The Traveler: Brenda Ellingson of Maple Grove.

The scene: The Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad curves along the Animas River, chugging its way through the pristine San Juan National Forest. It has been in operation since 1883.

The trip: Ellingson, her husband and their son rode the historic train, which is powered by coal-fired steam, between Durango and Silverton, Colo., in June. The 45-mile trip between the two towns takes 3½ hours each way. It “winds along mountainsides and through breathtaking landscape. A large portion of the trip takes passengers through country that can only by reached by train and helicopter,” Ellingson wrote in an -mail. “Anyone who is interested in trains, nature, a wide variety of landscapes and a taste of the Old West would love a vacation to Durango that includes this train ride,” she wrote.

How she got the shot: “We were fortunate to be in the last car of the train, so every time the train took a sharp curve we were able to see most of the train winding in front of us,” wrote Ellingson. She relied on her Galaxy S8 smartphone for the shot because her camera battery had died when this scene unfolded.

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