It’s early Friday morning and the Big Timber Post Office is already bustling with activity. 

The day’s mail has arrived in six bulging carts, each more than five feet tall. The vessels are organized by type — packages fill a few carts, “flats” such as magazines and letters are in another, and rural mail in yet another. 

Postal workers Eve Garlock and Mary Hibnes don’t waste time as they descend on the carts, lifting and scanning rhythmically like well-oiled machines. Garlock diverts to sorting rural mail and flats, while Hibnes mans the package cart, continuing to sort. 

In the holiday season, the post office’s workload quadruples from their usual haul of 200 packages per day. Some 800 parcels come in through their doors and each is handled an average of four times.

To read the full story and see our favorite photos, pick up the Dec. 15 edition of the Pioneer or subscribe to our e-edition. Current subscribers are provided complimentary access to the e-edition with registration.

MACKENZIE REISS / Big Timber Pioneer