Whitefish to Missoula MT
6.10.2013. We were very happy to leave our luxury accomodations at Whitefish. We wound up paying the bellman to please! let! us! pack! our! own! car! He went away. Phew. Off we drove... no more valets, concierges, bellmen or guides, just Jim and Susan in the Volvo express.
We headed south to Bigfork on Flathead Lake (photo below).
Our pamphlets suggested that Bigfork was good for little art galleries and gift shops and indeed it was. We walked down one side of Electric Avenue, stopped for coffee and sweets, then walked the other side. My first purchases were two "survival" bracelets made of paracord. The 10-year-old maker (eagerly learning the ropes in his grandmother's jewelry shop) pursuaded me that unraveling the $5 bracelets just might save my life in an emergency situation (or at least replace a broken shoelace). Memo to self: look up how to use a yard of paracord to pull our car out of a bog.
Next purchase was a pretty little bracelet made by Tina, a local woman of Cherokee heritage. Garnets, copper, leather and rose quartz (or one of those whitish/pinkish minerals... must look that up too).
Then we took off on our planned scenic route to Missoula. It was indeed lovely and lonely. Perhaps a little too lonely, since we could not find any establishment that looked like it had bathrooms -- not even in the village of Paradise. So we pulled into a turnoff that served fishermen on the Flathead River. Lucky for me, none of them were in sight, since I had to seriously commune with nature. And 'twas a fine spot for it, as the top photograph will attest to.
Now we are happily ensconsed in a no-frills Red Lion motel in Missoula, along the Clark Fork River, about 35 miles from the western border of Montana, next to Idaho.