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Exploring the depths of the season, on and off the grid


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Features 32 40 54 6

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The Original Lawmen


‘A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity’


Putting the Pieces Together


In Our Element


MONTANA APPOINTED ITS FIRST brand inspectors in 1885. Over a century later, technology has changed their job but not their fundamental duties: protecting livestock owners and preserving the “classical language of the American West”


HOCKADAY EXHIBITS RARE DISPLAY of Dr. Van Kirke Nelson’s private art and artifact collection


IN RESTORING LOG CABINS, stonemason Denny Kellogg merges his talent for construction with his passion for history


PORTRAITS OF MONTANA’S WORKERS and the tools they use to do their jobs

Photography by Longviews Studios, Heidi A. Long

P.O. Box 1898, Bigfork, MT 59911 (406) 837-3373 •


Departments 66

10 12 20 26 27 28

Editor’s Note Summer of opportunities Checklist Your ultimate guide to summer Conversation Glacier Bank President Bob Nystuen What We Make Inka Clothing, Inc. Moment Swiftcurrent Creek Breakdown Summer’s attraction




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Feature Life on the links Interiors Bring the inside, out? Exteriors Outbuildings Feature Rustic furniture that harkens back a century


106 110 112 114

Feature Branching out to Lakeside Balancing Act Shared space Staying Fit Reach your summer fitness goals How We Age Letting life happen in Whitefish



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Feature A touch of Italy in Kalispell Tap Room Blue Jay White IPA Evening Out West Glacier and the Canyon Recipe Asparagus, three ways


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126 134 134 142 144

Feature Five amazing hikes in Glacier National Park Destinations Priscilla Peak Lookout Feature Day-tripping in Glacier Events What not to miss this summer Nonfiction E xcerpt from “Death in the Valley”


Relationships for Life

Offering the ultimate collection of homes throughout Northwest Montana. When it comes time to buy your new home, let our expert Realtors guide you. Watch for our Trails West magazine distributed throughout Northwest Montana!

Preview an assortment of our listings on page 83. or find it online at:


Summer of Opportunities he first time I went branding (and by “went,” I mean mostly watched), was in Miles City in the late spring of 1999. I was attending college in Wyoming and had been invited to my roommate’s Montana ranch for the weekend. So there I was, a 20-year-old from a Spokane suburb standing in the mud, pretending to help. The seasoned ranchers were either patient or entertained, because at the end of a long day, they slapped my back like I had actually wrangled cattle. I hadn’t. Days like that are what attracted me to the rural West. And people like that are why I never left. From a small town on the outskirts of Yellowstone National Park, to the midsized capital city of North Dakota, I’m lucky to have lived in several parts of the northern Great Plains and Rocky Mountains. I’m even luckier to have met many of the locals that make up the backbone of this region, from ranchers in Miles City to boat builders in the Flathead Valley. In this issue, we feature some of those locals. We talk to the cowboys who combat cattle rustlers. We profile stonemasons and furniture builders. We devote 10 pages to portraits of Northwest Montana residents and the tools they use to do their jobs. You’re likely to recognize a few of them, or perhaps you’ll meet them at the farmers market, the beach or at a neighborhood barbecue. That’s what happens in the summer. Your tight group of friends and family expands a bit. The days are longer. We have more time to reconnect with those locals with whom we are only acquainted and perhaps meet a few new ones. We patiently wait for the fleeting warm months each year, counting down the days until we can launch our boats, hike the Highline Trail and drive the Going-tothe-Sun Road. But summer also provides us overlooked opportunities. As we head to the water and up the mountains, there are often unfamiliar faces among our group of explorers, perhaps a friend of a friend. And they’re worth talking to. Last summer, I joined eight locals on a hike through Floral Park in Glacier. I only knew one of them. Almost a year later, I consider each person in that party a friend. They are baristas, insurance agents and journalists. They


would be out of their element branding cows on a Montana ranch. But, like me, they would probably try it anyway. Beyond the landscape, that’s what makes this area attractive. It’s why we come here and never leave. We appreciate the changing seasons and the curious locals we get to spend them with. It’s why we’re in our element in the rural West. Thanks for reading, Kellyn Brown | editor in chief


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Font is: Filosofia Grand Bold


CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Kay Bjork, Sammi Johnson, Jaix Chaix, Liz Marchi, Jenna Anderson, Molly Priddy, Justin Franz, Dillon Tabish, Tristan Scott, Meredith Coopman


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Lido Vizzutti, Mandy Mohler, Greg Lindstrom, JMK Photography, Kay Bjork, Jaix Chaix ADVERTISING GENERAL MANAGER Lance Fahrney ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Bob Hunt SENIOR SALES ASSOCIATE Alisha Walker, founder

SALES Sean Bradley, Cathy Coletti, Nic Headlee, Kelly Siblerud DESIGN Dane Williams, Dwayne Harris, Sharilyn Fairweather DIRECTOR OF FINANCE Melanie Corkish DISTRIBUTION MANAGER Robert Ford

FLATHEAD LIVING Flathead Living is published quarterly by Flathead Beacon Productions. Flathead Living (www. is solely owned and operated by Flathead Beacon Productions. This publication may not be reproduced, either in whole or part, without the express written permission of Flathead Beacon Productions. CONTACT 17 Main St. Kalispell, MT 59901 (406) 257-9220

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Map of the Flathead Valley NO H


































Eureka Whitefish Mountain Resort



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15 Miles


Flathead National Forest



The Event at Rebecca Farm THIRTEEN YEARS LATER, THE EVENT AT Rebecca Farm is one of the most renowned equestrian triathlons in the world. It’s also the nation’s largest, drawing more than 550 riders and thousands of spectators annually to the picturesque countryside near Kalispell for a world-class competition. This summer’s grand gathering — July 24-27 — promises yet another memorable installment filled with pageantry and spectacular action as riders and their horses brave the three classic elements of equestrianism — dressage, cross-country and show jumping. Called eventing, the sport tests both horse and rider through a series of challenges, disciplines and courses. The Event regularly attracts a lineup of top-notch competitors, including former Olympians and riders from around the world. There’s also a youth series that gives up-and-coming riders the chance to tackle the same course as their more experienced idols. Admission for spectators is free, although a $5 donation is encouraged to raise money for “Halt Cancer at X,” an initiative to raise money for breast cancer research in memory of The Event’s founder, the late Rebecca Broussard. For more information on The Event, visit




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Crown of the Continent Guitar Festival and Workshop THE FLATHEAD VALLEY HAS BEEN AN artistic inspiration ever since humans decided to express themselves, and the folks down at the Crown of the Continent Guitar Foundation have used this natural endowment to their advantage. In its fifth year now, the foundation’s annual festival and workshop, taking place Aug. 24-31, is bigger and better than ever,

attracting some of the most talented and well-known guitarists from around the world to teach at its weeklong workshop classes and play at the public concerts each night at Flathead Lake Lodge in Bigfork. It’s truly a unique experience to have such masters on stage in this environment, and this year’s lineup includes Mike Stern, Ana Popovic, Shelby Lynne, Lee Ritenour,

David Leisner, John Oates, and more. Along with the big-name concerts, the festival and workshop series is getting more national and international attention as it continues to evolve and grow, so be sure to check it out to be able to say you knew it before it exploded in popularity. For more information, visit


THE VERDANT BOUNTY OF SUMMER has burgeoned in the Flathead Valley, and the green thumbs responsible for growing it are converging on the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market, peddling their leafy wares alongside craftsmen at the north end of Central Avenue. Flanked by live music and food vendors, the farmers of the Flathead Valley showcase the freshest produce of the season and provide the opportunity to truly “know your farmer.” Ask about your farmer’s favorite method for preparing a vegetable, what produce


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they’ll be harvesting next and whether they expect the weather to impact crops. Unlike corporate agriculture, family farms are run by folks who live on the land and depend on its productivity for their livelihood. They depend on local demand to sustain them and, as stewards of the soil, their food is grown for flavor, not shelf life. Energy is saved when you purchase food that was shipped a few miles to market, as opposed to a few thousand. Held every Tuesday from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., the Whitefish Downtown Farmers Market runs from May 27 until Sept. 30.

For a list of farms and maps represented at the Farmers Market, visit or visit whitefishfarmersmarket. org.


Whitefish Farmers Market


Northwest Montana Fair


SUMMER IN MONTANA ISN’T COMPLETE without a trip to the annual fair, where the food is hot, fresh and delicious, the entertainment is traditional and western to the core, and the people are the heart and soul of the community. Truly, there is nothing better than a fair that encapsulates a good summer night in Montana, and the Northwest Montana Fair, taking place Aug. 13 – 17 at the Flathead County Fairgrounds, knows how to put on a good, family-friendly time. The carnival provides the rides and games, while the expo centers and various buildings on site hold the best of what the Flathead Valley’s 4-H and FFA participants have to offer. The historic grandstands will offer the best seat in the house for some of the most exciting entertainment offered throughout the week, with the rodeo series, ever-popular demolition derby, and live music. For ticketing and scheduling information, visit



Lake McDonald Lodge ON THE SHORES OF LAKE MCDONALD, one of Glacier National Park’s legendary lodges strikes a regal pose above the mirror-like body of water, the lake’s silver-smooth surface sprawled out over 10 miles of the glacial-carved valley. Surrounded by snow-mottled peaks, the lodge’s wood-and-stone framed superstructure is cast in brilliant relief against Glacier Park’s highest mountains, and its balconies offer some of the most striking views in Montana. This summer, however, there’s more to celebrate than the scenery – the historic Lake McDonald Lodge is observing its 100th birthday. Located 10 miles from Glacier’s west entrance, the Lake McDonald Lodge was initially known as the Lewis Glacier Hotel, and was the second hotel on the site. It opened in 1914 and was later purchased by the National Park Service. S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G




THE UNITED STATES AIRFORCE Thunderbirds, “America’s ambassadors in blue,” are coming to the Flathead Valley this summer for what is sure to be an unforgettable show. The Thunderbirds, designated the 3600th Air Demonstration Unit, were created in 1947, just 20 years after Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic. Since its inception, 325 officers have been on the team and every year the team tours the nation giving amazing air demonstrations, with F-16 jets doing flips and flying mere inches away from each other. The show is sure to be a highlight of the Mountain Madness Air Show on August 30 and 31. For more information about the event, visit


Polebridge Mercantile THIS REMOTE OUTPOST TUCKED UP the North Fork Flathead River opened this summer for its 100th year, celebrating a century as the hub of this backwoods burg, which is home to a small handful of yearround residents and a glut of grizzlies, elk and other critters. With its opening, the Merc winks away its winter slumber and draws throngs of visitors to an isolated corner of Montana, where Canada and Glacier National Park’s rugged western edge adjoin. Some visitors are on their way to Bowman or Kintla Lakes to hike, boat and backpack, while others come to float the Wild and Scenic North Fork. But Polebridge is a destination on its own, and the cherry-red, barn-like Mercantile is its centerpiece, harkening back to a bygone era when the Post Office was a social hub and neighbors listened in on one another’s telephone conversations on a single party line. The Merc was built in 1914 and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and the only route to Polebridge from the Flathead Valley is a scenic drive along the transparent blue-green waters of the North Fork, on an unpaved stretch of Montana


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486 known simply as the North Fork Road. There wasn’t much to do then, but visitors who brave the dusty, wash-boarded road – and who don’t mind going without cell service, Internet, electricity, and most other trappings of modern society – are rewarded with striking views of the park and an array of the Merc’s baked goodies, like huckleberry bear claws, cinnamon rolls, pocket sandwiches and macaroons, as well as microbrew, coffee, and good conversation with the friendly proprietors. A newly constructed interpretive nature trail informs visitors about the pristine ecology of the North Fork corridor, as well as the history of wildfires that tore through the valley, their scars now sprouting verdant new undergrowth. The shelves of the Merc are also lined with utilitarian offerings like parachute cord and power steering fluid, making it a onestop resupply shop. To get there from Columbia Falls, take Montana Highway 486, which becomes the North Fork Road, north roughly 35 miles. The address is 265 Polebridge Loop, and sections of the road are dusty and unpaved.



Mountain Madness Air Show

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NAMED BY REXFORD RESIDENT ALICE Beers in a contest nearly 40 years ago, during the creation of the Libby Dam, Lake Koocanusa is a portmanteau combining the first three letters of the Kootenai River, Canada and the USA. The reservoir was formed in 1975 by the damming of the Kootenai River by the Libby Dam, and straddles British Columbia and Montana, stretching 48 miles to the south and reaching 42 miles to the north. Activities abound on Koocanusa, where climbers, cyclists, boaters, and hikers converge every summer. The 83-mile Le Tour de Koocanusa circumnavigates the reservoir’s breathtaking shoreline and is one of the premier road rides in Northwest Montana, offering cyclists sweeping views of the Tobacco Valley. Although moderate, the course undulates frequently and gains a total of 5,469 feet. Cyclists can ride the route themselves, or join the annual Le Tour de Koocanusa benefit ride on Aug. 9. The ride benefits the David Thompson Search and Rescue, which was organized in 1969. The nearby Stonehill Climbing Area features dozens of routes that will accommodate sport climbers and traditionalists alike, including crags that are excellent for top roping, with permanent bolts for easy rigging, easy walk-off descents and bumper belays along the roadside bluffs.


Lake Koocanusa


THE COMING OF SUMMER ON FLATHEAD LAKE MARKS THE bloom of cherry season. It’s hard to put an exact date on when you can start rolling up to roadside stands to buy your very own basket of local cherries, but last year the harvest began in late July. It all depends on the weather and the market. There are more than 80 growers around the lake and most are members of the Flathead Lake Cherry Growers Association, which helps organize processing. In the past the only way to get local cherries was to hit up a roadside stand, but now you can pick them up at local grocery stores, too, thanks to a program started by the cooperative in 2011. For more information about the harvest and where you can find fresh local cherries, visit 20

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Fourth of July


THE FOURTH OF JULY IS SERIOUS BUSIness in the hinterlands of Montana, and the lake-and-river strewn Flathead Valley reflects the glittering bonanza of fireworks and the enthusiasm of the region’s residents. From parades to fireworks displays, the Flathead Valley celebrates its independence in style. Here’s a list of events that will make this holiday a memorable one: The Kalispell 4th of July Parade, a time-honored tradition, will begin at 10 a.m. on Main Street in downtown. The parade will be followed by an ice cream social at the Conrad Mansion from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Patriotic themes will be the order of the day to celebrate the nation’s birthday as spectators line Main Street, while color guards, veteran and youth groups, floats, and horse clubs trot through Kalispell’s city center and music fills the air. A traditional parade, the festivities are fun for the entire family, so turn out and show your true colors, be they red, white or blue. The city of Whitefish’s fireworks show over Whitefish Lake is a mesmerizing spectacle as thousands of people gather on land, at City Beach, and water, converging in floatillas to watch the beautiful array of fireworks. The show begins shortly after dusk on July 4. Bigfork’s “Ducks for Bucks” event starts July at 4 p.m. when a flock of rubber ducks speeds down the Swan River’s “Wild Mile.” Risking life and wing, these ducks race to the Old Steel Bridge in an effort to snatch a first prize of $200. The second-place duck wins $100 and third duck wins $50. Now that’s something to quack about. Ducks can be purchased for $5 or six for $25. Proceeds go to the Bigfork High School Scholarship Program. For more information, call 406-837-5888.

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Glacier Bank President Bob Nystuen n the same day in May, Bob and Kim Nystuen arrived at a pair of rather impressive milestones. Bob celebrated his 18th anniversary at Glacier Bank, the last 10 of which he has served as its president. His wife Kim enjoyed her retirement after 13 years of teaching at Flathead High School. The Nystuens are familiar faces in the Flathead Valley. Both Bob and Kim have a long history of staying actively involved in several civic and community-minded organizations while raising their three boys, Carl, Steven and Andy. Flathead Living magazine asked Bob about his community stewardship and the joys of living and playing in the Flathead. Flathead Living: You’re very involved in the community, serving on various boards and organizations. Why have you gotten so involved, and how do you juggle all of that while being president of Glacier Bank? Bob Nystuen: The employees at Glacier Bank have a responsibility to participate in community service, to serve and support the mission and values of Glacier Bank. As bank president, I like to set the pace for community service; not because it’s in our job descriptions, but because it creates the winning combination of community betterment, personal enrichment and it builds business relationships. Serving on numerous boards, like Flathead Valley Community College Board of Trustees, the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce and the Glacier National Park Conservancy, is an extension of my job at the bank. I could not be as engaged in the community without the unwavering support of my teammates at Glacier Bank and my family. FL: When and how did you end up in the Flathead Valley? Nystuen: My wife, Kim, our three sons and I came to the Flathead Valley in


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1996. We had previously lived in Livingston, Bozeman and most recently, Miles City. Our family always had a desire to locate to a community in western Montana with all the opportunities and amenities we have here. All three sons graduated from Flathead High School, with Andy and Carl graduating from Montana State University and Steven graduating from the University of Montana. With Kim being a Griz, we are truly a “house-divided” on Cat-Griz game day. FL: What keeps you here? Why do you like living in the Flathead? Nystuen: A common response would be the natural beauty of the Flathead Valley, with Glacier National Park, the lakes, mountains, skiing, golfing and an unlimited number of outdoor pursuits. As for Kim and me, we live here because of the people, our family, friends, business associates, and of course, all the amenities we love. FL: What have been some of your favorite

memories of living here? Nystuen: Our favorite memories and events would revolve around family activities and youth sports. From the day we arrived in the Flathead Valley, our guys were involved in hockey, baseball, football, track, skiing and golf. Kim and I became friends with a countless number of parents and kids and those friendships have been incredibly rewarding for our Nystuen family. FL: If someone visited you in the summer hoping to have the ultimate Flathead Valley experience in one day, what would that day include? Nystuen: An ideal day in the Flathead Valley in the summer would include boating on Flathead Lake with family and friends. We thoroughly enjoy boating to the south end of the lake for a change of scenery, having a community raft-up with multiple pontoons or the “Nystuen Swim Club,” our version of a relaxing afternoon of swimming, food and fun.  FL

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Inka Clothing Co. hen April Holmquist decided to get in the clothing-design and manufacturing business in December 2012, she started in the smallest way possible: baby outfits. But the inspiration behind her decision to become a designer couldn’t have been bigger: her daughter, Inka, needed some new duds, and Holmquist hadn’t found that perfect clothing line. So instead of compromising, she made her own. That was the beginning of what has blossomed into a full-on clothing company, Inka Clothing Co., named for her first, tiny source of inspiration. Late last summer, Holmquist, who grew up in Columbia Falls and studied clothing design in Seattle, moved away from baby clothes and began making and selling women’s apparel. It’s moved Inka to a new business realm, she said, and has Holmquist making plans of wholesale possibilities. Her clothes are a style all their own, which Holmquist describes as “alternative gypsy punk,” and the lines include skirts, shirts, pants, coats, dresses and more. And while the styling is attractive to buyers, what goes into the clothes is another major selling point. “All of my fabric is either new, organic cotton made in the USA or purchased fair trade, or I upcycle a lot, using T-shirts from thrift shops and yard sales,” Holmquist said. “My organic skirts, they sell pretty quick.” She runs her business as “greenly” as possible, Holmquist said, using scentless, dye-free organic cleaner for used fabric pieces, and she tries to be as close to waste neutral as possible when it comes to her fabrics. Holmquist also takes custom orders, which have proven popular among her clients. She recently filled orders to the East Coast and California, as well as Queensland, Australia. There was an Inka Clothing Co. storefront in Kalispell for a while, but Holmquist shuttered it in favor of using those overhead funds to pay for more


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fabric so she can move into the wholesale business. She’s looking at boutique options on the West Coast, specifically Portland and Seattle, and is also searching for Montana outlets as well. Holmquist’s recent, positive experiences with local farmers markets this summer have only reinforced her confidence that people want to buy what she’s making. And since she’s the designer and manufacturer, customers buying her organic clothing are paying less than what they might pay for other brands. Patrons can find her pieces at farmers markets, as well as major arts and crafts festivals throughout the summer. As for her future, Holmquist hopes to get her bachelor’s degree in fashion to help boost her business, but otherwise continue to make her signature clothes. “I’m making simple, comfortable clothes that are easy to wear,” she said. “In fashion, what you’re making really speaks for itself.” For more information on Inka Clothing Co., visit www.inkaclothing. FL





Swiftcurrent Creek near Lake Sherburne on the east side of Glacier National Park. S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G



Summer’s Attraction The full impact of tourism as one of the state’s most valuable industries will be felt most in the next few months MONTANANS ARE PROUD OF THEIR MONIKER: THE LAST BEST

Place. They’ll even go to court to protect it. When a businessman from Las Vegas tried to claim exclusive rights over the phrase more than a decade ago, the entire Treasure State seemingly banded together in an uproarious fervor. Even the state’s governor and D.C. delegation joined in the outrage, and eventually a law was passed that forbade it being trademarked. All of that’s to say, Montana cherishes its unique identity. A re-

$ 3.62


Estimated money spent by tourists across the state in 2013, a 10.7 percent increase over the previous year

cent Gallup poll found Montanans had the most state pride in the U.S., even more so than the ever-prideful Texans. So, it’s not hard to imagine that this whole tourism phenomenon — 11 million out-of-staters and growing annually — can raise a few hairs on the necks of the 1 million residents rooted in Big Sky Country. Yet the state has benevolently embraced its visitors and shared their scenic amenities, recognizing the important value to the economy that tourism brings.



