Marc Ankenbauer's 10+ year quest to jump in every named lake in Glacier and Waterton National Parks for charity.
168 lakes. Only 17 16 15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
ZERO LAKES LEFT!!!
-- Marc jumped into Fisher Cap Lake on Sunday September 8th, 2013 to complete his goal! --
Read about Marc and how this project started...

The Great Seasonal Employee Migration

Folks, don’t try this at home...or in Glacier!
FULL SAFETY MESSAGE

It’s late spring and all across America a herd is starting to move.

I’m talking about one of the hemispheres greatest mass migrations, and many of you are a part of it.

It is time for summer seasonal employees to migrate to exciting new corners of the world for a countless variety of employment.

 

 

 

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To test their metal against a unique environment filled with new faces and experiences.

It’s FREAKIN’ SUMMER!!!  RIGHT?

 

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Many of you have experienced the elation and trepidation of this process.

The weeks leading up to your departure date there starts to be going away parties.

Friends and family want to do lunch or have you over for one last dinner before you embark on your journey.

Everyone asks you about this new place you’re headed off to.

This completely alien land compared to the city or town you live in.

 

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Plans get hatched for them to come visit you, but don’t get your hopes up too much.

Maybe 10% are able to pull it off.

They still love you anyway.

 

Lists are being created on pads of paper to help organized your thoughts.

Lists of “things to buy”, “things to do”, “things to find”…

 

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Your car becomes so packed that you must roll the rear windows down so you can slide last minute items into your large metal suitcase.

 

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What items will you need to access during the road trip?

It doesn’t matter because everything will become an intertwined ball of sweatshirts, hiking boots, bedding, food and the other 50 things you think will make your stay a bit homier.

By the time you get there these things will be lucky to not be hanging out the back hatch or sitting in your lap.

Where are you going?

How long will the trip take?

Whose couch are you going to sleep on at the halfway point?

Is your roommate going to be cool?

Did you see everyone before you left?

Oil change, new wiper blades, how about an atlas… Check, Check, Check!

Painful as it may be to pull out of your parent’s driveway for paths unknown it will be OK… Actually it will be Great!

 

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A couple hours out you will get gas in a town you didn’t even know existed.

A little elbow grease will get that windshield clear of dead bugs so you’re ready to take in the sights and sounds of another place and time.

 

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Maybe you will camp at a state park in South Dakota, or have a memorable night in a cheap motel in Salina, Kansas.

Or you  may go with my personal favorite…

You could sleep in a rest stop, sitting upright still in front of the steering wheel.

Your Maglite and bear spray in the seat next to you to calm your late night fears.

You know it’s not a great idea, but the money for that blasted motel could get you 500 miles tomorrow.

 

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Where ever you sleep, when you wake up and walk outside it will smell different.

 

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You may stop at a gas station for coffee and a cheap pastry which pays for the use of their bathroom sink to wash your face and ready yourself for the day’s quest.

Then you climb back in and continue to tick off miles as you fly through time and space in a tin can, destiny unknown.

 

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Where ever you are going, whatever you are doing…it’s gonna be AWESOME!

 

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Be open to the new experiences your life changing summer odyssey provides.

Stay up too late watching the stars.

 

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Get up early enough to see the lake calm as glass.

 

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Go to the bonfire even if you’re tired!

Because a few months from now it will all be over and you’ll be wondering where it all went.

Eat it with a big spoon people!

 

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As for you folks who are not participating in the summer seasonal migration, please think about coming to visit if possible.

One of the greatest aspects to seasonal work is having our friends and family come out.

Seldom have any of us had something so pride inducing to offer our loved ones.

 

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The fact is that they won’t live in paradise forever.

No matter how much we want to… we can’t.

It’s written in the bylaws.

But that makes it that much more special.

Knowing from the start that this is just a moment in time sweetens the flavor entirely.

It’s a great analogy for life, really.

There is never as much time as you seem to think there is…

So, Go Carpe Some Diem!

 

Allow them to proudly show you their cool run down cabin.

It hardly functions on countless levels, but it’s theirs!

And boy does it have a sweet yard!

 

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They get to show you the best after-work hike then introduce you to their new favorite beer.

 

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Go meet their group of new friends; none of which are from their state much less their home town.

Heck many of them might be from other continents entirely.

They are all part of the migration, living life as loudly and purposely as possible.

This is their moment!

 

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May you have safe travels, a cool roommate and a cute person to kiss when you stumble upon the meteor shower.

To life!

Marc Ankenbauer

 

Seasonal Job Resources:

www.coolworks.com

www.usajobs.gov

 

I would love to hear your tales of how seasonal work changed your life.

Give me some good stories in the comment section!

I  know you’ve got some!

 

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14 comments
shan
shan

I have never been a seasonal employee.  I grew up in Glacier Park.  I lived there until I turned 24 and headed out to explore the "rest of the world".  My home is your adventure.  My adventure made me realize that my home is irreplaceable.  It's so strange that I never thought about your journey when I was there, you were all just a part of the constant change that was my home.  I have experienced the park in ways that seasonal employees never will, but you have experienced it with a state of wonder and awe that I will never come close to.  I loved reading this.  May your path be long and your jumps be many!!!

CatherineAlton
CatherineAlton

My husband and I can't wait to retire in a few years and become seasonal employees at Glacier National Park. Your article says it ALL!!

dispatchmike
dispatchmike

Beauty read. Loved every minute of my couple summers at GLAC and miss it just about every day.

crystal
crystal

 Ah....seasonal work....great post marc !  I'm starting my 8 or 9th "seasonal" job...it's a way of life that only some understand. I don't know if I could lead a regular life now....The experiences, the people, the places, the storage units, the boxes, the gear, the summer romances, the open road, the new favorite places, the parties, the states, the world, the happy sad moments.......here's my blog post about thoughts on seasonal work: 

http://crystalmuzik.blogspot.com/2012/04/seasons.html

MattMizwicki
MattMizwicki

Wow! You hit on just about every single emotion that is included in seasonal work, both good and bad! My seasonal work was in the winter, but it's still hitting the nail on the head. From packing, to driving cross country all night sleeping at rest areas, to mid season working blues and being too tired to go to the party. And, especially the people you meet along the way from all over the world. I've never read anything that so accurately captured the entire experience. Excellent, excellent post!

EBailey
EBailey

I never knew of seasonal work until at 21 I took a random job working at a Fly Fishing resort out of Yellowstone National Park, only then was my path in life discovered. For the next 12 years I would work in 9 different National parks taking on many roles such as: photo processor, hotel front desk VUA, Backcountry ranger, Backcountry permits, Fire, Interp, and many more, meet thousands of new friends, travel the USA countless times, and make lifelong memories that I know will still have me smiling and laughing when I am 80 rocking on my front porch drinking a beer of the season telling a great story to my loved ones.