The Great Paradox
"You look at once happy and sad. You see something that I can't see. Your eyes are haunted. I've a feeling that if I'd look into them I'd see the sun setting, the clouds coloring, the twilight shadows changing."
Zane Grey, "Heritage of the Desert"
To explore Lines West is to explore a great paradox: like a joy in finding lost treasure, and sorrow in the tale of Wisdom that has spread out across these landscapes. The treasure is great and priceless, pointing to a time forgotten and a hope from times long past. It speaks of depths of history and tales of those who went before and if you could look only into its face there would be haunting, sun setting, twilight shadows advancing and restless quiet. The Wisdom calls aloud from above where the paths meet, imploring the explorer to look closely and learn, to watch a sunset over the Rockies and consider, and see the advancing grade to the top and know of the former things that no longer come this way.
In this final stretch of the transcontinental across the rising grade, mile post 1504 clicks by in these images near Donald, MT. This will soon pass by like all of the other names with no place, a relic like the vanished transcon itself. These are the former things that beg the explorer to consider what has been done, and then un-done. In a time when we embark ever more on instant satisfaction and instant return, the present lurches away from what Wisdom offers here. There is joy and sorrow in the paradox of The Resourceful Railroad, ending with a somber note to consider this path to the mountain top.