Estimated nonresident spending in Northwest Montana



2,112,000 1,971,101

Visitors to Glacier Park between June and September last year

Combined visitation at Montana’s 54 state park sites, the highest on record and a 28 percent increase over the 10-year trend





Visitors to Glacier National Park in 2013, the most since 2010 and third most on record

Percentage of visitors who said they came to Montana for “vacation/recreation/pleasure”

Total visitors to state parks in the Northwest region surrounding Kalispell, the third highest region total in the state

Visitors to Wayfarers State Park near Bigfork, the most for a state park in the Kalispell region and fifth most for the entire state

“Last year was a record year for tourism in Montana. We had over 11 million people visit the state in search of their own #MontanaMoment, and the Flathead Valley was a key destination for many of those visitors. Those visits would not be possible without the dedicated work of folks in the Flathead who spend every day ensuring as rich an experience as one can have anywhere in the world.” - Gov. Steve Bullock 28

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VACATION ITINERARY What visitors did when they visited Big Sky Country SCENIC DRIVING













What tourists spent the most money on GASOLINE/DIESEL











$134.5 MILLION


$67.46 MILLION


$45.39 MILLION


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Montana appointed its first brand inspectors in 1885. Over a century later, technology has changed their job but not their fundamental duties: protecting livestock owners and preserving the “classical language of the American West.”


he lawman tilts his cowboy hat to block the descending

sun and steers his horse into a pasture where a herd of cattle grazes. He studies each cow’s brand, looking for anything out of place, which could be a sign of cattle rustling, or maybe just a stray cow or innocent branding mishap. It’s his job to enforce the sacred livestock laws of the American West. On the open range, he carries a firearm for protection and rope for rounding up animals. After spotting a suspicious brand, he looks around. Cattle rustlers don’t take kindly to law enforcement. Then he reaches into the pocket of his jeans and does what

ABOVE: Ernie McCaffree demonstrates how to use the Montana Department of Livestock app to look up a brand. OPPOSITE: Ernie McCaffree,

Western Montana Supervisor Enforcement Investigator with the Department of Livestock, is seen on his property off U.S. Highway 2 north of Kalispell.

any good frontier detective would do: he pulls out his iPhone. Brand inspection? There’s an app for that. S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G


umans have branded livestock to mark ownership for thousands of years, with paintings found in tombs depicting ancient Egyptians branding oxen. Europeans brought the practice over to the United States, where it became an indispensable tool for cattlemen in the free-range, 19th century West, including Montana. The state Department of Livestock and Montana Historical Society have catalogued brands on microfilm dating back to 1873, an undertaking made possible by a donation from author Ivan Doig and his wife. It was Doig’s way of memorializing brands, which he calls the “classical language of the American West.” In Montana, some brands have been in continuous use for well over a century, while new ones are constantly registered with the state. They may be deeply personal, made up of letters and symbols of great importance to the owner, or they may be strictly professional, created simply to distinguish ownership without sentiment. But they all tell stories: of family, of origins, of relationships between people and animals. And those stories carry great meaning



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in a state where agriculture has remained the largest industry through decades of profound societal and ecological change, which means the protectors of those stories are fundamentally vital to both Montana’s economy and its cultural heritage. We call those protectors brand inspectors, and we rely on them to preserve the integrity of our classical language. With modern innovations such as apps that access state brand databases, inspectors’ jobs may look different today but their core duties remain largely unchanged from 1885, when Montana’s territorial government appointed seven inspector-detectives to combat rustling, the term used for livestock theft. The Department of Livestock says those detectives represented the first law enforcement agency in Montana, which didn’t achieve statehood until 1889. Leading up to the Montana Territory’s famous “Cowboy Legislature” of 1885, which provided the legal structure and authority for appointing the first brand inspectors, widespread rustling had prompted ranchers to take justice into their own hands. A cattleman named Granville Stuart, president of the newly established Montana Stockgrowers Association, directed a vigilante operation in 1884 to hunt down rustlers.

A branding iron is seen under construction in a small shed where Ernie McCaffree, a stock inspector and detective, makes custom brands on his property.

“Stuart’s Stranglers,” as the vigilantes would become known, killed at least 30 men and perhaps as many as 60, with the vehement support of a rancher on the North Dakota border named Theodore Roosevelt. Teddy would go on to become president of the United States, while Stuart would also go into politics, heading up the Montana Board of Stock Commissioners that laid the groundwork for formal brand enforcement at the 1885 Legislature. As members of one of Montana’s oldest law enforcement brethrens, today’s stock investigators take deep pride in their jobs, which are as quintessential to the mystique of the American West as they are essential to a healthy livestock industry. While there are hundreds of regular brand inspectors across the state, only 21 are licensed investigators in the vein of those original seven: gun-toting lawmen who wield the greatest power in the

fight against livestock crimes. Investigators perform many of the same tasks as other inspectors – checking brands, logging information about livestock and its owners with the state – but they have also received their certifications from the Montana Law Enforcement Academy. If they or other inspectors suspect a crime, including modern-day cattle and horse rustling, it’s their responsibility to initiate an investigation and use their law enforcement authority to solve the case. That includes C.S.I.-like forensic work, interrogations and arrests. They drive big pickups with sirens and the title painted on the side, “Stock Inspector and

Investigator,” distinguishing them from other inspectors. They’re the type of tough-as-nails, cowboy hat-wearing lawmen we see in Western movies, except they have iPhones in their pockets. “We have as much arrest authority as any county sheriff or highway patrolman,” says Tom Harmon, district investigator for Flathead, Lincoln and Lake counties, and a portion of Sanders County. Harmon has been in the brand inspection business for 40 years. Like other investigators, he started out as a regular inspector. He spent years as the market inspector for the Kalispell livestock auction, which closed in


LEFT: Tom Harmon, a stock investigator, listens as Ernie McCaffree talks about the rules of branding, including brand placement, using McCaffree’s son’s horse as an example. RIGHT: The brand of Ernie McCaffree’s son is seen on the hindquarters of a horse on McCaffree’s property off U.S. Highway 2 north of Kalispell.

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2003 following years of decline. He says more than 50,000 cattle moved through the Kalispell auction in a single year in the 1970s. By the time it shut down, that number had dwindled to fewer than 3,000. The closest auction is now in Missoula, one of 13 statewide. Ernie McCaffree, the Department of Livestock’s supervisor for western Montana and also a certified investigator, has been in the brand business for 35 years, often working alongside Harmon. They both live in the Kalispell area. Like Harmon, McCaffree speaks of the changes in Northwest Montana’s livestock industry with both lament and marvel. While cattle have sharply decreased, McCaffree says horses have increased, though not a lot of them are used for traditional agricultural purposes. “They’re recreational horses,” says McCaffree, whose job as supervisor covers both major branches of the livestock department: brand enforcement and veterinary animal health. Whether people own stock for English-style equestrian riding or ranch work or meat, it’s their choice whether to brand their animals. Montana law doesn’t require it, but McCaffree says it’s typically in their best interest to do so. The reasons include both the nefarious and the more commonplace: an animal might be stolen, though that’s not as widespread today, or it might simply wander off, ending up as a lone stray or getting mixed up in a different herd. Either way, owners have a lot better chance of getting their animals back if they’re marked. “You’re doing it for your own protection,” McCaffree says. 36

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If livestock owners choose to brand their animals, they must register the brands with the Department of Livestock. Under state law, stock in Montana must undergo inspections when transported across county and state lines, and during change of ownership. Whenever an animal goes to auction for sale, inspectors look for a brand and make sure everything is in order. If there’s no brand, they could be looking at a stolen animal and have no way of knowing. In addition to state-employed inspectors, there are also 509 local, or county, inspectors. These are typically ranchers or other residents with knowledge of livestock who receive fees per inspection. Livestock owners might call them if a state inspector isn’t available or for any number of other reasons. County inspectors keep their fees, while salaried state inspectors give them to the state. The agriculture department maintains a database of registered brands, which can be accessed online or through the app. And every 10 years, the department updates its “Brand Bible,” a hefty book containing all of the state’s recorded brands. Other agricultural states and Canadian provinces have their own books. Annually, inspectors from across the Western U.S. and Canada gather at an International Livestock Identification Association conference, which changes locations from year to year, in what amounts to a Woodstock for brand geeks. They come armed with Brand Bibles, ready to compare and contrast the newest North American brand fashions. The next update for Montana’s Brand Bible is 2021. New brands will be added and inactive ones will either

Pointing to pages covered in registered brands, McCaffree, right, describes the components of a livestock brand and how they are read as Harmon, left, looks on. There are 50,690 brands recorded with the State of Montana.

be sold or go idle. Inevitably, a number of owners will have moved away or died, rendering the brand inactive. There are currently more than 50,000 brands recorded in Montana. Brands contain up to three characters, consisting of any combination of letters, numbers and symbols, so long as they don’t duplicate an existing recorded brand. Some look like straightforward initials, while others seem as if they’re from an algebra equation or secret language. Inspectors use a common lingo so they can understand each other: an “H” that has a “D” coming off its right bottom is “H hangs a D.” Symbols can include anything from hearts and diamonds to stick figure human legs. Traditionally, livestock owners have used a red-hot iron rod with their brand’s pattern on the end. The iron is pressed against the animal’s hide, leaving behind a dark mark. Though hot irons are still widely used, more people are employing freeze branding, in which either dry ice and alcohol or liquid nitrogen cools the iron rod to an extremely low temperature. The hair grows back white, particularly helpful for dark-haired stock. Both methods require an iron that has been specifically shaped to the brand’s orderly arrangement of characters. McCaffree is part of a small fraternity of branding iron-makers in Montana. At his Kalispell home, he hammers and welds pieces of iron together to create the custom-made tools. Cows are branded on the ribs, shoulder or hip. Horses are branded on the shoulder, hip, neck or jaw, but not the ribs. It’s up to the owner to do a good job. “It’s only as good as it’s put on,” Harmon says. “The brand is their return address back if they go missing.” Cattle and horse rustling is no longer a hanging offense, but it’s a felony crime punishable by a lengthy jail sentence and large fine. Nor is it as prevalent as in

those troubled days of the 1880s, especially in Montana, McCaffree says. He attributes much of that to the state’s strong inspection system. Some states have dropped horse inspection requirements, while others just have less stringent laws than Montana’s. For one, Montana is unusual in requiring inspections when animals are transported across county lines. States generally only require inspections for leaving the state or at the point of sale. That means livestock in Montana is under much more frequent surveillance. “I wouldn’t want to try stealing anything in this state,” McCaffree says. “There’s too many eyes and ears out there.” But crime does occur. In 2011, the Montana Department of Livestock in conjunction with the Nevada Department of Agriculture recovered 34 cows and 25 yearlings and calves that had been stolen in Montana. The 59 animals were found in the high desert near the Nevada-California border. Also in 2011, Reuters published a story with the headline, “Western States Report Comeback in Cattle Rustling.” The story described rustlers using four-wheelers and GPS technology across the West, in part responding to the poor economy. In Montana alone, investigators had recovered more than 7,300 stolen or missing cattle worth nearly $8 million in the previous three years, and those figures were thought to represent only a fraction of the real totals. “What you see as far as figures from livestock departments is a drop in the bucket from what’s been going on,” Kim Baker, president of the Montana Cattlemen’s Association, said in the article. McCaffree and Harmon have both recovered stolen horses, including one horse returned to its owner after 12 years missing. They’ve also encountered senseless

LEFT: Keith Bond, a stock inspector and detective with the Department of Livestock, records and checks the brands on a load of cattle unloaded at the Missoula Livestock Exchange. Originally from Billings, Bond is the District 10 Inspector covering Missoula, Ravalli, Mineral, most of Sanders and a “sliver” of Lake counties. Bond’s father, Tyler Bond, is the Montana Livestock Inspector for District 21. RIGHT: A branding iron for a horse is seen on a table in an office on Ernie McCaffree’s property. The brand is specifically for freeze branding, which uses liquid nitrogen to create a mark that remains white as the hair grows back.

“It’s only as good as it’s put on. The brand is their return address back if they go missing.” Tom Harmon, district investigator for Northwest Montana

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killing. Harmon recalls when somebody shot five cows dead, seemingly just for the hell of it. Harmon tracked him down and arrested him. The shooter was charged with felony criminal mischief and forced to pay restitution, which at the time was around $800-900 per head but now would be more than $2,000 each. Investigators act on tips, calls from stock owners and their own observations and inclinations. They conduct horseback patrols to “look for anything out of place,” Harmon says. “It keeps guys honest,” McCaffree says of the patrols. If they see something that requires further examination, they have to rope the suspect animal while on horseback, jump off the horse and tie it to a fence or tree or anything that can secure the animal while they examine it. This requires supreme horsemanship and roping skills, which means it’s necessary for investigators to have ranching or perhaps rodeo backgrounds. Dim brands or other innocent mistakes usually end up being the reasons for drawing investigators’ attention, but more sinister deeds may also be at play. Sometimes it requires a meeting with the owner, who isn’t always excited to see a detective at his front door. 38

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McCaffree recoils his rope after demonstrating how stock inspectors separate an animal from the group.

“But they usually come around after you talk to them for awhile,” Harmon says with the authority of somebody who knows how to make people “come around.” As with any profession, many aspects of investigators’ jobs are mundane, others fairly strange. McCaffree tells the story of an animal hoarder. When he showed up with Harmon and several other investigators at the man’s property, they found a home as littered with junk inside as animals outside. They rounded up 100 pigs, which were “running wild” and living in unsuitable conditions, to transport to the auction in Billings. While they were there, the owner offered them stale doughnuts. They declined, so he gave them to the pigs. It turns out the man had been feeding his pigs, cattle and horses exclusively stale bread products that grocery stores were throwing out. Investigators later took away the man’s horses and cattle as well. “The horses and pigs actually did OK with bread and doughnuts,” McCaffree says. “But

the cattle need roughage for cud. They weren’t doing too good.” With 75 years of brand inspection experience between them, McCaffree and Harmon are a lot closer to the end of their careers than the beginning. In an era where auctions close down due to lack of livestock and younger generations have a closer relationship to their smartphone than the land, it’s fair to wonder what the future holds for the profession. When the old-timers like Harmon and McCaffree retire, will there be equally skilled replacements waiting in the wings? The answer, as it has been for more than a century, appears to be yes. Look no further than Keith Bond, district investigator for the Missoula area. Bond is the son of another investigator, Tyler Bond, who patrols Powder River and Carter counties in the state’s distant southeastern corner. Half the age of many of his counterparts, Bond represents a new generation of brand inspectors eager to take up the torch. If anything, the young guys probably know their way around an iPhone better than the old-timers. And in today’s world, that goes a long way no matter what language you speak, even if it’s the classical language of the American West. FL

BRANDS BY THE NUMBERS 50,690 brands currently recorded in Montana

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year of earliest brands inventoried on microfilm by Montana Historical Society


year of first appointed brand inspectors, making them the oldest law enforcement agency in Montana


certified livestock investigators in Montana


cattle that passed through Kalispell auction in single year in 1970s


cattle that passed through Kalispell auction before closing down in 2003

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‘A Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity’



n a letter dated Jan. 14, 1931, the great Western painter O.C. Seltzer thanked a Great Falls doctor for elk meat. Seltzer told Dr. E.D. Hitchcock that he received the meat “just at the right time, and it was fine.” He went on to wish Hitchcock the best of luck in getting the elk’s head mounted, “so it will be a credit to your den.” The artist illustrated his letter’s background with a hunter approaching a fallen elk, a herd of elk on a grassy hill, and a grizzly bear – or a “Silver-Tip,” in Seltzer’s words – standing on its hind legs in front of a yellow-orange sun. “The next time you (sic) back into the sticks,” Seltzer concluded, “I hope you’ll get that much cherished prize, a Silver-Tip.” The relatively mundane conversational content of Seltzer’s letter does nothing to diminish its historical intrigue. On the contrary, it provides a more enlightening glimpse into early-20th century Montana life than any policy-weighted exchange between political figures that might make a history textbook but, outside of academic and political wonk circles, is less interesting than an earnest celebration of unspoiled elk meat. Through its words and brush strokes, Seltzer’s letter carries us to a specific time and place from our collective Western past, a trip worth taking, and we have a doctor to thank for having the opportunity to take that trip. Not Dr. Hitchcock, but Dr. Van Kirke Nelson. The Seltzer letter is from the private collection of art, artifacts and books that Dr. Nelson, a longtime physician at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, and his wife Helen have accumulated over the course of more than a half-century. The Nelsons are recognized across the West as major collectors, donating to a long list of museums, historical societies and public schools nationwide. Now the Flathead’s general public gets a chance to see this celebrated private collection firsthand at a Hockaday Museum of Art exhibit entitled, “A Journey Through History: Art and Artifacts from the Collection of Dr. Van Kirke and Helen Nelson,” on display through July 26. The Hockaday is touting the exhibit as a “rare public display of elements of a world-class collection.” “We are honored and humbled the Nelsons graciously agreed the Hockaday was the appropriate venue to present this remarkable show,” says Elizabeth Moss, the museum’s director and exhibit’s curator. “This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the community to share the Nelsons’ passion for collecting.” Last fall, Nelson was awarded the Kalispell Chamber of Commerce’s 2013 “Great Chief ” award, a prestigious lifetime achievement honor reserved for someone who has profoundly impacted the local community through civic and volunteer work. Nelson’s legacy has left an imprint across the Flathead all the way to Helena and even to distant U.S. Senate chambers in Washington D.C.

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Dr. Van Kirke Nelson, right, and his wife Helen.



