Motorcars, Speeders and Railcars

By Wayne Parsons

Big Sky Adventure II

June 10th to 16th 2008

Excursion Coordinator: Bill Taylor


Sunday June 15, 2008 - Denton to Geraldine, Montana

Saturday afternoon set-on at Denton, MT.  The grain elevators and storage bins are the size of office buildings.  Yet, under the big Montana sky, even they seem small.

   

This is a compactor, built sometime in the 1920's, that uses a single cylinder two cycle gas engine for power.  The contraption hops into the air about 9 inches, and comes down with a thud that you can feel in your feet.  It would have been used by railroad crews where ever tamping needed doing.  The gentleman, who's name I don't know, had the above button on his shirt.

   

EC Bill Taylor conducts the Sunday morning safety briefing outside the CMR shop.

Leaving our first rest stop we descend on a 1.5% grade to a large horseshoe curve in Surprise Creek Canyon.  Looking down across the valley we can see cattle crossing the tracks where we will soon pass. 

   

   

Geraldine station where the locals prepared a great Wheat Chili lunch.  The freight scale still works.  Jan Taylor says Geraldine failed to live up to the early expectation that it would become the Chicago of Montana.  For one thing, the water here proved too alkaline for use in the boilers of steam engines.

Scenery, Scenery, Scenery.  No words needed.  This is why we came here, to see this BIG SKY!

   

Returning from Geraldine one of the Tamper cars develops a broken rear axle.  The group pauses at the crook of the large horseshoe, and waits for the rear end to catch up.  The decision is made to set the car off at Arrow Creek.

   

The plateau formation on the right is known as Signal Butte.  Our ride has taken us to Geraldine located down in the valley and to the right of this landmark that has been visible to us all day.

   

Approaching Denton.

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