Friday, May 13, 2011

End of the Line

To the west, the tops of the Rocky Mountains peak above the end of prairie land in Big Sky Country.  Not far from here, a parade of RVs and sightseers make their way to Glacier National Park, nestled in beautiful mountain wilderness.  That was Great Northern territory.  For the Milwaukee Road, the end of the line in Montana was here - at Agawam.

The Golden Triangle area of Montana was one of the most lucrative on-line revenue producers for Lines West.  Fleets of Ribside boxcars and Federal Yellow hoppers rolled from these plains to the mainline at Harlowton.  At Agawam, two elevators still mark this end of track.  Grasses grow thick among the ruins here, as cars old enough to remember days of orange and black plying light rail rest beside them.  There are a few places out along the haunts of the Milwaukee Road where visitors can see time - and Agawam is one of them.

Many have marveled at the beauty of God's creation in the Rocky Mountains just to the west.  Today Glacier continues to be a popular stop, and for good reason.  But these wide plains and big skies that surround Milwaukee's old end of the line - somehow seem just as amazing, and just as breathtaking in their own distinct way.  On a day when the grasses rustle in a summer breeze it is the still, small voice that calls.