“Farewell to Yesterday” NELSON COLLECTION O.C. SELTZER

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“Yes, The Mice People Always Make Their Nests in the Heads of the Dead Buffalo People, Ever Since the Night.” NELSON COLLECTION C. M. RUSSELL 1864-1926


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“Every day he changed lives and made the Flathead Valley and Montana a better place to live,” former Sen. Max Baucus said on the Senate floor after Nelson announced his retirement in 2002. Among the many highlights from his 41-year career as a physician, Nelson delivered nearly 5,000 newborn babies; helped found the ALERT Air Ambulance and Flathead Outpatient Surgical Center; lobbied in the political sphere for patients receiving inadequate treatment; carved a reputation as the valley’s largest and most welcoming provider


Blackfeet in Browning NELSON COLLECTION JOSEPH H. SHARP 1859-1953

RIGHT: Grand Canyon NELSON COLLECTION C. O. BORG 1879-1947

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for pregnant women on Medicaid; and mentored countless young doctors. But through all of his tireless professional and community work, Nelson managed to find time for his other passion: collecting. He started collecting antiques six decades ago when he was a medical student, a casual hobby that blossomed into a serious pursuit over the years. Nelson first came to Montana in the early 1950s after answering a newspaper ad for a summer camp counselor position. Working at Flathead Lake’s Blue Bay, he fell in love with


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“What our overall impact has been is to try to tie in the best way that we can to keep artifacts in Montana. We have never sold artifacts. We have given them away to museums that have a like interest.” - The Nelsons

Big Sky Country. He returned the following year for the same job and then for good in 1962, when he set up his Kalispell practice. Then in 1964, as they were building their reputation as collectors, the Nelsons were invited to join the Montana Centennial Train, which, covered in murals, carried 300 Montanans on a 30-day trip to 16 cities. In Washington D.C., the Nelsons presented a Montana Centennial gold coin to President Lyndon Johnson. Through the decades, the Nelsons’ private collection swelled to include troves of work by many of the West’s most famous late-19th and early-20th century artists. The Hockaday exhibit features pieces by Seltzer, Edgar S. Paxson, Charles Fritz, Fred Fellows, John Fery, Joseph Henry Sharp, Carl Rungius, Edward Borein and the legendary Charles Marion Russell, among others. Indigenous artifacts are also on display. “What our overall impact has been is to try to tie in the best way that we can to keep artifacts in Montana,” the Nelsons said in a statement. “We have never sold artifacts. We have given them away to museums that have a like interest.” Throughout the exhibit, visitors can learn more about the collection by taking a docentguided tour on either Thursday or Saturday mornings at 10:30 a.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, $2 for college students and free for both K-12 students and museum members.

Letter to Dr. Hitchcock of Great Falls NELSON COLLECTION BY O.C. SELTZER


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The nonprofit Hockaday is located at 302 Second Ave. E. in Kalispell, and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It can be reached at (406) 755-5268 and found online at www. FL

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discovers a treasure, the hunt is not over – it has only begun. He collects things not simply to possess the object, but also to unearth a story. Kellogg’s collections include a wide variety of treasures – unusual and beautiful stone because he is a stonemason, utilitarian antiques such as a plow or a saw because he loves the timelessness of something useful, and pieces of art largely because of their historical significance. There is a sense of urgency in Kellogg’s collecting, a race to discover the story before it disappears. “I’m not materially possessive,” he said. “I acquire an object and then find out as much as I can about it. It adds meaning to the object. If the story is lost, it can lose its meaning.” During a visit to Denny and Kitty Kellogg’s home near Swan River, you get a glimpse of local history through the nine historic buildings Kellogg has relocated on the property, including a Swan River muskrat trapper cabin, the downtown realty office of Bigfork businessman Bruce Toole and portions of the original Summer Playhouse. Years of collecting include a wide variety of unusual objects – from a hand-carved chicken feeder, to an ornate fainting couch from a brothel, to a large ammonite fossil. Despite the volumes of items and buildings, their placements have been carefully planned and orchestrated. Like each note in a symphonic arrangement, they flow and blend to create beautiful displays and landscape on the property, which includes a pond, flower and vegetable gardens, rock seating arrangements, and several stone-themed structures built by Kellogg – his home, a root cellar and his shop.

ABOVE: The log building owner

and builder’s name probably inscribed over 100 years ago was discovered while cleaning the logs. OPPOSITE: Denny Kellogg stands

outside of the muskrat cabin that swept over 10 miles down Swan River and Swan Lake to rest near Kellogg’s Swan River waterfront property where it was retrieved and reconstructed.

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TOP: The muskrat trapper cabin teeters over

Swan River before it was swept away during record stream flows in April 2012. BOTTOM: Kellogg fine tunes the rock work in the hand-hewn 1888 cabin that he helped reconstruct for Randy and Jennifer Wright on their Swan River property.

Lean and limber, Kellogg moves quickly, gesturing with his hands, his green eyes flashing as he rattles off facts and figures regarding some of the items in his collection. Collecting is only a small part of his pursuit. He also collects information, preserved by a photographic memory that allows him to pull up volumes of facts and figures as if they are files on a computer or books from a catalogued library shelf. He has shared his collection and knowledge at numerous local shows curated for the Bigfork Museum of Art and History and the Hockaday Museum in Kalispell, including “The American Bison;” “Homesteading and Beyond: A Peek at Rural Montana Life from 1900-1930;” “Hallowed Waters,” images of Montana photographers; and an exhibit featuring the Kelloggs’ extensive collection of early Montana photographer Herman Schnitzmeyer. Kellogg’s collection continues to evolve. He grew up in Iowa, a precocious kid whose intelligence and energy could be challenging for superiors at a public school where he said he was fortunate to receive a classical education that included two years of Latin. During his first year in college he was nearly shipped out to Vietnam when he came up No. 4 in the draft, but President Nixon ended the draft before his scheduled departure. The near miss inspired an interest in government and he attended Iowa State University where he earned a degree in political science and studied economics. He became immersed in academia with a teaching assistantship at ISU until the cancellation of summer classes spurred a trip to Montana where he backpacked in Glacier National Park and the Bob Marshall Wilderness. The solitary journey


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became a sort of mission quest and Kellogg emerged from the experience saying, “Screw the academic world.” But Kellogg’s insatiable appetite for learning continued. A new life in Montana included finding a new profession. His experience working with a stonemason after high school led him to join a friend in a stonemason business. Eventually he started his own business and established himself as a gifted mason with creative projects like a serpentine, arched entry gate at the historic Kootenai Lodge on Swan Lake. In 1991 Kellogg says it was like someone flipped a switch and he has been busy ever since. His wife Kitty worked alongside him for more than 24 years, completing work at Kootenai Lodge, Smoking Rock Ranch, Swan Lake Estates and numerous custom homes in the Flathead. Despite the long days, he continues to find time to pursue his interest in history and collectibles. Most recently he merged his interests in history and construction through reconstructing two historical log cabins. Cabins he previously acquired were jacked up, skidded and trailered to their new locations, but the next cabin came to him, carried by waterpower and delivered almost to his doorstep. In April 2012, during record stream flows, his neighbor Randy Wright summoned him 50

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Kellogg relaxes at home after work with wife, Kitty, and their golden retriever, Aura, on a stone seating arrangement he designed and constructed.

to see the peculiar wood structure that had floated onto the riverbank in front of Wright’s home near the foot of Swan Lake. Kellogg immediately recognized it as the roof and gable of a muskrat trapper cabin that had been perched precariously on the river bank near the head of Swan Lake, over 10 miles away. The cabin was cousin of the Montana Muskrat Co. building Kellogg purchased for $14 from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service through a sealed bid in 1978 when the Swan River National Wildlife Refuge was established and all the buildings were sold except for one small log cabin, whose location on the riverbank near wetlands made it difficult to remove. It was offered to neighbors Dick and Bev Sherman, but because of the challenge of relocation, the cabin was never moved. When Kellogg told the Shermans of its departure down the river they offered ownership to the Kelloggs. Kellogg’s acquisition of the cabin ignited a treasure hunt. Kellogg and Wright were convinced that they could find additional pieces of the cabin and began to search the river and

lake for logs and pieces that had broken away from the roof. Their efforts were rewarded when they discovered most of the cabin logs washed ashore in the Emerald Bay area, more than 2 miles upstream. Denny said the logs were resting at the base of a gigantic ponderosa pine that still bore scars where Native Americans harvested the cambium long ago. “The logs were edged up against another part of history,” Kellogg said. Next they snorkeled the river bottom in search of the galvanized steel shakes that were missing from the roof. Speculation that they had shaken loose when they bounced around in the rocks before landing at the Wrights proved correct and they were able to retrieve many of the shingles. As fate would have it, Kellogg was able to fill in the gaps with a bundle of shingles that had been included in the other Montana Muskrat Co. building he obtained 34 years before. The two spent much of their free time that summer reassembling and repairing the cabin on the Kelloggs’ riverfront property. The cabin provided a perfect display area for items in Kellogg’s collection, including muskrat drying boards built by his father for trapping in the 1930s and 40s. Kellogg also did some trapping in his youth, giving him a special connection to the cabin and reviving a high school memory of a speech where he

ABOVE: Kellogg chips a rock to make it fit in a rock wall in a historic cabin. LEFT: Kellogg furnished the cabin with items from his collection, including drying boards, traps, pelts, and a vintage book on mink trapping.

Heidi Long





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skinned, stretched and fleshed a muskrat in three minutes (causing several female classmates to flee the room screaming). Kellogg and Wright’s original plan for brats and beer to celebrate the cabin’s completion grew into a fundraiser for the Hockaday Museum where the Wrights and Kelloggs are on the board of directors. The event was slated for October and, although it was inspired by the trapper cabin, ballooned to include tipis, tents, covered wagons, the construction of log tables and seating, dinner and live music. When it was over, Kellogg and Wright looked at each either and asked, “What now?” Within days they discovered another project that proved that the muskrat cabin was simply a warm-up. Shortly afterwards, while searching online, Kellogg discovered an historic handhewn log cabin for sale in eastern Montana. He called Wright and just two days later they headed over to inspect the building near Raynesford. The Wrights bought the cabin on the spot. The cabin logs were numbered, disassembled and the cabin was delivered to the Wright property in October 2012. The following June they reconstructed the cabin and Kellogg fashioned a device to take out the twists in the logs so that the dovetails would fit precisely once again. The building 52

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Denny and Kitty Kellogg at home with their dog. Kellogg has constructed many rock structures on the property, including this rock gateway.

was taken down while a foundation was laid and then reassembled again. Log craftsman John Pettigrew joined Kellogg and Wright as the cabin took on a new life in its new location. While cleaning the building they discovered an inscription, “A Chambers” with a Masonic “A” carved into one of the logs, which propelled Kellogg into another search. He pulled out the hefty leather-bound 1906 volume of “Progressive Men of Montana” from his bookshelf and found that Alexander Chambers had built the cabin in 1888 at the age of 56. “Most were usually dead at that age,” Kellogg said. The search didn’t end there – he located a great-grandson in Alaska. Cabin construction also triggered additional hunts for authentic and unique ways to finish the cabin. Posts from the Milltown Dam were acquired for the porch, with knots rising out of the wood grain after years of being washed over and eroded by the Blackfoot River. Custom cabinets were made from paneling on a wall that was removed to open up the downstairs space. Antique oil lanterns

are being retrofitted as electrical fixtures and a beautiful wood and steel staircase was designed to tie into the modern element of a glass garage door. Stonework still remains the hallmark of Kellogg’s work, but the cabin reconstructions proved to be another way to apply his talent at putting together the pieces in order to preserve a piece of history. Restoration of the buildings gave them new life – and also new stories. The Wright Cabin will be the centerpiece of their daughter Lexi’s wedding celebration in September. Kellogg has mason projects piled up for the next couple of years that will keep him busy for as long as he wants. He doesn’t like to keep customers waiting nor the pressure of working under deadlines. Most people are willing to wait – because he is one of the best. He is still working on the cabin and a masonry project at Saddlehorn when he gets a call. The heir of Herman Schnitzmeyer’s cameras, gear and negatives is moving into a smaller home and wants Kellogg to have the Schnitzmeyer collection. He has learned from his own research that Kellogg should be the caretaker – he is the one to put together the pieces, to keep the story whole. Kellogg hops in his truck and drives straight to California to claim this prize. Because some things just can’t wait. FL

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In Our Element

Portraits of Montana’s workers and the tools they use to do their jobs

n the summer of 2012, photographer Mandy Mohler collects have the ability to describe people and experiences was accepted into the Artist Wilderness Connection, a more so than their physical appearance alone,” Mohler said. Montana residency program that affords Soon, her project evolved. She began pairartists the opportunity to experience ing her “tooling compositions” with portraits PHOTOGR APHY remote places and produce art in an environof locals who “reflect a classic and somewhat BY MANDY MOHLER ment of extreme solitude. During her stay at old-fashioned idea of Montana and the West.” a U.S. Forest Service cabin in the Great Bear “The Human + Nature Exhibit,” featuring Wilderness, instead of photographing landscapes, she began Mohler’s work, opens July 25 at the Collage Gallery in Bigtaking portraits of the tools and objects she encountered. fork at 573 Electric Ave. For more of her images, visit www. “I believe that the tools or belongings that one uses or


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Big fork Bay



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photo by Gravity Shots




Meadow Lake Resort in Columbia Falls

Life on the Links

hen Alice Ritzman was an up-and-coming golf sensation growing up in Kalispell, she had one nine-hole course where she could play. From the classic fairways of Buffalo Hill Golf Club, she rose in the state’s amateur ranks and achieved her dream of qualifying for the Ladies Professional Golf Association. After a successful career playing professionally for 20 years, Ritzman returned home in 1999, and to her surprise she found a much different landscape. The valley had burgeoned into a golf mecca. Nearly 10 championship tracts of lime-green fairways stretched throughout the vast, scenic interior of the Flathead. Buffalo Hill, tucked in the heart of town, had expanded with another 18 forested holes. Northern Pines, built by two-time U.S. Open Champion Andy North and Roger Packard, arrived in 1996 as a Scottish Links-style course near the banks of the Stillwater River. Village Greens developed near Evergreen between 1992-93 as an 18-hole course surrounded by an emergent, robust residential neighborhood.



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Up north, the Whitefish Lake Golf Club, another historic venue for golfers in Northwest Montana, grew to become the largest site in the valley, with two separate 18-hole north and south courses. The Iron Horse community popped up on the hillside north of Whitefish with a private golf course and 316 homes sites, many of them multi-million dollar homes. Down in Bigfork, near the northern shores of Flathead Lake, Eagle Bend surfaced in multiple phases, and today encompasses 27 holes that are considered among the finest in Montana. Meadow Lake Resort rose on the edge of Columbia Falls, set to the backdrop of Glacier National Park, with 18 holes of similar high quality. The sudden influx of quality courses drew nationwide attention, and Golf Digest named the Flathead Valley a top 50 destination in the U.S. for enthusiasts of the sport. The blossoming has only continued. In the last decade, two top-end courses sprouted up in Eureka: Indian Springs Ranch and The Wilderness Club.


When it comes to playing golf or finding that scenic home along the fairway, homebuyers in the Flathead have a treasure trove of options

Recreational Real Estate

Options for golf enthusiasts and prospective homebuyers alike NORTHERN PINES, KALISPELL Built in 1996 by two-time U.S. Open Champion Andy North and Roger Packard, Northern Pines sits on the northwest outskirts of Kalispell and boasts a unique design combining links-style golf, native grasses and rolling fairways. The back nine traces the scenic Stillwater River. Golf Digest named the course the seventh best venue in Montana in last year’s “Best in State Rankings.” Address: 3230 U.S. 93 North, Kalispell. Call 751-1950, or visit BUFFALO HILL, KALISPELL One of the valley’s classic courses, Buffalo Hill offers golfers two quality options: the Cameron Nine or the Championship 18, just minutes from Kalispell’s historic downtown. Address: 1176 N. Main St., Kalispell. Call 756-4530, or visit VILLAGE GREENS, KALISPELL Built atop an empty alfalfa field between 1992-93, this popular 18-hole course is tucked amid a residential setting with quality fairways wrapped around water features and the idyllic mountain vista in the backdrop. It’s a good venue for golfers of all abilities and features a driving range that’s one of the favorite tune-up spots in Kalispell. Address: 500 Palmer Dr., Kalispell. Call 7524666, or visit WHITEFISH LAKE, WHITEFISH One of Montana’s premier golf venues, this 36-hole complex is the largest in the valley and one of the historic catalysts of the sport. Adjacent to Whitefish and Lost Coon lakes, the courses both offer scenic opportunities that rank the overall experience as one of the finest in the state. Address: 1200 U.S. 93 North, Whitefish. Call 862-5960, or visit EAGLE BEND, BIGFORK Long considered one of the top courses in the state, Eagle Bend is an exceptional 27-hole venue that provides all the admired qualities of Montana’s outdoors, including fairways that wind through a forested landscape in front of soaring mountains. William Hull designed the original 18 holes three decades ago; the Eagle 9 was completed in 1984 and the Osprey 9 in 1988. The Bear 9 was designed by Nicklaus Design and opened in 1995. The practice facilities include everything from a chipping and putting green to an expansive driving range just minutes from downtown Bigfork. Address: 279 Eagle Bend Drive, Bigfork. Call 837-7310, or visit

MEADOW LAKE, COLUMBIA FALLS This 18-hole course, on the edge of Columbia Falls and set to the backdrop of Glacier National Park, boasts itself as the most challenging layout in the valley. It’s long been considered one of the top public courses in the state and earned Golf Digest’s 4.5 star rating. It features full practice facilities and quality dining opportunities. Address: 490 St. Andrews Dr., Columbia Falls. Call 892-2111, or visit

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GLACIER VIEW, WEST GLACIER This picturesque 18-hole course provides the best surrounding views of any venue around and offers an experience the whole family can enjoy. Founded in 1969, Glacier View is threaded along the edge of the nearby national park and sits in the heart of the Crown of the Continent. Address: 640 Riverbend Dr., West Glacier. Call 888-5471, or visit INDIAN SPRINGS RANCH, EUREKA Weaving through fescue grass that spreads across the historic 69 Ranch, this 18-hole course is entering its fourth season as a popular attraction for golf enthusiasts. Only an hour north of Whitefish, this course draws inspiration from links-style venues with a unique touch of Western character. Nearby RV lots are available for visitors looking for a multi-day vacation, and the residential community is full of recreational opportunities. Address: 3082 U.S. 93 North, Eureka. Call 889-5056, or visit THE WILDERNESS CLUB, EUREKA Nick Faldo, the winner of six PGA major championships, designed this 18-hole venue along with renowned course architects Lee Schmidt and Brian Curley. It opened in 2009 as a private facility and is now available to the public. Sitting just outside Eureka in a peaceful setting, the Wilderness Club ranks as one of the finest golf experiences in the state. Address: 1885 Sophie Lake Rd., Eureka. Call 889-6501, or visit www.thewildernessclub. com CABINET VIEW, LIBBY With the Cabinet Mountains rising in the background, this newly remodeled 18-hole course has become a popular destination in the Kootenai since it opened in 1955. The layout is everything Montana golf could offer with the unique setting of lakes, an array of trees and the expansive mountain range in the forefront. Address: 458 Cabinet View Rd., Libby. Call 293-7332, or visit

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So what explains this local golf boom? “A lot of people vacation here. So I think there was a need for a lot of golf courses for people who want to spend three or four months of the year here,” Ritzman says. “There was a need to have a place to be able to play.” Indeed, the outdoor playground that is the Flathead has thrived as a vacation destination, especially among Canadians living just north in Alberta. Tourism in general has proliferated, and as a result more second homebuyers have discovered this area as an ideal getaway. “Where to Retire” magazine the last two years has highlighted this area as a great place to retire — “The communities that make up Flathead Valley appeal to retirees and boomers seeking to trade congested city life for open spaces and outdoor splendor,” says Mary Lu Abbott, editor of the magazine. Ritzman is now a realtor in the valley who regularly meets prospective homebuyers, including vacationers who don’t want to leave, and oftentimes the search leads to a new life on the links. “People love seeing the green grass and the trees and water features that generally go along with golf courses,” she says. “There’s also more comfort. Golf courses tend to be nice residential neighborhoods that are pretty safe. People know there are going to be nice homes in those neighborhoods.” Another perk of living near a golf course is the stable property values; being surrounded by amenities within nice neighborhoods keeps a home well priced, Ritzman says. “It’s a pretty safe investment when it comes to property prices,” she says. “The value stays.” The world-class courses spread across the valley and have been catalysts to picturesque neighborhoods that have developed over the last few decades. 68

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TOP: Indian Springs Golf

Course in Eureka. BOTTOM: Eagle Bend Golf

Course in Bigfork.



