A Woman's Way West
In and Around Glacier National Park, 1925 to 1990

by John Fraley

foreword by Bert Gildart

published by Farcountry Press

  • 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.

336 pages, 6 x 9 , 17 b/w photos, 4 illustrations, 1 map(s), index, PUR Perfect Bound

ISBN 10: 1560377623
ISBN 13: 9781560377627


    • Remarkable true stories of a life forged from hardships, tragedies, and triumphs
    • Richly illustrated with historical photographs
    • Signings and events with the author





A Woman's Way West
In and Around Glacier National Park, 1925 to 1990

A Woman's Way West align=

John Fraley came to Montana as a teenager to attend the University of Montana, where he received a B.S. in Wildlife Biology. He continued his education at Montana State University and received an M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management. John worked for the state wildlife agency for nearly forty years, mostly in the forks of the Flathead; he retired in 2017. For thirty-two years he has served as an adjunct instructor at Flathead Valley Community College where he teaches wildlife conservation and other courses. John has written two additional books on Flathead pioneers within Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness: Wild River Pioneers and Rangers, Trappers, and Trailblazers: Early Adventures in Montana's Bob Marshall Wilderness and Glacier National Park. His next book with Farcountry Press, Heroes of the Bob Marshall Wilderness, is due out in fall 2020. Over the years, he has written numerous magazine articles on the history of the Flathead. John's wife, Dana, and children, Kevin, Heather, and Troy, continue to share with him a love of wandering around the backcountry of the three forks of the Flathead.

Praise for A Woman's Way West: In and Around Glacier National Park, 1925 to 1990

John Fraley has given us this compelling human narrative of romance, determination, happiness, tragedy, failure, and success. The theme centers on Doris Huffine's intriguing life, from her birth in Iowa in 1901, to her work in Glacier National Park in the 1920s, to her death in the Flathead country in 1990. This is a story of grizzlies, mountain hikes, hard work and hardy people, natives and Euro-Americans alike, hooked on the spirit of powerful waters and massive mountains. And of a nation with foresight to protect the Crown of the Continent as Glacier Park. John's dedication to history and the wild landscape speaks clearly through his lively writing. With Doris, John has blazed a fascinating trail from the past to the present so that we might better understand the people and the land,the heritage of this place.

Bud Moore, conservationist and author of The Lochsa Story

For years beyond count, the Huffine Museum was an inviting and mysterious place for me. Now John Fraley's book gives the rest of the story and it is a tale of fascinating proportions, swirling about the lives of the unusual pioneer couple who lived there. Thank you, John.

George Ostrom, Montana's Most Colorful Newsman and author of Glacier's Secrets: Beyond the Roads and Above the Clouds

John Fraley has captured the determined spirit of Doris Huffine, and in so doing has paid tribute to both this strong pioneering woman and the many other women who helped cultivate Montana as it grew up.

Jo Ann Speelman, founding member of Glacier National Park Associates and former board member of Glacier Natural History Association

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