Yesterday evening, that girl and I drove home by way of Martinsdale and Lennep (Montana State 294). That drive takes you through quintessential Montana mountain ranchlands. Lennep, now a tiny ghost town featuring a conspicuous white Lutheran church, was once a station on the now abandoned Old Milwaukee Road.
By the time we reached Lennep, zinc-colored storm clouds had wholly engulfed the Big Belt Mountains and were dragging curtains of rain across the Castle Mountains. The old Lutheran church reminded me of a pop-up from a book—standing upright so boldly and unexpectedly against the expanse of grasslands and undeveloped range. A few more turns of narrow highway delivered us to the abandoned Old Milwaukee Road power plant.
Old Milwaukee train engines converted from steam engines to electric power at Harlowton. These electric trains then continued on serpentine railroad tracks into the Rocky Mountains of Central Montana. Montana State 294 shadows the long abandoned line.
One of the Old Milwaukee electric engines is still on display in Harlowton.
That girl and I stopped at the power plant so I could capture a couple of photographs. Posted today is a photo of the abandoned power plant and a stormfront sweeping over the open rangelands.