I just returned from a train trip to North Dakota to spend time with family. The trip got off to a bad start with the train being three hours late. However, that turned out to be a good thing in that this trip I was able to see country that we pass through in the dark when the train is on time. For the first time I saw the area between Sandpoint, ID and West Glacier, Mt in daylight. I have driven through that area by car a number of times over the years. However, the railroad gives a different perspective than the road. That section pretty much follows the Kootenai Valley and River. The Kootenai tribes roamed that valley for hundreds of years before the first white explorers and trappers visited the area. White trappers and miners came in the late 1800s seeking fur and gold in the streams.
One valley floor field contained straw bales and another flocks of geese. At West Glacier you see little of the National Park but you see interesting buildings along the track.
I traveled light with two books I read 40 years ago and that I planned at some point to read again. I enjoyed them very much. Both relate true stories of two very young ladies who went to the far north to teach at Indian Villages. There is no connection between the two women other than they were adventurous, girls really, who went into the world to live their dreams. Both books show the beauty, but often brutal truth, of living in a harsh wilderness in the early 1900’s.
The purpose of this trip was to simply spend time with siblings, and that’s what I did. I haven’t lots of photos to share as I have made this trip many times before. I stayed with my sister Deb and her husband Rex in their pleasant home. I spent my time with Donna, Deb and Rex, my brother Dennis, and on one occasion with our cousin Marylin. We ate at home, ate out, ate at Donna’s. We played hours of cards, watched the “Dark Winds,” series on TV, drove the countryside looking a magnificent homes in the area or looking for wild animals and we went thrift store shopping. Deb and Rex’s granddaughters came by to spend time with us. To me it was a perfect, relaxing time with family.
Donna had Deb, our cousin Marylin, and myself over for coffee and kuchen one day. Kuchen is a tasty dessert with a dough crust and custard filling. Usually fruit is found in kuchen, but cheese or sugar can be used instead. It is normally topped with cinnamon. Kuchen is the South Dakota state dessert and is a great treat. I didn’t know states had designated desserts until a few years ago.