A Woman's Way West: In and Around Glacier National Park, 1925-1990
By John Fraley. Softcover, 336 pages.
Doris Ashley left Iowa and came to Montana as the frontier era came to a close and the hard transition to the modern West began. In 1925, already a widow at the age of twenty-four, she took a job as cheap help in Glacier National Park and thus began a lifelong affair with Montana's landscape, wildlife, and people. Doris soon met the love of her life, native son Dan Huffine, another park worker with an abiding love for the region. Together, they shared many adventures over the next sixty years, helping to shape the character of northwest Montana and participating in the growth of Glacier Park on both sides of the Continental Divide. Between them, the Huffines shared stints as backcountry park ranger, driver of the classic red tour buses in the park, and cook for the crew that did the perilous work surveying the famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. The couple operated tourist camps along the Glacier Park boundary and became co-proprietors of the Huffine Montana Museum. Many people considered the couple endearingly eccentric, and for good reason, as they kept skunks, badgers, coyotes, bears, a mountain goat, and a beaver as pets.
The Huffines were also world-class raconteurs, and enjoyed telling their tales later in life to author John Fraley, who shared their love of the outdoors and of Glacier Park. Using many hours of tape recordings, numerous journals, and a great deal of research, Fraley has pieced together the story of Doris' early life in Iowa, her fateful meeting with Dan, and their love story, which is also very much a work story--a tale of building a life together while at the same time helping to shape the Crown of the Continent region.
Softcover, 336 pages.