Today we drive from Missoula to Essex, MT. The first stop was
at the National Bison Range near Ravalli, MT. We chose not to take the full 16
mile one-way switch back riddled road. We have done our time on long slow roads
with the Garnet ghost town. There are a couple miles of two way traffic and
we shot these fellows on that section of road.
Next we drove around the west side of Flathead Lake. There are
beautiful vistas everywhere. The shoreline of the lake is lined with housing
developments trying to take advantage of the view. Here are a few shots we took
along the way. These are especially for our friend, Bill.
As we drive through West Glacier, we hooked up with the BNSF
"Hi Line". This is a shot from the West Glacier (railroad calls it Belton)
station. The lead unit is an EMD Oakway.
A few miles further down then winding mountain road, we caught
this east bound BNSF train.
This is our destination, the Isaak Walton Inn. Built by the
Great Northern railroad, the inn sits right on the BNSF Hi Line and really
caters to the railfan. Rooms are decorated with railroad paintings and
photography. The downstairs bar and game room area is full of railroad clutter.
Across the tracks, almost hidden in the woods, are four old
railroad cabooses that have been converted into sleeping cabins that the Isaak
Walton rents out. The inn has installed a pedestrian walkway over the tracks
for access and has even installed little portals in the fence where railfans
can stick their cameras through to shoot the trains.
Sitting in the inn's dining room at night, you can still see
the trains. This shot was taken through the window at a west bound train.
A funny for the day. This thing was at a gift store at the
entrance to the National Bison Range. I guess it was intended to be a bison.