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TOP: The Wilderness Club in Eureka.

Joyce Mitchell, with Mitchell & Associates Real Estate near Eagle Bend, agrees that the golf community is unique and idyllic. “It creates a very nice setting and a peaceful setting,” Mitchell says. “You have all of the amenities.” Mitchell has seen many retirees who flock to the Flathead land along Eagle Bend or other courses. “Younger retirees, who may be up in their age but are more physically fit, love the lifestyle of living (in a golf course community),” Mitchell says. Then there’s the strong appeal to Canadians. “(Canadians) love to play golf. Even when it’s cold and rainy outside, they’re having a blast,” says Kerin Gayner with Meadow Lake Resort. Meadow Lake has evolved over the years to include several vacation home rentals and time shares within the resort, which features a suite of community aspects like Truby’s Restaurant, a spa, swimming pools and a fitness center all around the course. Similar situations exist up north in Eureka, where Indian Springs Ranch has developed a recreational lifestyle community intertwined around the golf course. It all comes back to the unique opportunity of living and playing in a comfortable home setting, which the Flathead offers in abundance. “That’s the beauty of the valley, is that literally you can go from everything to a small home lot around the golf course to a multi-million dollar estate and everything in between,” Ritzman says. FL

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BOTTOM: Whitefish Lake Golf Course.

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n all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.” – Aristotle You’ve heard it over and over when talking about window placement and the overall feeling of a room or space: bringing the outdoors in or the connection between inside and out. This couldn’t be a better idea in such a magnificent place as the Flathead Valley. There isn’t a bad spot and most everyone has an attractive view, if even of only their own backyard. What about bringing the indoors … out? Outdoor living is booming, and it’s no wonder. Frequently, out-of-doors is the best part of the house, especially in a location like ours. Whether you have a deck, porch, sunroom, backyard, balcony



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or patio, creating an outdoor living area increases your living space and allows you to enjoy nature; and nature never goes out of style. Extending your living area from the inside out and allowing for continuity from an indoor space to an outdoor space is a great way to make the most of your household. An easy way to achieve this is by incorporating an outdoor living room. It will add appeal and personality to your home, while creating a great place for entertaining or spending quiet time outdoors. Until recently, outdoor areas such as patios, terraces, rooftops, balconies and gardens were typically considered completely separate from the rest of the house.

Outdoor space is becoming as important as indoor space, and the garden and living areas are considered living space as people now want to enjoy the same amenities both indoors and out. The deck or patio isn’t just for the grill anymore. It is actually an outdoor room, sometimes including whole kitchens, fireplaces, and even waterproof electronics. The outdoor experience has evolved. To blur the lines between outdoor and indoor spaces, the outside environment needs to be as useful and comfortable as the inside of your home. The process of creating unified outdoor places is easier now because companies are creating modern, attractive, functional and versatile products that can withstand out-of-doors


Bring the Inside, Out?

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Outdoor settings provide an opportunity to do something unexpected, like hanging furniture from the ceiling.

1001 Trumble Creek Rd. Kalispell, Montana 59901 406.755.8114 environments that look and feel like they were made for an indoor living room. Below are some of the basic elements to create your own outdoor living room.

FURNITURE Patio furniture continues to be the foundation of all outdoor living items. However, the days of rattan furniture and deck chairs are evolving as many outdoor furniture sets now resemble an indoor living room. It’s not uncommon to find cushioned sofas, the kind you want to sink into, and coffee tables in outdoor settings. What makes this space feel as cozy as an indoor family room is the comfort level. An outdoor setting provides a fun opportunity to do something unexpected, like hanging furniture from the ceiling. Wide, comfortable swings the size of sofas, even twin beds, can work perfectly in an outdoor living room. It’s the type of thing most people wouldn’t do indoors as they aren’t nearly as daring inside as they are outside. OUTDOOR FABRIC Whether you’re starting from scratch or just wanting a seasonal refresh, the simplest, most impactful way to update the look of a lifeless backyard is through fabric. The variety of options for outdoor

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use is limitless. Use fabric on throw pillows, draperies, or as upholstery. In fact, use these fabrics indoors as well. Thick, lightweight cushions with weather and fade-resistant fabrics (Sunbrella, for instance) are always solid investments and such an easy way to add print, pattern, and texture. These dry faster and resist mildew. Draperies made of these fabrics help set off the space from the rest of the backyard and allow your design aesthetic to carry through from inside while softening the hard surfaces of the building materials. Not to mention, they’ll provide shade and privacy.

CEILING Installing an awning, pergola, trellis or canopy over your deck or patio will instantly define the area and really make it feel like an actual room that is alfresco. Overhead cover will create a more intimate space, is great for acoustics, and can cut down on glare and excess heat in the summertime. Something retractable will help control light exposure at different times of the day, and in different seasons. A permanent structure will give you a

place to add a ceiling fan to keep the bugs away or a place to add light fixtures (or hang furniture).

LIGHTING At 48 degrees north, the summer night sky is well lit past 10 p.m. However,

ABOVE: Thick, lightweight cushions with weather and faderesistant fabrics are always solid investments. OPPOSITE: Patio furniture

is still the foundation of all outdoor living items.

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Installing an awning, pergola, trellis or canopy over your deck or patio will instantly define the area.

spending time outdoors isn’t necessarily limited to the daylight hours, and auxiliary light is still important. Tiki torches and solar posts stuck in the ground can be nice, but to truly reflect the intimacy of a regular living room, nothing sets the mood like the overhead and tabletop lighting we have inside. And light pointed downward will create a softer, cozier glow. The outdoor lighting industry has improved significantly in recent years, and outdoor fittings can be as stylish and elegant as indoor lighting. Pendants, chandeliers and candelabras are now graded for outside use and can withstand the elements, while they look and act like typical indoor fixtures. For a more casual approach, candle lanterns hung from a hook in the ceiling or placed on tables or railings lend a subtle nighttime glow. They’re also easy to move where you need them and require no wiring. Or maybe even string up some holiday lights in your outdoor spaces for a festive feel. Effective lighting can make your outdoor living space safer and it can also help to transform your yard or deck into an inviting place to spend time after the sun goes down.

RUGS Similar to ceilings, rugs also provide warmth and intimacy by creating a boundary between the room itself and the rest of the elements. They anchor and define the area as 76

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a space. And just like furniture and lighting made for out-of-doors, rugs have certainly come a long way and offer a myriad of colors and patterns to allow your design aesthetic to carry over from inside the house.

FIREPLACE An outdoor living space can be created around a fireplace. The popularity of fire pits and outdoor fireplaces in recent years provides double duty by helping set both mood and temperature, which means you can enjoy your open air living room even when it’s chilly. Well-designed outdoor environments that blend seamlessly with the rest of the style in the house will not only add value to the property and make it look more spacious, but will also make a more enjoyable place to live, creating a visual extension of, and complement to, indoor spaces. Whatever you choose to do with your outdoor space, a fresh-air living room is an easy and inexpensive way to extend your home, your time spent outdoors, and perhaps even provide the feeling of a mini vacation only steps away. Meredith Coopman of Meredith Coopman Design Studio lives in the Flathead Valley. She has a background in architecture and interior design. You can reach her at FL

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Outbuildings he Flathead Valley is a unique place. It’s home to a variety of houses with different styles and designs – and it’s also home to outbuildings of nearly every kind, style, and purpose. Workshops, quonset huts, hay barns, chicken coops, RV ports, loafing sheds – these are some of the obvious outbuildings. But the “quirkier” outbuildings scattered throughout the Flathead Valley tell the best stories – or leave you guessing about their design and purpose. Even long after a “main house” has been updated or remodeled, outbuildings tend to keep their charm and secrets. They’re tell-tale artifacts that often reveal history of bygone times to those who care to listen.


ABOVE: The Wiley family settled in the Flathead Valley in 1884 and built a much-needed water house on their original homestead, which Wiley Dike Road and Wileys Slough were named after. The water house is a testament to craftsmanship, ingenuity, and self-sufficiency of a bygone era. 78

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THE WILEY WATER HOUSE For example, a rather unique outbuilding

stands alongside Wiley Dike Road (and the Wileys Slough). Both bear the name of the Wiley family – Norwegian immigrants who first settled in the Flathead in 1884. The Wileys built a log cabin, tamed the land, and built a dike in the slough that would later become the namesake of the area and the road that runs through it. They also built an outbuilding that has left more than a few passersby wondering what it is exactly. From the outside, the tall, white clapboard-octagon tower looks like many things, but a cupola, lighthouse, or granary it is not. It’s a water house. It’s an outbuilding that houses a large water tank that was placed on a platform inside the top of the structure. It was used to keep water fresh – and keep it from freezing. Water was once pumped into the tank tower by a windmill (which fell down in

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ABOVE: The artist shop of “Scarecrow” Sue Snyder. Her barn signs, scarecrows, and other artwork can be viewed by appointment: (406) 890-9604. This outbuilding once served as a blacksmith’s shop and was originally located a few blocks away.

2008). And below the tank, a stove was kept burning in the winter to keep the water from freezing, which helps explain why the water house has a brick chimney. Also below the water tank, a concrete trough in the ground was used to keep milk, cream and butter from freezing in the winter (yet away from melting near the fire). During the summer, the trough helped keep milk and butter cool, as it was below ground. The water house was built sometime around 1900. The original log homesteader’s cabin – built in 1884 – was made from local larch trees and was recently moved from its initial location on the property and adjoined behind the water house, as it appears today. The Wiley water house is just one example of the many odd-shaped outbuildings throughout the Flathead Valley that may seem strange at first, yet reveal generations of family history and the ways of life of a bygone era.

RAILROAD-TIE MILKING BARN When it comes to outbuildings, “what they are” may seem befuddling – and 80

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“what they are made of ” may seem even more baffling. For example, the cow skulls on the side of a milking barn in Somers state the purpose of the outbuilding rather plainly (as it does the story of its former bovine occupants). The barn sits on what many longtime residents may know as the “Hillcrest Cabin” and reminds us of forlorn times when keeping a dairy cow was both commonplace and necessary. The purpose and shape of the outbuilding may seem obvious, but this milking barn isn’t made of just any plain old wood: it’s made of railroad ties from Somers Lumber Company, the nearby former railroad tie plant and sawmill. The Somers Lumber Company sawmill and railroad tie plant were once a major enterprise of the Flathead Valley, when the company town boasted four churches, 13 bars and a good dozen stores and shops to serve the workers and their families. The company produced more than 600,000 railroad ties per year (19011906). So building a barn from railroad ties (perhaps seemingly odd anywhere

“Outbuildings can conceal their purpose, their history and their origins. Yet sometimes outbuildings may seem ‘lost’ and completely out of place.”

It’s About Their Dreams, Too...

A brewing vat in Lakeside, likely from the late 1800s, that was rebuilt in a backyard in the 1950s. The manhole door bears the trademark of “Wm. Heiser,” who patented a few beer-related inventions in his day.

else) was quite practical, as railroad ties were more easily had than planks or beams.

OUT-OF-PLACE OUTBUILDINGS Speaking of Somers, another nearby example proves that sometimes outbuildings get around a bit. Aside from having remodeled one of the four original churches in Somers, Sue Snyder or “Scarecrow Sue,” has an unmistakable old outbuilding that she uses for her art and design work (some folks mistake it for an antique shop, but it’s not). As with many outbuildings in the valley, this isn’t just any artist studio – and it’s not just any outbuilding. The building is actually more than a century old and an important part of Somers history – and it wasn’t always located where it is today. Looking over some historic photos of Somers shows that Snyder’s outbuilding was once a few blocks away, and more or less at the center of the company shops and businesses. The building was originally a horse tack/ blacksmith shop and later a plumbing shop. It once stood behind what is now Sliter’s Hardware and lumber yard. In 2004, Sliter’s was seeking to expand its operations and this old

shop building stood directly in the path of their plans. Rather than watch the building be burned down (since nobody else had any plans or use for it), Snyder decided to take possession of the old shop and have it moved to her property a few blocks down Somers Road (the site of the old Methodist Church, which she also refurbished and uses as her private residence). With the help of good friends and a topnotch house-moving company, she had the building moved to her property where she’s been creating her art and preserving a piece of the history of Somers ever since.

A “LANDMARK” LOST IN LAKESIDE Outbuildings can conceal their purpose, their history and their origins. Yet sometimes outbuildings may seem “lost” and completely out of place. For example, along the west shore of Flathead Lake in Lakeside a rather peculiar outbuilding can be found. Many have called it a granary, a water tower, or a silo of some sort. But along Bierney Creek Road stands a bright yellow, late nineteenth-century beer vat. Yes, there is a beer vat – once used for brewing beer – in a backyard in Lakeside.

Chris Fraser

Realtor & Business Consultant p: 406.471.3519 e: Download Mobile App at:

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In the late 1950s, Albert Boerner’s father was building a house on their property. While he was building the house, he learned that a large beer vat was going to be dismantled or destroyed. Boerner had other plans and thought the beer vat would make a remarkable “landmark” in the backyard of his new home. So he disassembled the beer vat, moved it and rebuilt it in his backyard some time in the late 1950s – where it has been ever since. The precise origins of the beer vat are unknown, but some speculate it came from a brewing operation in Whitefish or perhaps Kalispell (both quite far from its current spot). Unlike other similar outbuildings, this corn-colored monolith is uniquely a beer vat: It has a manhole door specifically for beer vats, which was originally patented in 1888 by William Heiser, a clever inventor who filed patents for a few beer-related inventions in his time. As just these few examples show, the Flathead Valley is home to some unique and quirky outbuildings. Some outbuildings seem to hide their history. Others leave you guessing about their purpose. And more than a few outbuildings are just plain “out” there – and worth taking a few “wrong” turns to discover and appreciate. FL

The fate of three of the cows who once called this dairy barn home is plain to see. But the use of the railroad ties in building the barn may be overlooked at first glance – along with some valuable local history of the Somers Lumber Company and town site.


Unsurpassed lifestyle, Unparalleled views, Unlimited recreation

Susan E. Smith, Broker, MBA, SFR, CRB, CRS, GRI RE/MAX of Whitefish

509 E 6th St, Whitefish, MT 599370650 406-253-7121 82

F L AT H E A D L I V I N G | S U M M E R 2 0 1 4

282 North Juniper Bay Road Somers, Montana 59932 MLS#: 322485


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Come visit us at one of our six locations



BIGFORK VILLAGE 420 Electric Avenue Bigfork MT 59911 406-837-7050 800-976-6682

LAKESIDE HWY 93 and Bills Road Lakeside, MT 59922 406-844-6050 866-844-6050

POLSON 49664 US HWY 93 Polson MT, 59860 406-883-0961

WHITEFISH DOWNTOWN 492 East 2nd Street Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-4900 866-862-4900

THE LODGE AT WHITEFISH LAKE 1380 Wisconsin Avenue Whitefish, MT 59937 406-862-4900

WHITEFISH MOUNTAIN RESORT Kiosk Display Inside the Hellroaring Saloon

Information may have changed since the printing of this publication. Please visit our website for current pricing and availability.

Lincoln County

“Small town charm” and “bestkept secret” are certainly overused explanations for small towns in the West, but Eureka and all of Lincoln County warrant these descriptors.

Golfers drive their golf carts from the sixth green to the seventh tee box at Indian Spring Ranch Golf Club in Eureka. | PHOTO BY LIDO VIZZUTTI



Eureka &


corner of Montana, this is truly one of Montana’s bestkept secrets. The towns here offer a unique vantage point for residents and visitors to easily access unrivaled and often unpopulated recreational opportunities in Montana and Canada. Located nine miles south of the Canadian border in the Tobacco River Valley, Eureka boasts amazing Montana scenery, bountiful natural resources and a strong sense of community. Surrounded by dense woods, diverse mountains and plenty of water, it doesn’t take long to find your slice of solitude. Recreational outlets abound at the nearby massive and accessible Lake Koocanusa, which is actually a reservoir, with swimming, fishing, boating, camping and rock climbing. Other area outdoor interests include hiking, camping, hiking and hunting in the nearby Yaak Wilderness Area and Cabinet Mountains. Scenic stretches of highway connect the various bedroom communities of Libby, Troy and Eureka together and offer amazing views of the 422-foot Libby Dam, Kootenay Falls and the gorgeous Kootenay River Valley. These communities are sprouting new breweries, restaurants, shopping and fantastic golfing. Enjoy Northwest Montana!

Pristine Forest, Wildlife Sanctuary 78 acres, barn, shop and gazebo 5 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 4,500 Sq Ft Olney ~ MLS# 321219 ~ $5,950,000

Adam Kincheloe 406.471.0215 Allyson Sabo 406.261.5112

Cabin in the Woods, a mile of Good Creek frontage 660 acre paradise, Forest Service on three sides 2 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom ~ 1,176 Sq Ft Olney ~ $4,700,000

Sean Averill 406.253.3010 Tracy Rossi 406.763.6808




A bustling resort town that strikes a welcoming balance between urban & western

The setting sun paints the runs of Whitefish Mountain Resort in a pink and blue hue. | PHOTO BY LIDO VIZZUTTI

Unique 56.04 acres front on 2 lakes 7 Bedroom, 6 Bathrooms ~ 12,986 Sq Ft Blanchard Lake ~ $9,700,000

Sean Averill 406.253.3010 Tracy Rossi 406.763.6808

Private Gated Retreat with 500 Feet Frontage

Premier 2.29 acres on Whitefish Lake 4 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms ~ 7,668 Sq Ft E. Lakeshore Dr. ~ MLS# 318638 ~ $6,500,000

Sean Averill 406.253.3010 Tracy Rossi 406.763.6808

Custom Home Just Steps from Whitefish Lake

Open floor plan, 80’ frontage, floor to ceiling windows5 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms ~ 4,408 Sq Ft NE Wf Lake ~ MLS# 325809 ~ $3,295,000


Matt Buckmaster – Tracy Rossi 406.763.6808

Featured in Log Home Living Magazine!

5.9 ac overlooking Coon Lake, 4 fireplaces Enjoy magical sunrises over Glacier National Park 4 Bedrooms, 6 Bathrooms ~ 6,899 Sq Ft Grouse Mtn ~ MLS# 325172 ~ $3,200,000



aside, Whitefish today is a resort town. Many of the valley’s finest restaurants and boutiques are at the city core. Music and a thriving theater scene give the town an aura larger than its population of roughly 6,500 might suggest. Whitefish Mountain Resort, one of Montana’s premier ski resorts, is immediately north. Whitefish Lake is bustling throughout summer, and its waters serve as host to a range of boating enthusiasts. Enjoy golf as well as Whitefish Trail, one of the most impressive recreational trail networks in Montana. Whitefish maintains the nature we expect of Montana towns. Its neighborhoods have a decidedly small-town feel, and the outskirts feature some of the most spectacular homes in the valley. Spend a day in Whitefish, and you’ll see that the pace is just about perfect.

