Experience grand vistas
Amtrak’s Empire Builder travels through Montana and the Rockies
NEAR WAGNER, Montana – The train rolls past distant hills – mountains, an easterner would call them. But it’s just a tease. Out here is mostly prairie and thin wire fences and undulating gray moguls of land, mysterious for what lies beneath, all dinosaur fossils and buffalo bones. The sky is huge and blue and endless. Here is where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid embarked on their last train robbery. Here is the middle of Montana. Here is the West.
Then, there’s an announcement. It’s time for wine tasting! I brush my hair in the tiny roomette, elbows bumping the dark blue walls with every stroke. Then I hurry up to the dining car and take my place across from a couple from Ohio. The train jerks side to side, but the tasting begins – Washington State chardonnay, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon. People grip their little plastic cups, but nothing spills. Wine. Cheese. Laughter. The time passes.
The Amtrak Empire Builder may not be the most fashionable train in the world, or the fastest, or the most elegant.
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