The subtle tones of an evening sun cast warm light on an old drive-in sign near Miles City, MT on a mid-summer day in 2003. 100 feet away the remains of the Milwaukee rest beside the still used NP line that got here first, and has outlasted its rival as well.
The time of day that casts these subtle tones, a dramatic shift from the harshness of midday sun, is perhaps my favorite time of day. Gusting winds have given way to gentle breezes that rustle the grasses while the gentle beauty of the land cries out to be noticed.
As I traveled home from Spokane yesterday evening the sun was dropping low in the sky and the green fields of wheat rolled off into the distance in all directions. To the east, they rolled toward the Bitterroot Mountains, resplendent in the golden light of evening. To the south lay Rosalia, WA, where the wheat fields were cut open by Pine Creek and the roadbed of the Milwaukee, still closely following the cut as it always had. The arched bridges that carried the old line over the creek and its competitors, the NP and GN, looked beautiful in the fading light. It was that special time of day again, where the beauty of the world jumps out with the remains of America's final transcontinental taking a dramatic role in the scenery as it always does in my mind.
Gentle light, rolling wheat fields, and The Milwaukee Road. Beautiful.
4 hours ago