Chris Bryan came to the mountains in Western Montana to follow his life’s work as a U.S. Forest Service ranger. On most summer days you can find this Pennsylvania native roaming the Mystic Lake wilderness southwest of Billings.
He picks up human poop and bags it. He scours campgrounds for wilderness slobs. And he writes tickets to hikers and backpackers who violate the rules. Five days a week Chris hauls a backpack into the rugged backcountry, enduring thunderstorms, shivery mountain nights and no doubt smelly clothes.
And guess what this tall, goateed ranger makes for all his trouble. Roughly $15,000 a summer, according to a ranger friend of mine who’s done the work.
So why do it? One word: Passion.