by Derrick Rathe
I am fortunate to call NW Montana home. My childhood was spent on the Southern shore of Flathead Lake. Where my family and I would spend every ounce of free time traveling this mass state in search of ghost towns and natural phenomena. After graduating from the University of Montana, my summers were filled with exploring the depths of Montana’s caves, most notably Lewis and Clark Caverns, where I worked as the Park Ranger. It’s weird looking back and thinking, it took me spending hours weekly underground to really gain my appreciation for the natural world on the surface.
My years in SW Montana allowed me to grasp a deeper understanding of the connections of all thing’s nature, from the depths of caves to the soil connecting them to the birds and flowers above.
I have recently taken that passion and brought it back to the Flathead where it all began for me. I have worked as an environmental educator/park ranger for Montana State Parks in the Flathead since 2017. As of Spring 2021 I am back wondering about the shores of Flathead Lake working with MT State Parks. But now in a role where I can help other kids and adults find their connection to Flathead Lake among its natural wonders.