Here it was April and I was ready to take a trip to Montana to pick up a
railroad signal for my collection. I recently became interested in railroad signals. I guess I have always
been interested in railroads but when I had the opportunity to purchase a
complete US&S Co. Style B lower quadrant
semaphore my collecting interests haven't been the same since. Anyways, I had quite the three day weekend planned except for
what to do Saturday? Friday I was picking up the signal and Sunday was an
opportunity to attend a train show... ah yes, Saturday would be the perfect day
for a hunt. Of course I'm not familiar with the area since I had only been to
Montana one other time for a weekend and I had no idea where to go insulator hunting.
This is where it's great to have friends in the insulator hobby. You get to
know people in just about every state. Yep! Good ol' buddy Ron (shifty) Yuhas
was free that day to take my mother and I out hunting on the infamous Cochrane line.
My mother never passes up an opportunity for a road trip to another
state; plus having a double set of eyes hunting on the line is a plus as you will see.
For early April the weather wasn't too bad for such a high
elevation and we find the turnoff to the hunting spot. We start up a
muddy road and now I'm kicking myself for not getting the 4WD fixed
trip. Fortunately Ron was kind enough to give us a ride up to the start
line. Ron said he had hunted the line many years ago but hadn't been
in quite a while and it was evident in the amount of time it took to locate a
wasn't the clearcut right-away it once was. We eventually find it and
walking. I'm pretty jazzed to be walking such a famous line that the
purple Cochrane suspensions came from. Ron reported finding a
under a tree on one of his early hunts with his dad. I have no illusions
going to find a complete set but I was really hoping to at least find
hardware. We continue on and find some purple shards to tell us that we
definitely on the right line. From the looks of things it looks like it
pretty cleaned up here either by the dismantling crew or other hunters.
figure if anything is to be found it will probably be in the steeper
the line. We continue on when all of a sudden my mom exclaims "look at
There in the bush sat a CD 295 as if it was just carefully set there
Surprisingly it was in VNM condition after lying on the ground all
these years. See! Here is where that extra set of eyes comes in really
handy ;-) We
continued on the line and the elevation was evident by the snow that
starting to blanket much of the ground making it difficult to really
We reached a particular spot where the line became really steep with
and rocks and decided to check out the area since there wasn't much
this spot. We also lucked out in that it was also an old pole location.
poked around a bit finding broken chunks of Muncies and a few shards of
Cochranes but nothing as interesting as the complete Muncie crossarm in very good preserved condition lying in the rocks. I
knew that was going to have to go home with me next time I was up that way. I
had no desire to try and pack that out in its water-logged condition. We all
decided that was enough hiking through the snow. My shoes were
starting to get too wet and cold for this fair weather hiker. I retrieved a
two pin arm that Ron said probably held a couple of CD 295s and we headed back
until next time.