Spokane — Livingston, 20 September 1893

The morning brought us a drive through a desolate area in which bare hills covered with yellow grass rise while the mountains whose peaks were glittering with new snow were only sparsely covered with trees. We saw only a few farms but instead quite frequently Indian of which one offered a whole group of polished buffalo and ox horns for sale at a station. Men and women had their faces tattooed red or chrome yellow, the hair braided and rings made out of shells in their ears. The dress of the men seemed to be a mixture of national and European pieces. It was not without a comical element to see a son of the wilderness who still wore moccasins and original leather pants but covered his body in a worn black jacket and his head with a crushed top hat instead of eagle feathers. The women were clad in colorful capes and stared at the travellers emerging from the train. What a difference between these Indians weakened by culture and their wild free and proud ancestors who not long ago were the masters of this land!

In the afternoon we crossed for the second time the continental divide of the Rocky Mountains, this time at Mullan Pass, through a one kilometer long tunnel at an altitude of 1691 m above sea level. The crest of the mountain range rises to 1789 m. The contrast between the Western and Eastern side of this watershed is remarkable. The yellow ledges of the Western side are replaced by a broken rock landscape in which the railway twists its way up by important bends and sharp curves.  The rocks appear not seldom in fantastic forms. The vegetation leaves much to be desired both in the West and the East.

A short time later the train dashes over a sort of high prairie, a very wide flat valley; a mountain range on whose peaks lies much snow rises steeply. Half-wild cattle herds ran around on the prairie and the locomotive driver often had to use the steam whistle in order to chase the animals from the tracks. Numerous carcasses of dead pieces are bleaching on both sides of the tracks. As the territory is very rich in ores especially in gold, we saw a lot of mines around which settlements, called cities, were grouped among which Helena is the most important and the capital of Montana. Around this place that reminded me of Spokane are rich gold and silver deposits in quartz stone, besides copper, iron and lead. With considerable delay that is almost regular on American railways we arrived in Livingston where we passed the night in the wagon as no night trains were allowed to move on the smaller lines, so that one is forced to spend the night either in a hotel or in the sleeping car.

Links

  • Location: Livingston, Montana, United States
  • ANNO – on 20.09.1893 in Austria’s newspapers.
  • The k.u.k. Hof-Burgtheater is playing Schiller’s tragedy „Die Räuber“. The k.u.k. Hof-Operntheater is performing the opera „Carmen“.

 

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