Whitefish Lake Estate ~ Sweeping Views 210 front feet, guest home and cottage on 5.5 acres 5 Bedrooms, 6 Bathroom ~ 5,067 Sq Ft E Lakeshore Dr. ~ MLS# 314327 ~ $5,900,000

Dan Averill ~ Sean Averill 406.253.3010

The Ultimate Whitefish Experience 1.5 acres, private community ski lift, views 6 Bedrooms, 8 Bathrooms ~ 7,796 Sq Ft Elk Highlands ~ MLS# 324228 ~ $2,950,000

Matt Buckmaster – Tracy Rossi 406.763.6808

Keven Guercio 406.250.7847

Information may have changed since the printing of this publication. Please visit our website for current pricing and availability.


Spectacular Log and Stone Ski Mountain Retreat

Luxury Ski Property Boasts Stunning Views

Exquisitely Furnished Iron Horse Member Cabin

Tracy Rossi 323.877.7911

Ryan Rowe 406.270.8200

Matt Buckmaster – Tracy Rossi 406.763.6808

Luxury Home on 15 Acres Borders USFS

Turn-Key, Income Potential on the Lake

One of Best Locations on Whitefish Mountain

Matt Buckmaster – Tracy Rossi 406.763.6808

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Stone wine cellar, historic reclaimed timbers, views 1.08 ac, triple garage, bar with wine closet, 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 5,700 Sq Ft guest suite Elk Highlands ~ MLS# 324097 ~ $2,800,000 6 Bedrooms, 7 Bathrooms ~ 6,242 Sq Ft Elk Highlands ~ MLS# 324752 ~ $2,300,000 Sean Averill 406.253.3010

Timber and stone home, wine cellar, views 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 7,226 Sq Ft Farm to Market ~ MLS# 324612 ~ $1,295,000

Sean Averill 406.253.3010 Tracy Rossi 323.877.7911

Nicely Updated Condo at Lodge at Whitefish Lake

End unit condo at Lodge at Whitefish Lake 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,652 Sq Ft Whitefish Lake ~ MLS# 321904 ~ $639,500

Views of ski hill, lots of extras, walk to amenities 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,430 Sq Ft Wf Mtn Resort ~ MLS# 325185 ~ $530,000

Enjoy the Clubhouse Theater and Pool

Whitefish Mountain Resort Ski in/Ski out

Bright & airy with sweeping lake views Open, spacious floorplan 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,290 Sq Ft 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bath ~ 1,152 Sq Ft Whitefish Lake ~ MLS# 325892 Whitefish Mtn. Resort ~ MLS# 324857

Golf simulator, fitness center 1 Bed, 1.5 Bath ~ 990 Sq Ft Monterra ~ MLS# 322395

Balcony, mountain views 1 Bedroom, 2 Bathroom ~ 964 Sq Ft MLS# 316654

Matt Buckmaster – Rhonda Kohl 406.250.5849 Tracy Rossi 406.763.6808

Allyson Sabo 406.261.5112

Adam Kincheloe 406.471.0215


Ski In/ Ski Out, Great for Family Getaways

Game room, den, rock fireplace, sold turn-key 4 Bedrooms, 6 Bathrooms ~ 4,371 Sq Ft Iron Horse ~ MLS# 325025 ~ $1,750,000





Greater Kalispell

Kalispell & Greater Flathead

An economic hub, where history happily mingles with modernity Sunset over Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park. | PHOTO BY GREG LINDSTRON

Estate Style Home with Private Lake Frontage 1.13 Ac, game room, theater, attached motor coach garage 5 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 7,140 Sq Ft Foys Lake, Kal.~ MLS# 324815 ~ $1,195,000

Private & Pristine Log Home ~ 49 Ac Pond, five fireplaces, expansive decks 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 4,200 Sq Ft Near Foys Lake, ~ MLS# 325851 ~ $1,099,000 Avail. 5 acres for $699,000 ~ MLS# 325975

Susan Olson 406.471.4048

Valley has to offer, close to the northern tip of Flathead Lake with Whitefish Mountain Resort not much farther north. The entrance to Glacier National Park is a 45-minute drive away; all part of the expansive area Kalispell calls its backyard. Kalispell has the largest population in Northwest Montana, yet it barely cracked the 20,000 mark. This provides an ideal melding of small-town character and city amenities, including the largest hospital in the region. The city’s origin pre-dates the turn of the 20th century. Century-old buildings line Main Street. Historical homes, some also 100 years old, are shaded by equally historic trees in Kalispell’s gorgeous neighborhoods. In Kalispell, where small town meets big, old meets new, and city life meets wildlife, you can find about anything you’re looking for in the Montana lifestyle.

Turn of Century East Side Brick Mansion

Impeccably preserved to maintain historical charm 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 4,954 Sq Ft East Side, Kalispell ~ MLS# 325287 ~ $895,000

Connie Hogan 406.250.3780








Connie Hogan 406.250.3780


ALISPELL IS NESTLED IN the midst of everything the Flathead

Panoramic Mountain Views on 10 Ac Perfectly Blended Bungalow and 2 separate parcels and potential for horses Ranch Style

Open Functional Floor Plan

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,678 Sq Ft Creston ~ MLS# 324663 ~ $485,000


1.71 Ac, 2nd story bonus room, upscale amenities 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2.073 Sq Ft Lower Valley ~ MLS# 325490 ~ $327,900

Sandy O’Connell 206.270.7541

1 Ac, double garage, great location, single level 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,620 Sq Ft Creston, Kalispell ~ MLS# 325983 ~ $285,000

Information may have changed since the printing of this publication. Please visit our website for current pricing and availability.

Greater Kalispell

Beautiful Home is Wheel Chair Accessible

Wooded 4.7 Acres Nestled Above Foothills Rd

Cindy Lanier 406.250.5273

Sandy O’Connell 206.270.7541

Privacy, hardwood floors, double car garage 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,128 Sq Ft NE of Creston ~ MLS# 321274 ~ $259,000

Sprinkler system, laundry on 2 levels 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,518 Sq Ft Central Kalispell ~ MLS# 326185 ~ $258,500

Team Flathead: 406.219.0002 Jim Kuhlman, Brett Bennetts, Candace Johnson








Convenient location, vinyl fence, sprinklers 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,816 Sq Ft Kalispell ~ MLS# 325923 ~ $269,900

Newly Finished Basement, Jacuzzi Tub

Wildlife Abounds, 400’ Spring Creek Frontage

Darling One Level Updated Townhome

Greater Starter Home, Live in the Country

David Fetveit 406.249.1764 Agent related to Seller

Ellie Stimpson 406.253.3308

David Fetveit 406.249.1764

2.33 Ac, double garage, sweeping views 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,564 Sq Ft Helena Flats, Kal. ~ MLS# 325799 ~ $250,000

Charming Kalispell Home

Hardwood Floor, Cozy Breakfast Nook, 2 Car Garage 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom ~ 864 Sq Ft Kalispell ~ MLS# 326569 ~ $152,000

Allyson Sabo 406.261.5112

Open floor plan, next to Lone Pine State Park 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,421 Sq Ft Kalispell ~ MLS# 325281 ~ $183,000

Convenient Middle of Flathead Valley Location

1 ac, mountain views, nice starter home 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,200 Sq Ft SW of C. Falls ~ MLS# 316628 ~ $150,000

3.93 Ac, minutes to town, great views 1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom ~ 1,400 Sq Ft MT Hwy 35 ~ MLS#326088 ~ $170,000

Spacious, Well Cared For Condo Fireplace, single car garage, office 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom ~ 1,156 Sq Ft SW Kalispell ~ MLS#326291 ~ $100,000

Sandy O’Connell 406.270.7541

Jeff Boll 406.261.3232


Bigfork & East Shore

Bigfork Shore & East On the shores of the West’s largest freshwater lake, a town like no other

Sailing yachts cluster while waiting to begin racing during the North Flathead Yacht Club’s races on Flathead Lake. | PHOTO BY LIDO VIZZUTTI

Surrounded by Orchard, Pine Trees, Creek & Waterfall

Exquisite Unique Trophy Home on Flathead Lake

Premier River Property, Variety of Terrain

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Emily Tice 406.471.6700

Team Flathead: 406.219.0002 Jim Kuhlman, Brett Bennetts, Candace Johnson

320’ gravel frontage, 6.07 ac., red cedar log home 3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 4,765 Sq Ft E Shore, Fl. Lake ~ MLS# 325073 ~ $4,495,000

Broken Leg Ranch, Old West Reinvigorated

1930’s homestead, 40 ac, lodge, guest cabins Endless options: luxury yoga retreat Ferndale ~ MLS# 326136 ~ $2,700,000




sential lake town, located on the northeastern corner of Flathead Lake. During the summer, Bigfork’s downtown is vibrant, with lake lovers streaming into the many boutiques and eating establishments. It’s assortment of galleries gives Bigfork a reputation as an “art town.” Just outside of town is a highly touted 27-hole golf course. Flathead Lake comes up right to the town’s doorstep. Anglers and boaters of all varieties make their way here. Water activities are limitless. Cherry orchards bloom in the summer and state parks provide recreational opportunities throughout the seasons. The area surrounding Bigfork is dotted with impressive homes. These residents have discovered the grandeur of lake life in Bigfork. Just as there is no other lake like the Flathead, there is no other town quite like Bigfork. Come see for yourself.

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

80’ boat dock, 200’ +/- frontage, triple plus motor coach 3 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms ~ 7,097 Sq Ft Eagle Bend ~ MLS# 325389 ~ $3,480,000

Rainbow Lodge on Swan Lake

Main level master suite, gentle waterfront 4 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms ~ 5,208 Sq Ft W Shore Swan Lake ~ MLS#326134 ~ $2,300,000

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

1,344’ river frontage, 2,229’ Swims Creek 47.55 ac, end of road on a point, 2 bd, 1 bth Flathead River ~ MLS# 325858 ~ $2,795,000

Amazing Deal on 700 Feet of Swan River

10 private ac, 2 large shops, gated entry 5 Bedrooms, 6 Bathrooms ~ 5,321 Sq Ft E of Bigfork ~ MLS# 320019 ~ $1,750,000

Steve Dooling 406.253.9117

Information may have changed since the printing of this publication. Please visit our website for current pricing and availability.

Boat from Home on River to Lake, 173’ Frontage

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Emily Tice 406.471.6700

0.94 ac, new boat dock station, remodeled 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,230 Sq Ft Flathead River ~ MLS# 324524 ~ $1,395,000

0.55 ac, solarium, huge deck & boat dock with lift 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,436 Sq Ft E Shore Fl. Lake ~ MLS# 325640 ~ $1,097,000

Golf and Boat Right Out Your Door

Two Grandfathered Crib Docks & 300’ Frontage

Team Flathead: 406.219.0002 Jim Kuhlman, Brett Bennetts, Candace Johnson








45.25 ac, Forest Service 2 sides, Creek 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,715 Sq Ft Condon ~ MLS# 324914 ~ $1,499,000

Ultimate Privacy with Endless Lake Views

Bigfork & East Shore

Land, Horses, Montana Lifestyle ~ It’s All Here

Quintessential Cabin, Swan Lake 200’ Frontage Cathedral ceilings, large windows, 2 lots 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,456 Sq Ft Swan Lake ~ MLS# 314835 ~ $895,000

1.41 ac, space and privacy, 6+ garage 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 3,668 Sq Ft Eagle Bend ~ MLS# 325881 ~ $775,000

3.8 ac, scenic meadow & river view, shop/ garage 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 4,028 Sq Ft Swan River ~ MLS# 324512 ~ $775,000

Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Chef ’s Dream Kitchen, Quality Built Home

State Land Across Swan River Protects View

Expertly Design Floor Plan, On 14th Fairway

Ellie Stimpson ~ 406.253.3308

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.322








Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

1.2 ac, large windows, lake views, stone fireplace 5 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 4,810 Sq Ft S of Bigfork ~ MLS# 325484 ~ $749,000

6.38 ac, 315’ frontage, view of island 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 3,334 Sq Ft Swan River ~ MLS# 325325 ~ $695,000

0.74 ac, double+ garage, two guest suites 3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 3,125 Sq Ft Eagle Bend ~ MLS# 326338 ~ $669,000


Bigfork & East Shore

Golf Course Living, Priced to Sell

One Level Living on the 9th Hole

Harbor Village Townhome

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

Tom Brown 406.471.0630 Katie Brown 406.253.3222

.22 ac, 3 guest suites, wine room, bonus space 5 Bedrooms, 4.5 Bathrooms ~ 5,760 Sq Ft Eagle Bend ~ MLS# 292322 ~ $598,900

Great Location, Lake & Golf Course Views 3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 2,874 Sq Ft Bigfork ~ MLS# 326627 ~ $469,900

Upscale Hilltop Home, Large 1.8 Acre Lot

Gorgeous Property Borders State Lands

To Be Built Home; Private Beach Access

John Pearson 406.253.0230

John Pearson 406.253.0230

Jeff Boll 406.261.3232

High end kitchen remodel, library, shop 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 4,128 Sq Ft NW Bigfork ~ MLS# 323312 ~ $450,000

Tribal Leased Lakefront Lot, 214’ Frontage 2.23 ac, Avail only for S&K Tribal members 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 3,600 Sq Ft Yellow Bay ~ MLS# 321999 ~ $295,000

Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667 Robin Wallace 406.270.2396


0.2 ac, vaulted ceilings, fireplace, patio 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,287 Sq Ft Eagle Bend ~ MLS# 326208 ~ $489,000

20.2 ac, fenced for horses, outbuildings 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,840 Sq Ft Wild Swan Trail ~ MLS# 321754 ~ $399,000

Shared Pool and Clubhouse, Lake Access

Bright end unit, remodeled, boat ramp/ dock 2 Bedrooms, 2.5 Bathrooms ~ 1,412 Sq Ft Bigfork Harbor ~ MLS# 319067 ~ $285,000

Build time approx. 120 days, lots of choices 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 3,209 Sq Ft Woods Bay ~ MLS# 323895 ~ $356,900

A Stream Winds Through 20 Acre Parcel Meadows, old growth cedars, getaway cabin 1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom ~ 1,248 Sq Ft Swan Valley ~ MLS# 323562 ~ $259,000

John Pearson 406.253.0230

Steve Dooling 406.253.9117

Information may have changed since the printing of this publication. Please visit our website for current pricing and availability.


West Shore

Cozy Flathead Lake communities tucked away along the water’s edge

Flathead Lake from the Somer’s boat launch on a sunny, summer day. | PHOTO BY SHARILYN FAIRWEATHER


are two cozy burgs situated on the shores of Flathead Lake. They emerge as lively cultural centers in the summer. The lake’s blue waters bring boaters right up to the towns’ perimeters, where they can visit any number of restaurants and shops. Somers resembles a coastal sea village more than a traditional Montana mountain town. Sailboats are an integral part of the area’s lake character, as are the angling charter boats and motorboats, those who enjoy all types of water recreation. Beautiful homes lay secluded along the western shoreline. Others are tucked away in the mountains’ foothills, overlooking the pristine waters. Being comfortably nestled next to a mountain lake is a defining characteristic of these western shoreline communities. It’s hard not to feel welcome.

Exceptional Flathead Lake Home ~ Covered Boat Lifts

Award Winning Design, Luxury Lakefront

David Fetveit 406.249.1764

Team Flathead: 406.219.0002 Jim Kuhlman, Brett Bennetts & Candace Johnson

200’ pebble beach, guest home, views to Glacier 4 Bedroom, 6 Bathrooms ~ 8,100 Sq Ft Flathead Lake, Conrad Point ~ MLS# 325266 ~ $6,700,000

2 Acres & 400’ of level, fun beach; great views 4 Bedrooms, 5 Bathrooms ~ 6,500 Sq Ft West Shore ~ MLS# 326705 ~ $4,494,000

Private Estate Setting, Remarkable Lake Views

Rare Primitive Gently Sloped Flathead Lake Frontage

Team Flathead: 406.219.0002 Jim Kuhlman, Brett Bennetts & Candace Johnson

David Fetveit 406.249.1764

Borders public land, potential horse property 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 4,196 Sq Ft S. of Lakeside ~ MLS# 325245 ~ $2,499,000

Lakeside & West Shore

Lakeside &

2 lots, 1 Ac, live in existing home while you build 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 3,154 Sq Ft Conrad Point ~ MLS#326315 ~ $2,400,000


Lakeside & West Shore

Recently Remodeled Hand Hewn Log Home

100’ Flathead Lake frontage, no expense spared 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,414 Sq Ft Whipps Lane ~ MLS# 326045 ~ $1,485,000

Ellie Stimpson 406.253.3308

Great Beach with Fire Pit & Toy Shed 1.25 ac, 102’ frontage, walkout basement 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,751 Sq Ft Dayton, Fl. Lake ~ MLS# 318840 ~ $775,000

Cindy Lanier 406.250.5273

Unlimited Options, Flathead Lake Estate

Main home, two guest homes, 1.48 ac Big Arm ~ MLS# 317355 ~ $1,150,000 Avail with 0.89 ac MLS# 323249 ~ $965,000 2 homes with 0.59 ac MLS# 323248 ~ $250,000

David Fetveit 406.249.1764

Rustic Lodge Feel Steps from Flathead Lake

0.58 Ac, watch sailboats by Wild Horse Island 5 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 3,353 Sq Ft Dayton ~ MLS# 325666 ~ $725,000

Darling Cabin on Sought After Angel Point Rd Ready for you to build, fabulous views, boat dock 1 Bedroom, 1 Bathroom ~ 1,570 Sq Ft Angel Point, Flathead Lake ~ MLS# 322068 ~ $999,000

Ellie Stimpson 406.253.3308

Observation Deck at Water’s Edge

Move-in ready, floor to ceiling remodel 2 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 1,679 Sq Ft Rollins, Flathead Lake ~ MLS# 326343 ~ $669,000

David Fetveit 406.249.1764

David Fetveit 406.249.1764

Western Elegance on Shores of Flathead Lake

Condo includes single garage, granite, hardwood 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,468 Sq Ft Cherry Hill ~ MLS# 325661 ~ $620,000

Sandy O’Connell 406.270.7541


Custom Built by Malmquist Builders 20 ac, Lake Mary Ronan access, high end details 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,010 Sq Ft Proctor ~ MLS# 325472 ~ $599,000

Ellie Stimpson 406.253.3308

Right on the Water, Wildhorse Island Views

2 docks, rail system into boat house, 100’ frontage 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,210 Sq Ft Mello Cove, Dayton ~ MLS# 320241 ~ $599,000

Connie Jonas 406.270.8488

Information may have changed since the printing of this publication. Please visit our website for current pricing and availability.

