On a cold spring day back in 2007 I ventured out into the mountains near Plummer, ID. Plummer was a famous spot for the Milwaukee Road. At Plummer the connection to Spokane splits from the main transcon and heads north. Meanwhile, the freight-only transcon continues its westwardly migration out into the rolling wheatfields of the Palouse.
Before its arrival on some of the world's most fertile soil, the Milwaukee road makes one more pass through the mountains of Eastern Idaho with tunnel 41. On the western side of the tunnel a small town was plotted named Sorrento, lending its name to the 2500 foot long tunnel as well.
Overgrowth and undergrowth have become synonymous with the Milwaukee's western extension in the years since abandonment and here, at tunnel 41, that remains true. The tunnel is long and dark and on this cold spring day the water that slowly drips from the roof collects in stalagmites of ice resting on the old roadbed floor. Unlike so many of the other long tunnels on the western extension, 41 shows no signs of electrification as it was always located in the "gap." Trains through here always relied on steam or diesel to wind their way through the treeless Palouse country that exists just beyond the western portal.