Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Watchman, what of the night?


Heading west from the ironies of Two Dot, the grade steepens and the railroad begins a climb toward the summit of the Belt Mountains.  This will mark the first of five mountain ranges for the Resourceful Railroad, a hallmark of its pathway to the ocean.  

Several small outposts exist along this rising plain, the first is Martinsdale shown looking east in 2005.  It is a classic scene of railroad abandonment and the small towns that are left behind in the wake of progress.  This is old Montana Railroad country, purchased by the Milwaukee as it pushed westward and included in its mainline routing across the Belt Range and through 16 mile canyon yet to come. 

AC power lines are never far away in this land, and the old train order signal still stands watch above the grasses at its feet.  Decades have passed since a westbound headlight climbed the grade to Martinsdale, yet captured within the scene is a seeming anticipation that at any time, beneath the huge granite sky, through the swaying grasses there could come a piercing headlight at any time... 

grinding up the hill, by the station and the Watchman that yet stands.


2 comments:

Ole M. Amundsen, Jr. said...

Another fabulous photo with perfect poetry to match! The images you post simply add to the disbelieve that what was done is done.

jim, some guy in iowa said...

Great photo. I like the various horizontal planes made by the power lines, the horizons near and far, and the cloud banks. It's kind of funny, though, I was surprised to learn we are looking to the east... maybe it's just the mythos of the Milwaukee that make me think every picture should be facing west