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A & A Backpacking Glacier National Park

Intro to Glacier National Park

Staying Safe in Glacier

Life at Rising Sun:
A Summer Spent in Glacier

Intro to NW Montana

Sights from Montana's Roads

Lake McDonald
  Avalanche Lake
  Trail of the Cedars
  Fish Lake
  Howe Lake

Going to the Sun Road and Logan Pass
  Hidden Lake
  Highline Trail
  Sunrift Gorge
  St. Mary Lake
    -Rising Sun
    -St. Mary Falls and Baring Falls
    -Sun Point
    -Otokomi Lake

East Glacier and Two Medicine
  Scenic Point
  Running Eagle Falls (Trick Falls)
  
Many Glacier and surrounding areas
  Belly River
  Cracker Lake

Waterton Lakes Nat'l Park and Canada
  Cameron Falls
  Bear's Hump
  Red Rock Canyon and Blakiston Falls
  Police Outpost Lake

Animals of Glacier
  Bear, Bighorn Sheep, 
  Fox, Marmot, 
  Mule Deer, Rocky Mountain Goat, 
  Squirrels

References and Links

All photos and content are by Alicia 
Caouette except where stated otherwise.  
Unauthorized use or reproduction is 
strictly prohibited without expressed 
permission.  Thanks.
  

Life at Glacier Life at Rising Sun: A Summer in Glacier
What Life is Like
How I got to Glacier
A Christian Ministry in the National Parks
Life after Glacier

Alicia at Avalanche Gorge
A summer spent in Glacier National Park is a difficult thing to describe. Life amidst lodges, pines, bears, shale cliffs, and tourists is hardly natural for a girl brought up in the city, no matter how many week-long backpacking trips I’d ventured on. Everyone in Glacier is a tourist, myself included, although at the very least us GPI (Glacier Park Inc.) and NPS (National Park Service) employees have somewhat adapted ourselves to the region’s characteristics. We remember early summer, which was only the beginning of spring for the tips of the mountains and Logan Pass. A group of us Rising Sun employees took cardboard and serving trays to the top of the Pass and went sledding down the hill where countless hikers with their children and grandparents would hike boardwalk to Hidden Lake Lookout only a few weeks later.
Jamie, Adrienne, and Sarah ready to sled Tanya slides down the hill on a serving tray
Highlights and Statistics of Rising Sun:
Nearest stoplights: Cardston, Alberta, 45 minute drive
Browning, MT, 1 hour drive
Nearest reliable cell coverage: Verizon, 2 miles east
Nearest Wal-Mart: Kalispell, MT, 2 ½ hours southeast. Also the location of my chiropractor.
Nearest trailhead: 20 feet from my dorm room, Otokomi Lake
Nearest St. Mary Lake access, picnic area, boat dock: across the street
Closest bear sightings summer 2004: on the front porch of the camp store building, in front of the EDR (Employee Dining Room), outside motel cabins

reflection of a sunrise on the door to my dorm
Working at Rising Sun is different than any other job I’ve ever had. The summer starts out in utter mayhem—only one or two of the 60 employees have worked here previously, so no one quite knows what’s going on. As the season draws on we become comfortable with our work and fellow employees (and roommates, since everyone lives on site). Most of us nurse blisters and aching muscles from our first hikes. Throngs of tourists grow thicker and life gets busier.
Rising Sun Campstore, motel rooms, and some dorm rooms
I worked in the motel restaurant, named Two Dog Flats Grill after the area called ‘Two Dog Flats’ that is just up the road. It is said that these gently sloping meadows and groves of trees alongside St. Mary Lake are so named because on one bitterly cold night a man stayed alive and warm because he cuddled close to his two dogs.
Two Dog Flats Grill at Rising Sun, at sunrise
Two Dog Flats Grill at Rising Sun
New employees keep coming until the end of July to help with the increased business and to replace those who quit early. A large number of our co-workers and friends are from Europe, especially Poland and we enjoy learning from each other.
Agneizska, Alicia, Tanya, & Lena at work
Our blisters heal. We swim at Lost Lake (a warm, shallow lake whose location is only disclosed to a few lucky ones), go cliff jumping and white water rafting. We take trips to Kalispell, MT for a taste of the “big city,” hop over the border to Waterton and Cardston for a taste of Canada, and after dark to Kip’s Beer Garden (St. Mary), Charlie’s Place (Babb), and the Employee Dining Room (EDR, Rising Sun), for a taste of night life.
At the beginning of the season they gathered the GPI employees together from all over the park to explain things to us. For our meeting they took us East-siders to Many Glacier in the Red Jammer buses. They warned us about bears, drowning and falling and tell us to drive safely. They tell us that every year one out of every 250 (or so) GPI employees dies, usually due to alcohol-related stupidity. “Hey, we’re drunk but let’s stand on the edge of a cliff anyway”—you know, stuff like that. Sure enough, midway through the summer a group from East Glacier drove over Logan Pass from an evening at a bar and went over the edge.
St. Mary Lake in September, across the street from Rising Sun
Summer draws to a close all too soon at such a high elevation. When I left the park on September 19, 2004 the weather had been sour for about a month. Those last few weeks were slow at the motel and on the trails as tourists went home to work and school. Rising Sun officially closed September 18th, and after closing up for the winter we had a party with the leftover food and later that night gathered to say goodbye.

What Life is Like
How I got to Glacier
A Christian Ministry in the National Parks
Life after Glacier