Overlooking Lakeside & Flathead Lake

202 Flathead Lake- Owner Financing 1.96 Acres ,Detached Garage 3 Bedrooms,2 Bathrooms,~ 1,957 Sq Ft Rollins ~ MLS# 312819 ~ $569,000

2.16 Ac, double garage, lots of room to relax 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 4,498 Sq Ft Big Arm ~ MLS# 323462 ~ $419,000

End of Road Privacy Borders State Land

Incredible Lake and Mountain Views Pleasing Ranch Style, Low Darling home and guest cottage on 2.5 acres Maintenance

Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667 Robin Wallace 406.270.2396

20 Ac, Sit on deck and enjoy peace and wildlife 2 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,520 Sq Ft Bierney Creek Rd ~ MLS# 326306 ~ $389,000

David Fetveit 406.249.1764

2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,832 Sq Ft Dayton ~ MLS# 324544 ~ $349,000

Connie Jonas – 406.270.8488

David Fetveit 406.249.1764

Fully landscaped, covered patio, oversized garage 3 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 1,792 Sq Ft Lakeview Park Estates ~ MLS#325244 ~$250,000

Sandy O’Connell 406.270.7541








David Fetveit 406.249.1764

0.82 Ac, double garage, quality construction 4 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 4,135 Sq Ft NW Lakeside ~ MLS# 326105 ~ $390,000

Lakeside & West Shore

Make Flathead Lake Living a Reality Sweeping Views from Every Window

Lovely Country Setting on 6.75 Acres Flathead Lake Views Converted from log barn, great location 3 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom ~ 1,776 Sq Ft Somers ~ MLS# 325638 ~ $249,000

Connie Jonas 406.270.8488

Close to Flathead Lake and Blacktail Ski Hill 3 Bedrooms, 2Bathrooms ~ 1,651 Sq Ft Lakeside ~ MLS# 326761 ~ $225,000

Ellie Stimpson 406.253.3308

Great Investment Opportunity in Lakeside

Condo with rental history, great views 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,112 Sq Ft Stoner Loop ~ MLS# 326194 ~ $215,000

Connie Jonas 406.270.8488


Polson & Mission Valley

Polson &

Mission Valley A little piece of tranquility at the southern end of Flathead Lake

Flathead Lake view from above Big Arm, Montana. | PHOTO BY DEAN WILSON

Green Built Custom Post and Beam Home

40 ac, 100+ SF deck, end of road privacy 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,604 Sq Ft Saint Ignatius ~ MLS# 320800 ~ $575,000

Executive Home ~ Unparalleled Views Walkout Basement with Wet Bar, 2 master suites, 3 car garage with craft area Hot Tub 5 Bedrooms, 4 Bathrooms ~ 3,180 Sq Ft SE Polson ~ MLS# 324695 ~ $385,000

Karen Ratcliff 406.250.2420

Robin Wallace 406.270.2396 Tim McGinnis 406.212.1018

This Custom Home and Property has it All 6.34 Ac, shops, corrals, gardens, fruit trees 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 3,619 Sq Ft East of Polson ~ MLS# 325454 ~ $375,000

Robin Wallace 406.270.2396 Tim McGinnis 406.212.1018




and economic cornerstone of the beautiful Mission Valley, which extends through Ronan and St. Ignatius. Polson wraps around the lake’s tip to the eastern shoreline, giving the city claim to the entire southern end of the lake and miles of shoreline. While differing in some ways from its northern counterpart, it shares the same breathtaking views, with the Mission Mountains providing an awe-inspiring backdrop, and limitless recreational opportunities. Polson remains a small rural town – quiet enough to afford a sense of tranquility but busy enough to put forth an unmistakable feeling of energy and liveliness. Residents living in the neighborhoods surrounding Polson have found that this balance of serene and eventful makes the southern end of Flathead Lake a perfect place to call home.

0.66 ac, triple garage, stunning views 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 3,242 Sq Ft South Polson ~ MLS# 317525 ~ $400,000

Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667 Robin Wallace 406.270.2396

Gorgeous Custom Built Home 2.5 Ac, attached garage, great floor plan 3 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 2,793 Sq Ft Ronan ~ MLS# 326104 ~ $325,000

Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667 Robin Wallace 406.270.2396

2 Livable Levels on Nicely Manicured Acre

Double garage, 2 kitchens, 2 laundry 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 3,792 Sq Ft N of Polson ~ MLS# 324702 ~ $320,000

Janet Frederick 406.250.2880

Information may have changed since the printing of this publication. Please visit our website for current pricing and availability.

40 ac, Community Development Area 2 Bedrooms, 1 Bathroom ~ 728 Sq Ft Ronan ~ MLS# 315990 ~ $320,000

Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667 Robin Wallace 406.270.2396

Open Concept, Well Maintained, Lake Access 0.28 Ac, attached garage, 2 sided fireplace 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,696 Sq Ft Mission Bay ~ MLS# 325500 ~ $275,000

Janet Frederick 406.250.2880

A Big Sky Treasure ~ Dream Views 0.69 Ac, double garage, unique development 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,476 Sq Ft South Polson ~ MLS# 324685 ~ $298,000

Janet Frederick 406.250.2880

Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667 Robin Wallace 406.270.2396

0.38 Ac, double garage, low maintenance 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,914 Sq Ft South Polson ~ MLS# 326188 ~ $289,500

Karen Ratcliff 406.250.2420

Tree and Meadow Mix on 4 Acres Hardwood floors, vaulted ceilings, tile, shop 4 Bedrooms, 3 Bathrooms ~ 4,078 Sq Ft North of Pablo ~ MLS#324807 ~ $280,000

Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667 Robin Wallace 406.270.2396

Lots of Quality Updates & Lake Views Enjoy Lake Views from the Kitchen 0.21 Ac, spacious bedrooms, large deck 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,124 Sq Ft SW Polson ~ MLS# 325853 ~ $240,000

Single Level Home in New Condition

Polson & Mission Valley

Beautiful Mission Mountain Views

0.38 Ac, bright and spacious, covered porch 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,470 Sq Ft Polson ~ MLS# 325198 ~ $209,500

Robin Wallace 406.270.2396 Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667

Warm and Inviting, Wonderful Neighborhood

0.2 Ac, 2 car garage, entertaining deck, views 3 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 1,851 Sq Ft SW Polson ~ MLS# 325300 ~ $250,000

Tami Sanderson 406.253.7667 Robin Wallace 406.270.2396

Large Heated 2 Car Garage & Bonus Room

0.93 Ac, paved circular drive, storage shed 4 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms ~ 2,000 Sq Ft Polson ~ MLS# 324686 ~ $180,000

Janet Frederick 406.250.2880


Trails West Realtors build relationships that last a lifetime. They get it done the right way.

Dan Averill Broker-Owner 406-250-4441

Sean Averill Realtor-Owner 406-253-3010

Katie Brown Broker-Owner 406-253-3222

Tom Brown Broker-Owner 406-471-0630

Ellie Stimpson Laura Oconnor Brett Bennetts Broker-Owner Manager-Owner Broker 406-253-3308 406-261-6933 406-253-6411

Jeff Boll Realtor 406-261-3232

Matt Buckmaster Broker 406-261-8350

Steve Dooling Broker 406-253-9117

Lindsay Fansler Realtor 406-471-4897

David Fetveit Broker 406-249-1764

Michelle Flink Realtor 406-249-1924

Janet Frederick Realtor 406-250-2880

Keven Guercio Realtor 406-250-7847

Connie Hogan Realtor 406-250-3780

Candace Johnson Realtor 406-219-0002

Connie Jonas Adam Kincheloe Realtor Realtor 406-270-8488 406-471-0215

Rhonda Kohl Broker 406-250-5849

Jim Kuhlman Realtor 406-270-4625

Brandon Langel Realtor 406-390-6676

Cindy Lanier Broker 406-250-5273

Wendy Latimer Realtor 406-471-3502

John Pearson Broker 406-253-0230

Tammy Purdy Realtor 406-212-0081

Karen Ratcliff Broker 406-250-2420

Dave Rogers Realtor 406-291-2268

Tracy Rossi Realtor 406-763-6808

Tami Sanderson Broker 406-253-7667

Chuck Shields Realtor 406-270-6538

Emily Tice Realtor 406-471-6700

Robin Wallace Realtor 406-270-2396

Vic Workman Broker 406-250-5944

Tim McGinnis Sandy O’Connell Susan Olson Realtor Broker Realtor 406-212-1018 406-270-7541 406-471-4048

Ryan Rowe Realtor 406-270-8200


Allyson Sabo Broker 406-261-5112

Rob Schuttler Broker 406-270-5227


RUSTIC FURNITURE THAT HARKENS BACK A CENTURY For Drew Hubatsek, the Adirondack style shapes both his art and worldview By Myers Reece

Photography by Lido Vizzutti

Drew Hubatsek’s replica he built of Thomas Lee’s 1903 Adirondack chair, based off the original in the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake, New York, is seen in Hubatsek’s living room in Woods Bay.

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interested in buying fine furniture from Drew Hubatsek needn’t worry about locating his website or cell phone number. He has neither a computer nor mobile phone. Your best bet is a hand-written letter or a message on his home phone answering machine, which he checks between long stints in his hand-built workshop in Woods Bay. Hubatsek’s shunning of technology says a lot about his lifestyle, clearly, but it also speaks to his business philosophy. His rustic furniture harkens back to a late-19th and early-20th century era in which wealthy Gilded Age families like the Rockefellers and Vanderbilts constructed “great camps” in northern New York’s wild country. These camps featured elaborate log cabin mansions and compounds with interior furnishings built in the style Hubatsek reveres: Adirondack, named after that untamed region he remembers so fondly from his youth. “My furniture goes back to a simpler, quieter time of life, a time with more solitude,” he says. “It seems wrong to be hawking it on the Internet. People can give me a call and we’ll get together and talk about what they want.” If you do call the number for Hubatsek’s Adirondack Workshop, on the other end of the line you’ll encounter a gregarious woodworker who is as laidback about life as he is serious about work. And, more often, people are discovering just how good that work is, which shouldn’t be surprising coming from a man who believes in a furniture style so fervently that it shapes his worldview. Hubatsek has been infatuated with trees and their potential for art his entire life, beginning when he was a boy tinkering 100

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ABOVE: Standing in his Woods Bay workshop,

Drew Hubatsek is framed by Y-shaped pealed lilac branches he is using in a custom-built bed frame.

BELOW: Drew Hubatsek keeps the first toolbox

and first set of tools given to him by his father, Frank Hubatsek, hanging on the wall of his Woods Bay workshop. A framed photograph of Frank is seen among the old tools and other memorabilia.

We have the perfect vantage point to create your

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EstatE 307 Spokane Ave Suite 100 • Whitefish, MT 59937 The Team that takes Real Estate to a higher level

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TOP LEFT: An Adirondack chair built by Drew Hubatsek is seen adjacent to the more freeflowing design of his “hurricane” chair, which is influenced by the natural bend in the willow branches, in his home in Woods Bay. BOTTOM LEFT: The half-blind dovetail joint

is the most critical joint in Drew Hubatsek’s Adirondack chairs. According to Hubatsek, even the arms and legs depend on the strength of the joint. OPPOSITE: Seen in his workshop, Hubatsek

demonstrates how he uses a Japanese pull saw and wooden blocks to ensure the legs of his furniture are level.

around in his father’s woodworking shop. His father was an engineer, Associated Press photographer and woodworker, and his mother was a ceramics teacher, suggesting Hubatsek was destined for a life in art. Today, in Hubatsek’s workshop, there is a shrine dedicated to his father on the wall, with a photograph of the man who so greatly influenced him surrounded by woodworking tools. Hubatsek points out to visitors an antique cordless drill with a hand crank that he inherited from his grandfather. Three generations of woodworkers are represented in that small shop, and evidence of his mother’s influence also hangs on the walls. As a boy, Hubatsek’s family would spend summers in New York’s Adirondack Mountains, an area that features the largest park in the lower 48 at over 6 million acres, six times the size of Glacier National Park. He fell in love with the architecture and furniture of the great camps, and that love simmered within him for decades before finally boiling over into a fine furniture career, beginning in earnest 10 years ago, although he has worked with wood and trees his entire adult life, including as a tree surgeon with his own business in Tahoe. Adirondack-style furniture is associated with wood that is often left unpeeled and nonlinear, with finished pieces maintaining much of the wood’s natural form and texture. The term, however, can be broadly applied, and it’s also associated with the chairs that bear the style’s name: Adirondacks. These are the deep-seated wooden outdoor chairs often found on patios and lawns. Hubatsek builds both exquisitely finished Adirondack chairs and a wide array of other pieces that have been less altered from their forest state. When building the latter pieces, he lets the wood itself dictate the process. His shop and property are littered with piles 102

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Chap Godsey Broker, GRI, CRS

(406) 261-8403



509 East 6th Street Whitefish, MT 59937

ElEgant rivEr front log homE with 156 acrEs • 4 Bedrooms, 4.5 Baths, 5070 sq. ft. and incredible views • 156 Acres, ½ mile of Logan Creek frontage, and bordered by Forest Service • Just a short stroll to tally lake, excellent access, and only 15 miles to Whitefish $1,699,000 MLS#317354

grousE mountain townhousE • 2 Bedrooms, 2.75 Baths, and 2357 square feet with many recent upgrades inside and out. • Open floorplan set up for entertaining, formal living/dining rooms, double sided rock firpleace, spacious kitchen • Awesome views of big mountain, glacier park, and Whitefish Lake Golf Course $425,000 MLS#325968

spacious montErra condo • 2 Master suites, 2.5 Baths, 1344 square feet in immaculate condition • Corner unit with no one below or above for added privacy • Sought after sun point floorplan with high end finishes • Listing agent related to sellers $259,000 MLS#326240

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A wooden bobber accents a quilted maple and peeled maple desk built by Hubatsek. The game on the top of the desk is one of the small gifts Hubatsek builds and provides with purchases of his custom furniture. A pinecone adorns a quilted maple and peeled maple desk. A custom bed frame being built for a client is seen in Hubatsek’s workshop. In this piece, Hubatsek is utilizing the natural aesthetic of cedar logs, peeled lilac branches, willow branches and white birch bark.

of branches and twigs – lilac, cherry, cedar, maple and more – interspersed with common dimensional wood. In a thicker branch, Hubatsek might see the beginnings of a table foundation. In another branch, he might see the potential for a chair arm. Sometimes the bark stays; sometimes it goes. “You can actually see the natural forms in these,” he says. “I try to send a message to people to look at wood in a new way. Look at what trees have to offer you without being manipulated into a rectangular, linear form.” True to his philosophy, Hubatsek consciously avoids forcing wood into something it doesn’t want to be. “The process is a dance,” he says. “It’s mood dependent sometimes. A piece will fight you

and you’ll have to walk away and come back later with a new perspective.” The final products of this process cover a wide spectrum of functionality. Some are highly utilitarian, perhaps a bed frame, table or desk. Others are largely ornamental “art pieces.” They may be built custom or on spec, with a number of pieces having been featured at Flathead galleries and the Bigfork Museum of Art and History. “They’re sculpture and they’re utilitarian – they cross between those two realms,” he says, adding, as he points to a funky chair with branches sprouting from the backrest in his living room: “You could sit in that one, but you wouldn’t want to read a novel in it.” But Hubatsek has a series of chairs that you would want to read a novel in, or maybe even

“I try to send a message to people to look at wood in a new way. Look at what trees have to offer you without being manipulated into a rectangular, linear form.” - Drew Hubatsek 104

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Kinsey Barnard Fine Art

Photography, Nature & Montana as you have never seen them before One of a kind, original art

Hubatsek sits in one of his Adirondack chairs.

fall asleep in: his durable, attractive and comfortable Adirondack chairs. He has spent two years perfecting the design formula for his Adirondacks, and they are distinct from many of his other pieces in the sleekness of their linear flow and refined finish. They look good and feel good. In traditional Adirondack chairs, some of the most crucial pivot points have been held together with either nails or screws. Hubatsek instead uses inter-locking dovetail joints that “will never separate.” The African ribbon mahogany wood in his high-end Adirondacks further contributes to their durability. The chairs can be used inside or outside, and if left untreated a chair could be left out in the elements “for 100 years and it would just turn gray,” its sturdy structure remaining intact. Treated with oil, it wouldn’t even lose its color. “This is heirloom furniture,” he says. “I take the basic Adirondack design and elevate it to fine furniture. There are a lot of people making regular Adirondack chairs, but I wanted to make something special.” Hubatsek is thrilled to share his love of the Adirondack culture, meticulously crafting pieces of furniture that can be passed down through the generations, perhaps inspiring new waves of furniture builders who want to pay tribute to a quieter, simpler time from our past. “The response has been great,” Hubatsek said of his Adirondacks. “Once people get a chance to live with these chairs for awhile and appreciate what went into them, they just love them.” To contact Adirondack Workshop, call Drew Hubatsek at (406) 837-6868. FL

To view online galleries, visit:

Private Showings by Appointment call Kinsey at 406.249.9789


It’s what you don’t see that makes the difference. The pulldown wand blends seamlessly into the slim faucet neck that keeps modern conveniences concealed. Precision lines from top to bottom create a style that can be carried throughout contemporary kitchens.

406-755-1119 105 COOPERATIVE WAY, KALISPELL Appointments Recommended.

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Branching Out to Lakeside New Westshore Medical Clinic and gym expands KRMC’s reach in the valley, and brings services closer to Lakeside residents ife in Northwest Montana is full of sensory experiences, with the jaw-dropping beauty of the scenery, the feel of a fresh breeze coming off Flathead Lake, the fresh smell of the forests and numerous opportunities to move through such places. Enjoying life up here comes with its risks and rewards, and in Lakeside, the folks at the Westshore Medical Clinic and gym are dedicated to helping residents stay healthy and fit enough to enjoy their surroundings. The medical clinic, a department of Kalispell Regional Medical Center, opened in January, and since then has gained notoriety as a well-rounded primary care facility for both regular and walk-in patients. “Our patient load is expanding on a weekly basis,” Shawn Cowan, clinical supervisor in



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Lakeside, said. “It’s just getting busier.” As a branch of KRMC, the Lakeside clinic offers primary care services in its four exam rooms, and is stocked for and capable of performing medical procedures like X-rays, EKGs, skin biopsies, prompt care visits, pediatrics, geriatrics, and more. If there’s a situation that would be better served at the emergency room in Kalispell, the clinic works tightly with the Lakeside Quick Response Unit and its ambulance transport capacity to ensure patients have the best care. “It’s very convenient for patients,” Cowan said. The decision to open the Westshore Medical Clinic, which sits at the revamped Lakeside Town Center on Stoner Loop Road, was born of a community request from Lakeside, Jim Oliverson, vice president at KRMC, said.

The Lakeside Town Center.

Westshore Medical Fitness Center in Lakeside.

