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.
How I got to Glacier
A Christian Ministry in the National Parks
Life after Glacier
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.