Thursday, July 10, 2014

These Things Remain


 Leaving the small outpost of Ringling, the Resourceful Railroad travels through large tracts of private ranch land where visitation can be difficult.  In the midst of these wanderings, the railroad runs through infamous locations like "Eagle's Nest" tunnel and into the 16 Mile Creek canyon.  For now, Eagle's Nest is a missing element to my wanderings of Milwaukee miles.  In similar fashion, the old substation remains and cattle platforms at Francis are notably missing as well, but perhaps that blank can be filled sometime in the future.

Leaving Ringling by road, one turns South to a meeting with the railroad once again at Maudlow, while the railroad heads West and then Southwest.  With the Rocky Mountains ahead, the road to Maudlow reveals exactly where the transcon must head, and the crossing that it will face.  The single lane dirt road through these hills and canyons makes no effort to traverse the relatively flat confines of 16 Mile Creek.  As such, the mountains ahead loom ever larger.

Though away from the right of way for a few miles, the land the Milwaukee traversed is no less wondrous.  The vistas extend far and away beneath Kodachrome skies while wandering cattle, open ranges, and farm lands keep company.  This was the Milwaukee Road's West, passed by and hard to access, but ever present and ever beautiful.  Even as the times pass and the old Railroad fades, there is something lasting in this West.  It is these places that put a call on people's hearts, a tug, a whisper, a longing.  Time will pass and beauty will fade, but His Love remains.

2 comments:

Dean said...

Hi Leland
Thought you might be interested to see the NMD as of a week ago. My tour is here

http://gearedsteam.blogspot.com/2014/07/milwaukee-road-northern-montana.html

LinesWest said...

Dean - Thanks for sharing this. Great work, reminds me of how much I love that country.