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A Ride on the Rocky Railroad
Steam through the scenic towns of the Old West.
February 10, 2003
From the introduction, the Rocky Railroad runs 58 miles from Dillinger to Copperfield, with five stops en route. By clue 7, the next stop after the town with the trading post is Triple Creek and is 10 miles distant. Since the trading post isn't in Salt Lick (clue 2), in clue 5, two other consecutive stops to those in clue 7 are Salt Lick and the town where the caverns are the tourist attraction. By clue 5, after Houray the train stops in the town with the rattlesnake ranch; at least one of these towns must overlap the four we already know. The trading post can't be in Houray with the rattlesnake ranch in Triple Creek, since then by clues 7 and 5, the distance from Salt Lick to the caverns would be 20 miles, contradicting clue 1. If the caverns were in Houray, then either Salt Lick would be the 1st stop and the trading post the 4th, or the trading post would be the first stop and Salt Lick the 3rd. However, in either case, Carlswell isn't where the rattlesnake ranch is located (3), so Carlswell would be home to the trading post. However, by clue 6, the distance between Carlswell and the town after it on the route is more than 10 miles, a conflict with the 10 miles from the trading post to Triple Creek. So, Houray isn't home to the caverns. The only possible overlap is that the rattlesnake ranch is in Salt Lick. Then either Houray is the 1st and the trading post in the 4th town, or the trading post locale is 1st and Houray 3rd en route from Dillinger to Copperfield. Given the first arrangement, however, by clue 8, the gold mine would be in Houray and the ghost town in Triple Creek--but they can't be 4 miles apart (7). So, the order of stops must be the trading post, Triple Creek, Houray, Salt Lick with its rattlesnake ranch, and the town where the caverns are the attraction. By clue 8, the gold mine in Triple Creek is 4 miles before the ghost town of Houray. By clues 6 and 7, Carswell must be home to the caverns; Fort Ford is the 1st station on the route. One leg of the trip is 8 miles long (4). It can't be the leg from Dillinger to Fort Ford, or the distance from Carswell to Copperfield would be 18 miles (6) and contradict clue 1. It can't be from Carswell to the end of the line (6). If it were the distance from Salt Lick to the caverns, then by clue 5, it would be 4 miles from Houray to the rattlesnake ranch, the same as the distance from Triple Creek to Houray. But clue 1 disallows any two legs being the same distance. Therefore, it is 8 miles from Houray to Salt Lick and the rattlesnake ranch and 16 miles from Salt Lick to the caverns in Carswell (5). Summing, we have 38 miles covered, leaving 20 for the Dillinger-Fort Ford and Carswell-Copperfield legs. Letting the 1st leg equal X, the 6th would be X+10 (6), so that 2X+10 = 20 or 2X = 10. So, the distance from Dillinger to Fort Ford is 5 miles and from Carswell to Copperfield 15 miles. In sum, the route of the Rocky Railroad is as follows:

  • Dillinger
  • 5 mi. to Fort Ford, trading post
  • 10 mi. to Triple Creek, gold mine
  • 4 mi. to Houray, ghost town
  • 8 mi. to Salt Lick, rattlesnake ranch
  • 16 mi. to Carswell, caverns
  • 15 mi. to Copperfield

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