Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Day 49


We woke today to rain. Skies are overcast and a light rain has been falling off and on all day. The forecast is rain throughout the day with possibility of some severe thunderstorms. It is a nice day to just relax in the coach.

There is a town nearby by the name of Ringling. The town was a station stop on the transcontinental main line of the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad ("the Milwaukee Road"); it was also the southern terminus of the White Sulphur Springs and Yellowstone Park Railway, which ran from Ringling to White Sulphur Springs. Ringling served as a community center for ranchers and homesteaders in the vicinity, but the town's population declined throughout most of the twentieth century as the region's agricultural activity dwindled. Both railroad lines through Ringling were abandoned in 1980 and only a handful of people remain in the town today.

Ringling was named for John Ringling of the Ringling Brothers circus family, which once owned considerable ranchland in the area. Ringling was also president of the White Sulphur Springs and Yellowstone Park Railway.

It turns out that we are camped on the very spot that tracks were and that the ranch in front of us was owned by the Ringling Brothers Circus and used to park the circus rail cars and house the animals during the off circus season.

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