Showing posts from June, 2009


It is an unsettling feeling to look back at life and ponder the passage of time. It is unsettling to wonder how or why things worked as they did. It has been said that life is a mist, here and then gone. Perhaps the key is to live in such a way that every day is made to count, that every day is meaningful in some way? In the grasslands of Central Montana, in a small town named Roundup, the mist of the Milwaukee Road's life is slowly dispersing out across the curve of time. The grasses sway and the trees rustle in a warm summer breeze, but the sounds of America's Resourceful Railroad have been gone for many many years. Like the cattle drives that preceded the railroad, lending Roundup its name, quiet is here and life is moving on. In the tall grasses an old signal stand sits alone with the remnants of a few electrical wires at its base. The insulation is cracked and crusty and their connection to a national lifeline has long been severed. Like other tombstones spread out

Between Mountain Ranges

Location:  Ralston, WA The lands east of the Cascades and west of the Bitterroots are remarkable in their variety and beauty.  Between these two ranges lie high desert country, rolling wheat fields, foot hills, massive rivers, tumbling sage, abundant wild flowers, rain shadows, endless skies, and a long, long right of way plotted by America's Resourceful Railroad. To this land between mountain crossings the Milwaukee Road journeyed.  While other parts of the Western Extension existed in near infamy, this land existed in relative quiet.  Like the lands east of electrification, it existed out of the spotlight and away from many photographer's cameras.  The summer heat is harsh and the treeless plains offer little relief.  The winter is cold and the winds have little to break their howl as they roll across the undulating landscape. The small town of Ralston sits along the right of way here.  It rests beneath Washington skies as the clouds that break apart over the Cascade Range ro

East of Electrification

Kamm, MT The end of a hot day in 2003, in the lands east of electrification.