“It’s a neat thing,” Oliverson said. “It’s a call from the community that said, if we can, we don’t want to have to drive to Kalispell and fight the snow and ice in the winter and the tourist traffic in the summer.” Currently, the Westshore Medical Clinic has two physicians and one nurse practitioner on staff, with at least one of them in the clinic at all open hours, Cowan said, and the clinic is also looking at adding another full-time physician to its roster. In keeping with the idea of providing healthy opportunities in Kalispell, KRMC also decided to add a gym to their efforts in Lakeside, manifested in the Westshore Medical Fitness Center, located just upstairs from the clinic. The gym, which is a branch of the Summit, has new, state-of-the-art equipment, such as the treadmills and stairclimbers situated in front of expansive windows overlooking the lake and the mountain vistas. There had been a gym in Lakeside for about a decade, Bob Norwood, the health and fitness operations manager at the Summit, said, but this new, 4,800-square-foot facility

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OPPOSITE TOP: Westshore Medical

Fitness Center. BOTTOM: X-ray machine at the Westshore

Medical Center.

is a more-than-suitable replacement. “People absolutely love it,” Norwood said. The new gym has a full cardio area, free weights, select-rise equipment, locker rooms, showers, and a room for classes. The classes aren’t live, however; a gym member selects the class they’d like to take, ranging from yoga to stretching to cycling, and a wall-sized screen projects the class. Each class is recorded in a professional studio and accounts for varying levels of fitness, and can fit into nearly any schedule. “It’s very popular,” Norwood said. “The folks down there like it a lot.” Since the gym has only been up and running since January, people are still catching on that it’s open, he said, but so far there are about 100 members, including the 63 who carried over from the previous gym’s closure. People can join the Lakeside gym exclusively for $39 a month, he said, but Summit members also have full, free access to the gym as well. This works for those who might work in Kalispell during the week and attend the Summit, but then don’t want to make the drive for a workout on the weekend. When the old gym shut down, most of the equipment was donated to the Lakeside QRU’s new building, giving the staff there a chance to get in a real workout. It’s a symbiotic relationship, Oliverson said, because the QRU in turn works with the medical clinic to ensure the people of Lakeside get the care they need. Cowan echoed that statement, saying the partnerships in Lakeside are tight because the community is that way, with everyone working together to create a place with more and better services. Strengthening KRMC’s relationship with Lakeside is an added bonus of the clinic, Oliverson said. “We’re delighted that we were able to do it and the community has responded to it so well,” he said. “It’s a very special community; it’s very tight, very contemporary and very proud.” For more information on the Westshore Medical Clinic and Fitness, visit or call 406-844-0541. FL

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Shared Space sually an abrupt change from noise to complete silence is a warning sign. Whether it’s your kids, pets or friends, silence often means suspicious behavior. I’m reminded of this now that our two kids are sharing a room. We have a toddler transitioning into a big-girl bed who doesn’t enjoy the act of going to sleep and a 1-year-old who fights the onslaught of sleep with everything he has. I have fond and not-so-fond memories of sharing a space with my sister, college roommates and even my husband. There are trials and tribulations with every shared space and that fact doesn’t discount babies. Our cozy two-bedroom home left us no choice but to put the children together. Faced with problems a new sleeping arrangement can cause, it also raised several questions. Do we put the baby to sleep first? Should the toddler go to sleep first? Down at the same time? Once we’ve fielded all of the toddler’s seemingly endless pre-bed demands of water, bathroom breaks, different blankets, questions about where her kitty cat is, a demand to pet the dog and anything else she can dream up to avoid actually going to bed, we bolt outside the room to let them figure it out. We tend to hear lots of chatting, some laughing, some crying, and more laughing. But occasionally, there’s an abrupt silence, as was the case early on in this shared space transition process. Eyebrows raised. At first, I assumed they had happily and quietly gone to sleep, and I briefly indulged this obvious fantasy. I visualized my husband and I high-fiving, patting each other on the backs, congratulating ourselves and clearing a spot for our parents-of-the-year award. I was stunned. In hindsight, I learned it was too quiet for too long. I glanced at the clock: 11:30 p.m. We made it! Only then did I start to hear faint noises, some shuffling around. I ignored it for a while. The noise increased to a level I could recognize as something definitely other than sleep, then I heard what sounded like a 3-year-old singing. I cracked the door open. Our eldest was caught red-handed inside of the crib of her once sleeping baby brother. She scrambled to the corner of the crib, attempting to hide from the sudden flood of light. She was only trying to teach patty-cake to her little brother, she explained. And then I noticed she was sporting a completely new outfit – an additional tutu, socks, slippers, a hat, and sitting next to a now-naked little boy, all thanks to her efforts. The tiny giggles eventually overcame all of us. The shared space is a work in progress, as is this whole journey of parenting. Each milestone is one for the memory book. Regardless of our lack of an extra bedroom, even if



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we had one, I’m not sure I’d choose to split them up at this age. Their love, bond and friendship are so pure that their midnight adventures and dramas that play out are fine by us. Now if I could only convince the free-roaming toddler, who is enjoying the newfound freedom a big-girl bed grants, that sneaking up on a sleeping momma and breathing slowly just inches from her face in the middle of the night really needs to stop. Sammi is a mother, wife, business owner and production and marketing director at the Flathead Beacon in Kalispell. Have an idea for a column, or a story to share? Email FL





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752-8520 | 700 Sunset Blvd | S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G



Reach Your Summer Fitness Goals ummer is here, and with it swimsuits, shorts, tank tops and all those clothes we love to wear in order to feel the sunshine on our skin. It’s time for flip-flops and barbecues. And if you’ve wintered well, now is the time to start making a few small changes that will assist in moving you toward your summer fitness goals and rocking not only great changes in your body, but changes in your health. Clean it up: You wouldn’t dump dirty fuel floating with sticks, debris and all sorts of nastiness into your car or boat and expect it to run and sound like a high-quality Mercedes Benz, but a lot of time we ask our bodies to do the very same thing with the food choices we make. To help achieve your best summer body, start by making some changes to your diet, because the truth is you can’t out-train a bad diet. No matter how far you run in the morning, your body can only do so much with the food you decide to put in it. So clean it up. Going clean versus going healthy is the difference between feeling good and feeling exceptional. Healthy choices are whole grains in breads and pastas, minimally processed foods and light dressings. Clean choices mean cutting out breads, pastas and all processed foods. Basically, if it comes in a box (the few exceptions being uncooked rice and steel cut oatmeal) it doesn’t go in your mouth. It’s the perfect opportunity to experiment with food choices and cooking options. Healthy oils such as avocado and coconut oils actually help your body burn fat. QUICK TIP: Start with one or two days of cutting out the processed food and see how you feel. Also, start a food journal. You may not really know what you’re eating, when, or why until you start writing down everything that goes in your mouth. Unsure where to start? Talk to a nutritionist or coach. Make sure you’re eating enough. As a society we’ve been taught to eat less and do more, and if that doesn’t work, eat even less and do even more. And if that doesn’t work, you have two options: starve or blame your genes. As a result, metabolism can shut down. Again, a good nutritionist or health coach can help you get this back on track. Clean it out: We spring clean the house, the car, the garage, but we we forget our body enjoys a nice change and can benefit from a



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few days of cleansing and detoxing. The body has a built-in detox system in the liver and gallbladder, but many times with a few days of great food choices and lifestyle changes (think slowing down and enjoying some recovery from the fast-paced, high-stress lives we live) can give the body the boost it needs to help you shed those few extra pounds. The detox and cleansing fad has swept the nation with plenty of pills and drinks to choose from – everything from fasting to eating only red fruit. However, fasting, even for a day or so, can put the body into starvation mode, stress the internal organs and systems, shake up the hormone balance and crash blood sugars. Steer clear from fasting cleanses or detoxes and look for ones that include raw fruit, veggies and lean proteins. And, as with any change, increase your water uptake to help flush any toxins out of the body. QUICK TIP: Cut out all caffeine, alcohol, sugary beverages and sweeteners of any type for three to five days. This alone will give your body a chance to heal and will reduce inflammation, which can cause 3 to 5 pounds of water weight to easily sit on the body. In order to help you keep making good food choices, throw all the junk food away … yes, throw it away. No, don’t feed it to your kids, you want them to be healthy and happy also. Consistency, consistency, consistency:

With warm weather, it’s tempting to drop your gym membership or put it on hold in favor for outdoor activities. While hiking and swimming are great ways to take your cardio outside, don’t forget about your strength training exercises. You just spent the winter keeping yourself healthy in the gym, a regimen that also helped you build and strengthen muscles throughout your whole body, and you’ll want to maintain the muscle tone through the summer by maintaining your weight training. Consistency builds strength and muscle, even while changing the programs and exercises. It’s the consistency of asking more of the body and challenging the body that keeps it happy, healthy and moving toward balance. QUICK TIP: Still can’t make yourself go to the gym? Try the circuit in your favorite park or even in the backyard! Do each movement for a minute, rest two minutes, then repeat three more times. All you’ll need is a bench






Being the Best

Takes Commitment (curb, step, flat rock, etc.), a way to track the time, and your own body weight.

1. Bench Step Up to Reverse Lunge:

Place the right foot on the bench and driving through the heel step up onto the bench, keeping your weight in the working leg and making sure not to hop off the trailing leg. Step down with the left foot (or trailing leg) and immediately step the right foot back into a reverse lunge. Do one minute on each leg. 2. Bench Burpees: The burpee is one of the most underutilized exercises out there, and also one of the best full-body exercises around. Use this modification to build strength and flexibility, taking the push-up to the ground when you can do it with good form. Step (or hop) onto the bench, then step (or hop) down, placing your hands on the bench jump (or step) back to a plank position, then lower for a push-up. Come up and repeat. To make it harder, jump off the bench, jump back and place your hands on the ground before doing a push up. 3. Bench Dips: Tone those arms for tank tops and swimsuits by sitting on the bench with your fingers facing toward you, hands close to your hips. Then, slide your hips off the bench and bend your elbows to lower your body to the ground. Avoid just hanging from the shoulder; instead bend the elbows, keeping them shooting straight back. Driving through the hand, push yourself back up. Change the intensity of this exercise by extending your legs to make it harder or bending your knees to make it easier. 4. Plank Hops: Get into plank position, then hop both feet forward to the outside of your left elbow, hop back to plank, hop your knees to the center between your elbows, hop back to plank, then hop to the outside of the right elbow. Keep your core tight and your body in good plank position every time you jump back and avoid letting the body sag between the shoulder blades or the hips drop. 5. X Squats: Stand with feet hip width apart. Jump them out to shoulder, pushing your hip back into a squat as you do, and in the same motion reach the right hand to the outside of the left foot. Keep your hips square and sit low on this as you reach; avoid bending from the waist to get to the toe. Stand up and jump with your feet together, then jump apart and reach for the other foot. Rest for two minutes and repeat two more times. Stre-e-e-e-tch yourself: Out of your comfort zone that is. Everyone has their favorite activities that are the first ones we reach for to fill our time and those warm summer

days. This summer, challenge yourself by trying something new, something you may not have thought was even possible. I bet you’ll surprise yourself. Is there someplace you haven’t visited? A trail you haven’t hiked? An event you haven’t attended? Someplace you’d like to travel? Make a point this year to move confidently in the direction of your dream. The edge of the comfort zone can be a little bit daunting, but moving past it opens up a world of experiences and even more opportunities. QUICK TIP: Make a mini vision board, or a flow chart of things you’d like to try. Journal the experiences as though you’ve already achieved them and spend some time with the idea of being successful, then be brave and push yourself forward. Start the process by actually making plans and getting comfortable with the idea of “I’m going to do this.” Make time to recover: We’re super active in the summer with activities for the kids, our own workouts, playing on the lake or on the trail during the weekends, and with longer daylight hours it’s easier to go from dawn until dusk. Keep yourself healthy and feeling great this summer by making sure to schedule in some self-care, even a down day or two. This doesn’t have to be a whole day, even just an hour to 90 minutes of quiet and relaxation can help the body unwind and leave you feeling refreshed. QUICK TIP: Make yourself important. Just like you would schedule anything else into your day, schedule yourself and your non-negotiable self-care (yes, guys, you need this also, believe it or not) into your appointment book in ink. When the time comes, treat it like any other appointment, even if it’s just shutting your phone off for 20 minutes and walking out to sit in the car in some silence and maybe read a book; let it be as important as anything else, as though your health depends on it. It’s easy to give to those we love, but it’s detrimental to our welfare and our lives if we don’t set aside time to care for ourselves and treat ourselves well. Jenna is trainer and competitive physique athlete with a passion for yoga. She can usually be found at Flathead Health and Fitness in Kalispell helping others reach their health goals either in class or through one-on-one sessions. She also offers personal training out of her private studio and teaches classes at Fitness 365. She also teaches Yoga Athletica at the hot yoga studio Mandala Montana north of Kalispell. Contact her at www.innerpowertraining. com or drop into one of her classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays at noon at Flathead Health and Fitness. FL

2010 & 2011 Montana Women’s Sporting Clays Champion National Sporting Clays Association (NSCA)


Jennifer Shelley office 406.837.1249 cell 406.249.8929 8270 MT Hwy 35, Ste 5 Bigfork, MT 59911

Committed to helping you find your dream in the Flathead Valley. S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G



Letting Life Happen in Whitefish Rhona and Jerry Meislik

r. Jerry Meislik was my ophthalmologist in Kalispell. I looked forward to my annual appointment because he was different: thoughtful, engaged and interested in a lot more than just my astigmatism. He is now retired from medicine and engaged in his other life passions. When I had the opportunity to visit his home and meet his wife, Rhona, there was a special connection between them and the way they live their lives. As a couple, they are both accomplished, well educated and by all appearances, very successful. But Jerry and Rhona are different. There is contentment, centeredness and a peace about both of them that is palatable. How did two New Yorkers wind up in Whitefish with arguably the finest bonsai garden in the West? When Jerry graduated from medical school, he and Rhona headed to Grundy, Virginia on the Virginia/West Virginia border; he to run a medical clinic, she to do early childhood development. As a couple, a life of service was important to them. They were idealistic young adults of the 1970s out to make the world a better place. After a rich and sometimes difficult experience in the poorest part of the rural south, the Meisliks moved to Denver for Jerry’s training at the University of Colorado and then moved to a practice in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Their friends all had second homes, but Rhona and Jerry never wanted that kind of life. They were always drawn to traveling in the far east: Japan, Bhutan, Burma and Thailand. As a child, Jerry had visited the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens and was fascinated by bonsai. He wondered, “How could they make a tree be that little?” He bought a book on how to grow bonsai and followed the directions with little success. From that point onward, he read about and studied bonsai. He is the author of two books on bonsai and has come full circle with the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, which recruited him to work on a revised edition of the book on how to grow bonsai. His expertise has taken him all over the world as a speaker. When you see his garden, you can see the patience, the care and the nurturing required to become a master of this art. Your sense of time is different. It may take 70 years to perfect a specimen. Jerry is also a superb photographer and delights in taking photos of nature. Rhona and Jerry have no children but have been role models and caretakers to many. For years Rhona has coordinated the link-up of foreign workers at Big Mountain with local families. She has served as a friend away from home and will host a fourth wedding this summer for one of their “adopted” charges. Rhona is an avid volunteer, has served as an ambassador at the mountain, on the board of the local fire department, as an advocate for children and still works part-time on the mountain. She and Jerry have served as surrogate grandparents every Wednesday since birth to Addi, who is now 4. They both feel it is important to support the needs of others while they are able. Rhona and Jerry have led a life committed to health and wellness. Rhona has a beautiful herb-vegetable garden, loves to cook healthy food and exercises regularly. She has a degree in landscape architecture from the University of Michigan. Both are very realistic about the impacts of aging. They ski a



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few hours almost every day in the winter but not all day as they did in their 50s, run a weekly strenuous snowshoe group, and hike and bike regularly in the “off season” with a group of friends. Rhona and Jerry never had a life plan. They joined trips with the Nature Conservancy and liked the West. The Montana Academy of Ophthalmology held a meeting in Whitefish in the early 1990s, which they attended. Rhona was surprised by Jerry wanting to go to an open house on Big Mountain. They soon bought a lot. The next year they came back and did a pack trip in the Bob Marshall. Their house in Whitefish was built in 1994 and they moved for good in 2000. They live each day as it comes. Rhona learned early on in life, during the loss of a younger sibling, that you can only control how you react to life, not what happens. She has kept a positive attitude. Jerry, who was born in Czechoslovakia, lost an older sibling to the Nazi camps. He, too, makes the most of every day. They feel that if the world ends tomorrow, they will have had great lives that neither imagined or planned for. After 44 years of marriage, their respect and friendship for each other and others is fresh, real and inspiring. In the Meisliks, East meets West meets Far East in Whitefish. Liz is fascinated by the various approaches to aging – from denial, to plastic surgery, to running marathons, to depression. Given our current demographics, Liz thinks there is a lot to explore, celebrate and learn from those living and aging in the Flathead Valley. Contact her at FL

these are the good old days. There’s still a place where kids are encouraged to climb trees and strong connections are about bonding not bandwidth. Welcome to Whitefish.

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A Touch of Italy Bonelli’s Bistro offers Italian and Mediterranean fare in Kalispell, and at new public marketplace in Whitefish BY TRISTAN SCOTT • PHOTOGRAPHY BY LIDO VIZZUTTI 116

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kalispell, montana flathead valley area • Dining An ornate Mediterranean Platter is seen at Bonelli’s Bistro in Kalispell.

• Local Shopping • Lodging • Attractions • And more... S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G




ony Loiacono recalls the aromatic ambiance of his childhood in Toronto, the tastes and textures of the Italian neighborhood baked into those formative years, and he remembers how it influenced his decision to open a cafe. Similarly, his wife Kerry “Kage” Harp-Loiacono’s three decades of restaurant experience and her creative flair as an artist provided the savvy to craft a unique menu featuring light, flavorful fare that was absent from the Flathead Valley. But when the couple opened Bonelli’s Bistro in downtown Kalispell in 2009, it was an idea born more of desperation than of a gourmand’s devotion to dishing out tasty tack. “We were both unemployed. We couldn’t find jobs. We were down and out,” Loiacono said. “Kage asked me what I wanted to do, and I said, ‘Well, I like to eat.’” Despite the economic downturn, the couple took a risky leap of faith. They found a location at a former bakery, in a plaza across from Depot Park, and set about revamping the space. “Everyone we talked to said, ‘You guys are nuts,’” Loiacono said. “We just took a huge leap and had a lot of faith that we could make 118

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it work.” Within a month of opening Bonelli’s Bistro, the lunchtime thrum rose to the same fever pitch they’ve maintained ever since, sustained by a fixed cast of characters who eat there daily, as well as by patrons who wander in to the unassuming brick building having only heard whispers about the Italian-Mediterranean bistro serving Panini sandwiches, soups, salads, samplers and wraps. Nearly every menu item comes with a gluten-free option, and the proprietors take care to locally source as much of their fresh ingredients as possible. “We’ve discovered that people want this kind of food. There are a lot of people, whether they’re local or from big cities, who are food savvy. We’re trying to fill that flavor-niche,” Loiacono said. In addition to previously running the Knead Café in Kalispell, Harp-Loiacono spent years in the restaurant business in San Francisco.
Meanwhile, Loiacono’s culinary expertise evolved through his mother’s recipes and in his own kitchen. “It gives me a creative outlet, because I’m an artist and I love to create,” Harp-Loiacono

Dani Minette, front, makes a note on an order while working at Bonelli’s Bistro on First Avenue East in Kalispell.

said. “We really get creative with our soups. We go through a ton of soup.” The restaurant has been so successful that the couple decided to open Zucca Italian Marketplace, occupying the brand new indoor Stumptown Marketplace in Whitefish. The marketplace, the brainchild of David and Amy Gatton, is a place for a variety of vendors to showcase their wares, while several restaurants peddle food out of 300-squarefoot booths. Fashioned after the indoor markets popular in Italy, France and even San Francisco and Seattle, with a variety of fresh, local products available all in one place, the idea appealed to the Bonelli’s proprietors. “The more we thought about it, the more we figured it would be a really good opportunity for us,” Loiacono said. “It’s a great location, great people and it’s the kind of community-based project we want to be part of.” The building is located at 12 Spokane Ave.

in Whitefish, and Loiacono said Zucca (Italian for “squash”) will feature a scaledback breakfast and lunch menu similar to Bonelli’s, while offering more specials and salads, and still maintaining the staple of Paninis and wraps. Like Bonelli’s, Zucca will adhere to the farm-to-table concept that has made Bonelli’s so popular, and Loiacono said they refuse to give customers short shrift when it comes to fresh, healthful and local ingredients. “We live in an area that promotes health. So we put that outdoor activity into that eating lifestyle and it kind of works,” he said. “We don’t put croutons on our salad. Our dressings are all homemade. There’s fresh lemon in the tabouli. The customers who are food savvy can really taste the difference. They know that the ingredients are fresh. We don’t cut the corners. It’s the little things like that that make the difference.” One reason the couple is so committed to the customers is because, without their fierce loyalty, the debut of Bonelli’s would have been far more anxiety inducing. “It’s just amazing, the loyalty of our customers,” he said. As for the name, Loiacono said it was derived from a childhood nickname. Although he had a voracious appetite, Loiacono grew up skinny, and so his peers invented the nickname “Bone.” To integrate his Italian roots, Loiacono gradually took on the name “Bonelli.” Bonelli’s is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. It’s located at 38 First Ave. E. and can be reached at (406) 2578669. Outdoor seating is available. The restaurant also serves breakfast, with an emphasis on light dishes such as tortes and pastries, coffee and tea. FL

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406.752.6809 A bowl of seafood chowder. S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G



Blue Jay White IPA Tamarack Brewing Company — Lakeside and Missoula he idea for Tamarack Brewing Company’s Blue Jay White IPA was hatched two years ago in the heat of summer. Arriving at work one morning in Lakeside, head brewer Joe Byers said it was the chirping of a blue jay that inspired his decision to brew a batch of the white IPA. “We took our wit recipe and basically scaled up that malt bill. And then we just hopped it heavily,” said Byers. “The lightness of this beer allows the hops to really come through without being overshadowed by caramel malt character or overwhelming bitterness.” Blue Jay is a spiced American wheat ale married with a Northwest India pale ale. Mixing the hop character of an IPA with the wheat base and spice additions of a wit results in a refreshing brew that departs from the heavier IPA while retaining depth of complexity and flavor. “Balance over an overwhelming hop presence,” said Byers. “That’s what we’re shooting for in this beer.” Instead of the traditional Belgian



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yeast, Byers uses a London ale yeast. “(The yeast) has some fruity notes to it but doesn’t dominate the beer. So we allow those spices and those hops to really play together and not be overwhelmed by yeast character.” Since its inaugural pour, the white IPA has gone through numerous incarnations, including port barrel-aged and mandarin orange-flavored batches. This year’s first batch will feature Galaxy and Pacifica hops, a departure from the Citra and Cascade hops used previously. “Because it’s not set in stone in our full-time lineup, we have a little more freedom to play around with it,” said Byers. “If at some point it goes to a fulltime production we will dial in.” “This one we’re going to use some black pepper, ginger powder and some grains of paradise in very subdued amounts,” added Byers. “When we dry hop on about day seven with more Pacifica and Galaxy, we’ll also add a small amount of candied ginger. (This) adds a little spiciness to it and complements

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Style: White IPA IBU: 45 ABV: 6-7% - varies with each batch Malts: Pale, Wheat and Acidulated Hops: Galaxy and Pacifica (can vary) Yeast: London Ale Appearance: Hazy White Description: Smooth wheat character with a tropical to citrus hop aroma. Flavor backed with pepper, ginger and coriander. Finishes dry and hoppy.


