scale replica of historic Durango?

We chose not to ride the train, even though it had been high on my list of important activities. I lived in Durango for 16 years, and never rode that train the city is known for! But, Scott's asthma was acting up, and we decided that a ride in an open passenger car breathing in smoke and soot all day wasn't really the best decision. We resolved to come back in 6 years, and bring all the kids with us. Then we can all enjoy the beautiful train ride as a family!

After leaving the train museum, imagine our surprise when we drove up to Rockwood looking for pretty scenery, and found the train at the station there having just returned from Silverton, smoke puffing from its stack.

There's just something so picturesque about steam trains. This obviously isn't the best picture I've seen of the D&S, but I was glad to get one shot of it anyway, since we didn't do the ride.

There's just something so picturesque about steam trains. This obviously isn't the best picture I've seen of the D&S, but I was glad to get one shot of it anyway, since we didn't do the ride.

Stay tuned for my next post which will feature pictures of our drive to Silverton! We couldn't ride the train up there, so we drove instead, and the mountainous scenery on that highway was stunning.

Thanks for reading!

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Related previous posts on my first trip back to my hometown:

Going Home, Part 1

A Memorable Breakfast Before Going Home, Part 2

Where There Used To Be Oak Trees, Going Home Part 3

Touching The Past, Going Home Part 4

The Last Steps Along Memory Lane, Going Home Part 5

Read next:

The Million Dollar Highway to Silverton, Durango and Beyond Part 2

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