Many Glacier’s winter keepers fight weather, find solace
Many Glacier Hotel in Glacier National Park is a lonely place during the winter.
Besides a few hearty animals – wolves, sheep and birds among them – the most abundant thing is snow.
But the historic hotel isn’t completely abandoned, as Missoulian reporter Rob Chaney found in his story “Winter Keepers,” a beautiful tale about the couple the lives at Many Glacier through the harsh winter months.
Six months ago, David and Rebecca Wilson would have been on the wait list to get a room at Many Glacier Hotel.
Today when they show up, gray jays and bighorn sheep come out to greet them. The black bear under the employee dormitory doesn’t bother to wake. They still struggle to get in, but now it’s snowdrifts and 70 mph winds blocking the way instead of throngs of tourists.
But, as Chaney explains, the job isn’t as lonely these days, as the Wilson’s blog about the job, mghwinterkeeper.com, is getting plenty of online traffic.
“We just did it for fun, to see if people noticed,” David Wilson said of the mghwinterkeeper.com blog the couple have maintained since October. “I had no idea so many people would find it, just by word of mouth. On a good day, we get 500 hits on the blog. People are always interested in what the weather’s doing up here.”
Want to see for yourself? Check out a gallery of wintry images from Many Glacier.
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Gift helps preserve Glacier of the past
We highlighted some good news for Yellowstone earlier this week, and now it’s time to share some good news from Glacier.
The park was given 21 historic paintings from the early 20th century from its former concessionaire, a goodwill move that will keep the paintings in their original homes.
As Missoulian reporter Vince Devlin tells us, Glacier Park Inc. donated the paintings to the park last week, even after losing its concessionaire contract for the park to Zanterra.
All the paintings originated between 1909 and 1915, and were either originally owned or commissioned by the Great Northern Railway. All depict scenes in and around Glacier.
The railroad, anxious to lure tourists to travel on its passenger trains, was instrumental in getting Glacier Park established in 1910. It built Many Glacier Hotel in 1915, and in 1930 acquired Lake McDonald Lodge, two of the properties where the paintings are located.
They include pieces by John Frey, Frank Stick, R.H. Palenske, Charles Defeo and an artist with the last name Richmond, about whom little is known. Some of the donated work is by unknown artists.
The only stipulation to the donation was the paintings remain in the properties for which they were created, Devlin wrote.
Cover photos captured the best of Montana
Just in time for the new year we’ve got a look back at the images that made our covers in 2014.
It’s a fun look back at the year of Montana Magazine issues, which started with a cover of a curious bobcat and ended with a cover that captured perhaps the cutest cowgirl in the state.
Of course, we couldn’t have done any of this without the wonderful group of people who share their work with us each issue. Our cover images were made by a diverse set of photographers. From Jaime and Lisa Johnson, who captured the snowy bobcat (January/February issue), to Lynn Donaldson who made the image of the tough cowboy riding at the Wild Horse Stampede in Wolf Point (March/April issue).
Gordon Sullivan captured the lightning bolt striking inside Medicine Rocks State Park for our March/April issue. Tony Bynum got a Glacier National Park mountain goat lounging in the unbelievable backdrop for our July/August issue.
We featured the Grand Prismatic Spring inside Yellowstone National Park, by Tom Murphy, on the September/October cover. Finally, Riley Jones was the adorable feature of our November/December cover, in an image made by Leland Howard.
Fan favorites of 2014: Which stories did you like the best?
With 2014 coming to a close it’s hard not to look back and remember more than a few great stories we found to share with you inside Montana Magazine.
But what did you, our online readers, decide were their favorites? Here’s our top four most popular stories of 2014, as decided by all our online friends.
- Unlocking history: Long-forgotten underground speakeasy uncovered in Butte :Writer Ted Brewer takes us under the streets of Butte to a place where Prohibition wasn’t given a second thought.
- Alpine Icons under observation: They’re one of the most iconic animals inside Glacier National Park, but surprising as it is, scientists don’t know much about mountain goats.
- Small prairie town fosters big-time creativity: Chester is a place where they keep grand pianos in grain elevators. And Grammy winner Philip Aaberg operates a bed and breakfast.
- Glasgow native donates wild gift to children’s museum: Skip Erickson has traveled the world hunting animals of every kind. Now, as he battles colon cancer, he’s giving his trophies to the local children’s museum
What’d we miss? Tell us your favorite feature of 2014 by emailing email@example.com.
Survey says Montana home to 2 top national parks
You probably saw this online poll making the social media rounds in the past couple weeks, asking people to vote for the nation’s best national park.
Easy choice right?!? Well there are two easy choices for most Montanans…
I think we can all agree it should’ve been a tie for first, with Glacier and Yellowstone at the top. But it was Maine’s Acadia National Park that took the No. 1 spot.
Still, pretty good showing for MT. And in case this makes you want to go and see the parks, we have a great suggestion on the best way to take in the scenery.
Writer Ednor Therriault wrote a great feature in our July/August issue about the iconic red and yellow buses the operate inside Glacier and Yellowstone. It really is a fun story. And even if you’ve seen the parks, Ednor says you’re missing out if you haven’t seen them in a bus.
Glacier National Park in spotlight of July/August issue
Our fourth issue of 2014 is taking readers into the heart of one of the most special places on earth (at least us Montanans think so): Glacier National Park.
As you can see on our cover, we’ve got some gorgeous and amazing features to share.
Mountain goats, you should know, are under observation in Glacier as park officials continue a three year study to determine how the increased visitor numbers are affecting the goats.
We’ll also show you how, after 100 years, the remaining operating chalets in Glacier are thriving.
And we’ll take you on a ride on the famous Red Jammers inside Glaicer. How does that compare to a ride on the iconic yellow buses in Yellowstone National Park? Read our feature to find out.
Frosty photos: Readers share winter images from across Montana
No matter the season in Montana, there always seems to be something beautiful to look at.
We’ve had quite a few frosty photos submitted to us via our Facebook page recently and thought we’d feature a couple here for you to enjoy on this mid-winter Monday.
A BIG thanks to our readers for sharing all the beautiful photos, especially Alisa Doolan (Centennial School), Yvonne Moe Resch (Kootenai River), John D. Harwood (Mount Vaught), Drew Thomas (Holter Dam), Robin Hao Gonzalez (Hot Springs barn) and Mark LaRowe (road to Ross).