If Trains Are Your Thing, Izaak Walton is Your Inn.

I was having lunch the other day with a friend who is also a train travel enthusiast. At one point in our conversation, the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, Montana, was mentioned. It’s located smack at the edge of Glacier National Park and is a favorite stop-over for rail fans because it sits just a few hundred feet from the main line of the Burlington Northern Santa Fe.

I’ve been to the inn and have also passed by it probably a dozen times aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder.  There is always a smattering of rail fans standing in front of the inn watching you roll by, many snapping photos.
A few years ago, during a stop-off at East Glacier to see a little of the magnificent park, my wife and I drove over to the Izaak Walton and had a delightful lunch. When I was planning that trip, I had actually suggested that it might be fun to stay there for one of the nights. Ah, but she knows me too well and, under cross examination, I had to acknowledge that a BNSF freight rumbles by the inn about every half hour … which, of course, is why we spent all three nights back at East Glacier and I had to settle for that delightful lunch.
Anyway, at this other lunch a couple of days ago, my friend and I both remembered the Izaac Walton Inn quite clearly, but we disagreed on which side of the tracks it was situated. I was sure it was on the left as you went by on the eastbound Empire Builder; he was equally sure it would be on the rightside of the train.
So this morning, I emailed the inn and asked them to settle the matter.
Within a half hour, they emailed back … and I was right: heading east, it’s on the left.
Made my whole day.