This is not an email about a misbegotten culinary adventure, or even another episode of Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre Foods on the Travel Channel. This is the story of Bigfork, Montana, and our return after first visiting in 2010. While getting to visit some of our great national parks, Glacier, Yellowstone, and Grand Teton, we stumbled upon the fabulous and famous Megan at the Candlewycke Inn just outside of Bigfork. During two separate stays, we managed to become long-lost friends, promising to come back for another visit.
Bigfork itself is located in Flathead County, with a population of 1421 at the 2000 census. I must tell you that it is the cutest little town or village that you can imagine. Our last visit was wonderful, with Megan as our hostess, and visits to several nearby eateries and points of interest. Her B & B is just about the best one we have ever visited. She is also a gourmet chef, world traveler, and resident philosopher. We just enjoy visiting with her so much, that we may just sit on the porch each day and sip champagne until dark.
Bigfork is derived from a Shalish name, and was not settled until 1885. Its most notable resident, other than Megan, and my friend over at the Pocketstone Café, would be former professional golfer, Lon Hinkle. But Whitefish is the largest city in Flathead Valley. I still remember driving down the main street of nearby Kalispell, trying to find a coffee shop that was open at 6am.
Nearby Flathead Lake is the largest fresh water lake west of the Mississippi in the contiguous states. It is only slightly larger than our Lake Tahoe back home in California. It is deeper than both the Yellow Sea and the Persian Gulf! And I am told it is one of the cleanest lakes in our country. And like Lake Tahoe with Tahoe Tessie, Flathead Lake has its own Flathead Lake monster.
The main street of Bigfork is Electric Avenue. How apropos is that? My favorite place, other than Megan’s is the Pocketstone Cafe. Why? Because back in 2010, I met a waitress who might have been at the same nightclub in West Berlin back in 1971!!!!! We never met prior to my visit, but may have been at that nightclub over 40 years ago. I may have even tried to talk to her, since every table had a phone. The idea was to spot a young lady to dance with, and ask her to dance over the phone, perhaps to avoid the embarrassment of walking back to your table after an unsuccessful dance invitation.
The Whistling Andy Distillery will be presenting a folk bluegrass group called Betty and the Boy. The famous Bigfork Summer Playhouse will be in the heat of battle while we are there. Among the shows are: Spamalot, Sound of Music, Putnam, and Legally Blonde. I am fairly sure we will end up there one or both evenings after dinner.
It is just a short drive to Whitefish, and on to Glacier National Park. One of my favorite stops is the wide spot in the road, Hungry Horse and the famous Huckleberry Patch. We stopped there in 2010 on our way to Glacier National Park. They ship huckIeberry pies and preserves all over the country! I think we should stop again for pie and ice cream!
At this point, you should remember a song that often sang in our childhood: “Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam, where the deer and the antelope (bighorn sheep) play, where seldom is heard, a discouraging word, and the (big) skies are not cloudy all day”…..is actually the state song of Kansas, though I think it fits Montana much better.
Though it seemed like winter when we landed on Thursday, we are hoping for some clearing today as we head up to Glacier. We spent most of the day in retail therapy, in downtown Whitefish, and nearby in Bigfork.
Last night’s dinner and conversation with Megan were so enjoyable. We talked about so many things. But we generally brought the conversation back to her great stories of her adventures here at the Inn. I do not want to spoil the stories. It is time for a book, I say. Suffice it to say that we were laughing all evening!!