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Published: September 10th 2019
The plains, from our moving train
After Spokane, the train heads north, winds around Lake Pend Oreille, stops at Sandpoint, ID, and follows the Clark Fork river for awhile, then heads east across Montana. I slept through or stop at Sand Point, and missed most of Idaho, but it was too dark to see anything anyway.
As dawn began, I was awake and able to enjoy the view as the scenery took shape. It was almost magical to see. It was cloudy and raining hard, so it took a long time for the trees and roads and meadows, and even the clouds to become distinct. But it certainly was quite a pleasure and a privilege.
One somewhat amusing note. Natalie and I have an app on our phones that allows us to keep track of each other. It also acts as a sort of tattletale, in that it frequently let's me know when Natalie stops somewhere. (It's really only tracking her iphone.) Now, every time the train stops somewhere, the app tells me something like "Natalie has completed a 153 mile d mrive. Top speed 83 miles per hour."
We elected to have breakfast in the dining car after stretching our legs at the Whitefish stop.
More plains, through the rain
The couple who joined us for breakfast were from Montana, and we had a very pleasant conversation. However, we were so engrossed in our food and the discussion we almost missed Glacier National Park.
We have not missed the plains, though. They do go on... They are not nearly so flat and monotonous as we might be inclined to think before seeing them up close and personal. I've read a bunch of Louis L'Amour westerns, and am now reading Stephen Ambrose's book about Crazy Horse and Custer. Much of those stories and the actual history took place in the territory we are crossing now or very much like it. It's also easy to see how terrifying a 10,000 foot high wall of dirt, as during the dust bowl, could be. And then, stop and contemplate just how magnificent this creation we now enjoy actually is.
And Natalie and I are so fortunate to be able to enjoy it right now, together, and tell you about it.
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