By Michael Wanless & Nicola Wanless

There is a lone, blinking light, swallowed by tree canopy and rainfall. The last manual switch tower of the Northern Cascades sits nestled into the furrow where pacific northwest sprawl begins to eat into the Rocky Mountains.

Like the sentinel of a forgotten time, Sonia Hinson operates the splinter cracked levers, keeping trains running smoothly from somewhere-else to further-away. In the labyrinthian whorl of fir trees and moss, her only company comes from the low rumble of railway tracks, a voice on the radio, and an unnatural keening coming from the forest.