I took these two photos, of Cut Bank and the Sweet Grass Hills / Gold Butte, in September, 2016.
This leg of the journey came late in the final full day of Amtrak’s Empire Builder journey from Chicago to Spokane. It’s a languorous ride through a sweeping landscape that invites awe, and even fear, at its vastness.
Montana* is sublime: the great openness, the massive empty spaces, and cavernous skies can certainly fill you with a sense of great insignificance compared with the overpowering magnitude of the natural world.
It was during the Montana leg that the observation car seemed most crowded. Travelers filled chairs and tables. Many stood waiting for seats to empty. All gazed out the windows, hypnotized by the passing land and lulled by the train’s rhythms.
- North Dakota as well, for that matter.