D2 operations goes the extra 90 miles
for Missoula-bound traveler
ITD aids many during their travels over the holidays, but two snowplow operators were able to do more than clear the roads for one citizen during the last full week of December.
Known as Nan, an older woman encountered Bill Foust during his supper at the Lochsa Lodge, which sits at the top of Lolo Pass on US-12 in District 2.
Foust had been staying in the Powell bunkhouse, covering a holiday shift so that another employee could spend Christmas with his family. He is a relief plow operator who normally spends his time as a records inspector in Lewiston.
Nan shared that she had mistakenly left her purse at a restaurant in Kooskia, nearly 90 miles away. Although bound for Missoula the next morning, she was considering retracing her steps before continuing on.
At 5 p.m., Foust called foreman Mark Schuster to see if any operators on the night shift, which starts at 6 p.m., could ferry the forgotten item up the river on their way into work.
Schuster found help with Ed Glover, who carried the purse to his normal station at Bald Mountain, and by midnight, Foust was able to deliver it to Nan in Powell.
Foust wouldn’t see Nan again, but she did stop by to give Glover a hug on her way home from visiting family in Missoula. She thanked the crew not only for their efforts that night, but also for their work every winter that leaves the highway in a safe and beautiful condition.
To his crew, Schuster says, “Your efforts are probably appreciated more than you realize.”