I need shelter.

Ray, 63

Ray grew up in a small farming, ranching, and logging community in north central Idaho. He has spent most of his life working in the mountains as both a horse-packer and guide. He’s also done contract work for the U.S. Forest Service, building bridges and constructing lookouts. At the time this photograph was taken, Ray had been in Missoula staying at the Poverello Center for two months, taking a rest from the mountains and waiting for the snow to melt before moving onto the next job:

“[I’m] just passing through.”

For Ray, life is about the outdoors, horses, and hard work. When asked what it was like working in the mountains Ray explained: “If you’re out there working, you’re out there working. You’re not out there to have fun. Maybe you go fishing sometimes. You got horses to take care of and you only have a certain amount of time to get the work done within the contract. The quicker you can get it done the better.”

When asked how long he plans to continue working as a horse-packer and doing work for the Forest Service Ray replied,”Til I can’t swing my leg over a horse.”

Ray’s voice: I wish… “[For] a lot of understanding.” I look forward to… “Good health. Lots of work.” My favorite thing about the Poverello Center is… “You make good friends here.” “Be true to yourself”