On June 21, after more than 20 years plowing the snow from the roads in Glacier National Park, Road Supervisor for the West Side, Stan Stahr, is walking away from most fun job he has ever had.
Since 1993 – with the exception of a few years when he worked in Washington with the Forest Service – Stahr has had the privilege of being one of the first people reach the top of Logan Pass each year as he drove equipment and helped guide the plowing crews that cleared the Going-to-the-Sun Road in the spring.
Now, he will get to spend his days at home in the North Fork with his wife Connie, who retiring from her position as secretary to the park superintendent the same day as her husband.
“It’s pretty exciting, knowing that all of the pressure and stress is over with, if you can call it stress,” Stahr said on the top of Logan Pass last week. “It was always a lot of fun.”
Stahr first came to work in Glacier in 1993, after giving up the construction company he had owned in the oil fields of Wyoming for nearly 30 years. What started out as a seasonal job to help fill the time, quickly turned into a new opportunity for Stahr, who worked in the park until 2003, when he left to take a position with the Forest Service in Washington.
Four years later, he was back in Glacier after Connie talked him into moving back permanently. It didn’t take Stahr long to move up the ladder.
“I started enjoying it and soon I had a permanent job. I would sometimes wonder if that was the right thing for me to do, because I enjoyed seasonal work so much,” Stahr said with a chuckle. “I came back and got the work leader job and the supervisor job and was still wondering if I should have stayed seasonal. I’m just kidding. It’s not all that bad and Glacier is a great place to be.”
While Stahr said his job could be stressful at times, he also admitted that it does have its perks.
“I am going to miss working with the guys and the scenery and the wildlife. I’m sure I won’t know just how much I am going to miss it until about six months later,” he said. “The crew up here is like a family. We are very close and have shared all of the fun times and all of the tough times.”
Now, Stahr is looking forward to having more free time with his wife at their home in the North Fork and having the opportunity to relax and see his daughters and grandchildren.
Stahr says he and Connie still plan to get out and enjoy nature, just probably not inside the park too often.
“We don’t really hike, so you probably won’t see us around the park too much after we retire. I’ve gotten to see it at the best time every year, anyway. I got to be up here when it was quiet and peaceful, before anyone else got to be up here,” he said. “Now, I just really want to enjoy the family life and maybe catch up on some movies.”