The Blue Jay IPA was expected to be tapped in early May and available through the summer at Tamarack Brewing Company’s Lakeside location at 105 Blacktail Road and their Missoula pub house at 231 W. Front St. Contact Tamarack Brewing Company at (406) 844-0244 or visit for availability or more information.

the beer.” A favorite of previous summers, this beer has a hop character that satisfies IPA drinkers and pale ale drinkers while the spice and wheat notes gratify some of the wit beer lovers. “It’s been a very successful beer for us. So we’re trying to work out the kinks, making it more consistent and getting it into production full time,” said Byers. “I think it’s just the balance of yeast, hops and spice and that gentle malt presence (and the ginger) that makes it very palatable to most beer drinkers.” “The uniqueness of it, that’s what keeps us excited about it,” he added. “Plus we love the end product.” FL S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G



West Glacier and the Canyon After a long day exploring Glacier National Park, these roadside communities offer a way to cut loose and kick back or locals, summer in the Flathead is the reward after a long, cold winter. For visitors, it’s often an escape from their regular lives. As residents and visitors alike know, there is nothing like spending a sunny day exploring the crown jewel of America’s national park system, Glacier National Park. What visitors may not recognize are some of the communities just outside the park, like Martin City, Coram and West Glacier. Locals know these communities as “The Canyon” and it’s the perfect place to kick back and unwind after a long day, which is exactly what a co-worker and I



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did on a particularly warm spring evening. If you don’t have time for a daylong hike in the park, there are plenty of short adventures in the West Glacier area that are worth checking out. The Avalanche Lake Trail is a fantastic 4.5-mile round trip hike that features stunning vistas surrounding its namesake lake. The Forest and Fire Nature Trail is a short 1.1-mile loop with views of Lake McDonald and some great interpretive signs about the impact of fire on the land. And the Trail of the Cedars near Avalanche Creek is a 1-mile loop through some amazing old growth forest.

After sweating it out on Glacier’s trails, a great place for a pre-dinner drink is Glacier Distilling’s Whiskey Barn in Coram, along U.S. Highway 2. In the tasting room you can try some locally made spirits and even see how they are made. One taste and you’ll want to bring home a bottle for yourself. After a drink or two on the Whiskey Barn’s deck you will have likely built up an appetite. If you’re looking for more formal fare, then head to the Belton Chalet’s Dining and Tap Room. Built in 1910 by the Great Northern Railway, the chalet features world-class meals and a unique




great locations

Tamarack - Lakeside . • Lakeside MT 59922 406.844.0244 • 105 Blacktail Rd

outdoor kitchen right on the doorstep of Glacier National Park. Among the menu’s highlights are seared duck breast and bourbon filet. For more casual fare, Glacier Grill & Pizza is another great spot across the road from the distillery in Coram. And if you’re really hungry, the Packers Burger at the Packers Roost is sure to fill an appetite. With two massive patties, the burger is the perfect way to reward your stomach after a big day on the water or in the woods. If you’re not ready to head home after dinner, there are plenty of watering holes up and down the canyon, starting with the always-popular Packers. The Stonefly Lounge is also a great place to listen to music, and seasonal park employees are always hanging out at the Dew Drop Inn, both located in Coram. In Martin City, you can pull up a barstool at the South Fork Saloon or Deerlick Saloon. On an average day in July, more than 13,000 cars travel along U.S. Highway 2 through the Canyon, yet often people are preoccupied with thoughts of what they will find inside the national park just down the road. Yet locals will tell you, there are plenty of reasons to slow down and take a look around on your way to and from the park. FL Tamarack - Missoula Missoula MT 59801 406.830.3113 • 231 W Front St. •

306 Stoner Loop in Lakeside in the Lakeside Town Center

406.844.0610 • serving fresh, locally sourced breakfast and lunch S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G



Asparagus, Three Ways sparagus in Montana is a tasty early summer crop that produces through June and into July. Terrapin Farms began growing asparagus a few years ago and now has a well-established crop for our annual harvest at the restaurant. Here are three variations for asparagus; one for breakfast, lunch and dinner.


Cast Iron Asparagus with Fried Eggs Serves 2 Ingredients: 6-8 asparagus sprigs trimmed or peeled 4 eggs 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan 1 tablespoon of fresh dill and parsley 1/3 cup bread crumbs 2 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 onion, minced 3 anchovies, minced OR 1/4 cup bacon minced (for the non-Italians) 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil A few drops of balsamic vinegar


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Instructions: 1 SautĂŠ 1/4 cup olive oil with onions and garlic for two minutes in a cast iron skillet. 2 Add anchovies (or bacon); they will disintegrate. Add bread crumbs and sautĂŠ for three to four minutes longer, or until all the oil is absorbed and the crumbs are browned and crispy. 3 Set aside bread crumbs and wipe out the cast iron skillet. Then heat the cast iron skillet to medium heat and sear the asparagus with salt and pepper until you get a nice char and is just cooked through, about four minutes. 4P  late asparagus. 5 Fry eggs in the cast iron skillet; keep them yolky. This becomes your sauce. 6T  op asparagus with eggs. 7T  op the eggs with the parmesan, then add the bread crumb mixture and fresh herbs. 8 Garnish the plate with a few drops of balsamic vinegar.

Northwest Grilled Cheese Serves 2 Ingredients: 4 slices of high-quality sourdough bread 2 slices of your favorite cheese – cheddar, Fontina or Havarti 1/2 pound Dungeness crab 6 asparagus spears: peeled, sliced in half lengthwise 1 Fresno chili or jalapeno 1 teaspoon pickling spice Instructions for the asparagus: 1 Quick pickle the asparagus by boiling 1/4 cup of water with 1/2 cup of sugar and 1 cup of vinegar with 1 teaspoon of pickling spice (spice is optional). 2 Pour hot liquid over asparagus and chilies and let stand for 10 minutes at room temperature.

Asparagus Risotto Serves 4-6

For the sandwich: 1 Butter the sourdough bread slices. 2 Build your sandwich by alternating layers of cheese, crab and asparagus/chilies. 3 Pan fry until toasted with cheese oozing!

Ingredients: 2 cups of Arborio rice Approximately 8 cups of chicken broth, heated to a low simmer 1 cup of dry white wine 18-20 asparagus spears: peeled and trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces 1 small onion, minced 2 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 cup of parsley, minced Juice and zest of 1 lemon 1/2 cup chopped pancetta or bacon 2 cups sliced mushrooms 1 cup grated parmesan 1 cup cream Instructions for the asparagus: 1 Blanch in boiling water for 30 seconds and cool in an ice bath to stop the cooking. 2 Puree about one third of the asparagus (save most of the asparagus tips) 1/2 cup cream and a little water (if necessary) in a blender or food processor until smooth. For the Risotto: 1 Heat a heavy bottomed, shallow 8-quart pan or pot to medium heat. Add the butter and extra virgin olive oil with onions, garlic, mushrooms and half of the parsley. SautĂŠ for 5 minutes or until the onions are browned and the mushrooms have released most of its liquid. 2 Add the rice and stir to coat. Pour in the wine and reduce, stirring the entire time. Add hot broth in 1/2 cup portions, stirring and reducing until rice is just al dente. 3 At this point, add one more 1/2 cup portion of chicken stock, the asparagus tips, the rest of the cream and the asparagus puree. 4 Keep stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed. 5 Add the parmesan cheese and the remaining parsley. 6 Risotto should be runny and move on the plate, not dry or stiff.

S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G




Amazing Hikes in Glacier National Park



Glacier National Park offers visitors a suite of gentle hikes and bikes, a panoply of beach sides, car rides and campsites accessible to all comers, many of its most prized geological features, its grandest two-milehigh views and its steepest headwalls, lay off the beaten path. They are best experienced away from the crowds, high above the roads and the riff raff, off-trail and in the midst of the Crown Jewel’s wild, inhospitable terrain. These hikes and climbs are neither for the faint of heart nor the ill prepared, and this list is by no means a guide. Interested parties should consult a guidebook, procure a map from the ranger station, and travel with experienced hikers. But in the immortal words of Edward Abbey: “May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view. May your mountains rise into and above the clouds.”

A glacial melt pond near Sperry Glacier on the Floral Park traverse. PHOTO BY KELLYN BROWN


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GUNSIGHT PASS TRAIL TO LAKE MCDONALD Rated: Strenuous, Class 1 Beta: This hike combines the beauty, distance and elevation of the Floral Park traverse without requiring the same route-finding prowess, scrambling or comfort with exposure. The entire 20-mile hike is on trail, and begins at the Jackson Glacier Overlook. Follow the trail to Gunsight Lake, then hike over Gunsight Pass (an ideal lunch spot) and descend the switchbacks to the sparkling blue waters of Lake Ellen Wilson. From there, continue to a boulder-strewn plateau, atop which sits Sperry Chalet, before beginning the six-mile descent to Lake McDonald.

TOP LEFT: Lake Elizabeth

from Ptarmigan Tunnel. BOTTOM LEFT: Looking

through the Ptarmigan Tunnel. RIGHT: Looking down on

Lake Ellen Wilson on the hike from Gunsight Pass to Lake McDonald.


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PTARMIGAN TUNNEL Rated: Moderate, Class 1 Beta: The 240-foot Ptarmigan Tunnel, which runs through the great spine of Ptarmigan Wall, was built by members of the Civilian Conservation Corp in the 1930s, originally meant for horseback tours. Drilling from both sides with steel jackhammers, and with a few well-placed charges of dynamite, the workers broke through the mountain in three months. The 10.7-mile round-trip hike to the Ptarmigan Tunnel begins at the Iceberg Lake Trailhead, behind the cabins near the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn.


FLORAL PARK Rated: Strenuous, Class 2 and 3, off trail Beta: The Floral Park traverse is a mostly offtrail route that conjoins Logan Pass (6,646 feet) to Lake McDonald (3,153 feet) and features a definitive catalog of the park’s most amazing geologic features – glacial lakes and melt ponds shimmering with mind-bending shades of turquoise-blue and marine-green; snowfields, crevasses and glaciers, stained red by algae and pockmarked by fallen ice and rock; mountain goats blithely traversing sheer rock-faces; and tenacious wildflowers that thrive in this rarefied alpine climate. The traverse is best attempted July through September. For a thorough route description, see J. Edward Gordon’s “A Climber’s Guide to Glacier National Park.”

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TOP LEFT: A hiker on a spire

above Iceberg Lake. TOP AND BOTTOM RIGHT:

Views from the hike to Siyeh Pass.


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PTARMIGAN WALL GOAT TRAIL TRAVERSE Rated: Very strenuous and exposed, Class 3, off trail Beta: This classic, pinnacle-studded alpine traverse is anchored at its southern end by Iceberg Peak and at its northern end by an unnamed feature, often referred to as “Ptarmigan Spire.” On the backside of Ptarmigan Tunnel, a goat trail hugs the sheer cliffs for nearly four miles between the Ptarmigan Tunnel (north end) and Ahern Pass (south end). The route is highly exposed but, despite some Class 3 scrambling to complete it, including a steep descent to Iceberg Lake from Iceberg Notch, is mostly a hike, albeit one that requires total concentration. Locating the goat trail and the descent to Iceberg Lake is not difficult if climbers correctly follow the route description provided in J. Gordon Edwards’ “A Climber’s Guide to Glacier Park.”

MOUNT SIYEH Rated: Strenuous, Class 2 and 3 Beta: Located about four miles northeast of Logan Pass, this peak is named for the Blackfeet word “Sai-yeh,” meaning Crazy Dog, or Mad Wolf. Despite being the fifth-highest peak in Glacier Park, and one of just six peaks in the park over 10,000-feet high, summiting the peak is a strenuous but mostly non-technical scramble. The views from the summit are unrivaled, and a vertigo-inducing glance down the steep north face is a reminder that this is one of the highest rock faces in the lower-48. The two most common routes on Mount Siyeh (South Slope and Piegan Pass) are most easily approached via the Piegan Pass Trail, beginning at Siyeh Bend about 3 miles east of Logan Pass on the Going-to-the-Sun Road. FL




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Priscilla Peak Lookout fter the long winter and a busy spring, I found myself itching to leave the valley for the wilderness. A weekend of camping and hiking along the Thompson River in late May seemed to fit the bill. With no map, no guidebook and no cell service – only a wooden sign indicating a 4.7-mile hike to Priscilla Peak Lookout – I laced up my boots. Some may call it unprepared; I like to call it an adventure. Armed with some food, water and a couple of companions, we hit the trail. Sundance Ridge Trail 433 climbs right away and the incline rarely relents along the way to the top of Priscilla Peak in the Lolo National Forest. The first mile weaves among cliff bands and through meadows bustling with wildflowers. This is the perfect place for an afternoon picnic. The trail eventually leads through a


forest and climbs up Sundance Ridge. Look for huckleberries here in the late summer. About three miles into the hike we hit snow, and eventually were unable to follow the trail. Despite our disappointment, we wandered into a clearing and found a rock outcropping overlooking the Thompson River drainage. With the sun warming our backs, it proved to be the perfect place to rest tired legs and enjoy lunch while watching a hawk circle the valley below. Had the snow melted sooner we likely would have made it to the lookout, which sits at an elevation of 7,005 feet, more than 4,000 feet above the Thompson River where the trail begins. Priscilla Peak Lookout was built in the 1920s and served as a fire lookout for many years. On a clear day visitors will enjoy 360-degree views from the top. Had I done research, I would have likely talked myself out of hiking the

trail so early in the year, knowing it would be too snowy and nearly impossible to access in late May. But I would have missed meadows of wildflowers, a rewarding view and an adventure with good company. It is easy to get hung up on the destination, particularly with the amount of spectacular vistas accessible in Northwest Montana. It is easy to forget that the journey is often more rewarding. So occasionally ditch the guidebooks, maps and electronics this season and find an adventure of your own. It might be exactly what you were looking for. Getting There: From Thompson Falls, travel east on Montana Highway 200 for about 5 miles and turn north onto Thompson River Road. Sundance Ridge Trail 433, which leads to Priscilla Peak Lookout, starts on the left side of the road approximately 11 miles from Highway 200. FL

Arrowleaf balsamroot along the Sundance Ridge Trail. 132

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A hiker takes in views of the Thompson River valley during a lunch break along the Sundance Ridge Trail.

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Morning on Lake McDonald 134

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e stride through the Logan Pass parking lot to reach the Hidden Lake Overlook boardwalk that will lead us to a less-traveled trail through a wildflower-spackled meadow and along a steep slope littered with scree. Voices fade in and out as if we are channel surfing while we pass young parents with children in tow, white-haired couples snapping photos of craggy peaks, and backpackers plodding up the trail. English, Chinese, French, German, Russian, and Spanish – like varied genres of music – rise into the crisp clear day, a reminder of the draw from across the globe to this spectacular place.

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About Glacier Park Here are some interesting facts to make you sound savvy if you take on the role as tour guide. • George Bird Grinnell was instrumental in the 1910 designation of Glacier as the 10th national park. • Glacier National Park and Waterton Lakes National Park became the world’s first International Peace Park in 1932 due to efforts between the two nations’ rotary clubs. • Going-to-the-Sun Road was completed in 1932. • Recognized in 1995 as a World Heritage Site. • Over 1 million acres with more than 93 percent managed as wilderness. • 762 lakes comprising 25,622 acres (1,583 square miles). • There are 743 miles of trails.

This summer a family of four from Paris will probably spend at least $8,000 for airfare and 24 hours on two or three different jets to reach Glacier Park International Airport. Expenses for a family will easily double when hotel, food and ground transportation are added. Cost for a Flathead Valley family to reach Glacier National Park is around $10 in gas, less than an hour drive and a seven-day park pass for $25. More than 2 million people from around the world visit Glacier each year. That fact can be both off-putting and seductive with the knowledge that this extraordinarily beautiful wilderness is right in our big backyard. Almost everyone has summer guests, which is a perfect time to revisit the park – or for the first time if you haven’t already been there yet. With more than 1 million acres of wilderness, 740 miles of trails, 762 lakes, a myriad of activities including hiking, fishing, biking, horseback riding, boat tours, ranger-led activities, and dining at historic lodges, it can be difficult to decide where to go and what to do. Here are a few different park “menus” as options for a day-trip to Glacier. 136

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GLACIER OUTINGS First things first – when possible, leave early. It can mean a completely different kind of park experience. After 9 a.m. the roads are more congested and you might have a tough time finding a parking place at some of the more popular areas of Avalanche Creek, the Loop and Logan Pass. Another option is to let someone else do the driving. The Going-to-the-Sun Road is narrow and its path winds up sheer cliffs, which can be daunting, especially for those from the flatlands. Another piece of advice – plan the ride so that the queasier members aren’t on the cliff side of the car. The Red Bus tour provides a ride through the park in vintage 1930s red buses with an interpretive tour by knowledgeable park veterans. Rollback tops offer an expanded experience letting in the sounds of cascading falls, a smorgasbord of alpine scents, and nearly unobstructed views of majestic mountains and wildlife. 855-SEEGLACIER (855-733-4522) Glacier also offers a free shuttle service to help alleviate traffic and reduce pollution, and also serves as a great amenity to visitors. The transit system provides twoway service along Going-to-the-Sun Road

• 2,865 miles of intermittent and perennial streams inside the park. • 175 mountains – the tallest is Mount Cleveland at 10,448. • Logan Pass is located at 6,646 feet. • Located at the headwaters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Hudson Bay drainages. • Glaciers carved the mountains and valleys 10,000 years ago. • At the end of the Little Ice Age in 1850 there were an estimated 150 glaciers in Glacier Park. By 1968, the number dwindled to around 50. There are 26 glaciers remaining in the park today, many of them greatly reduced from their original size. • The Big Drift snowbank on the east side of Logan Pass has been measured over 98 feet high. • Lake McDonald Lodge celebrated its centennial on June 14 this year. • Lake McDonald is the largest lake in the park with a length of 10 miles and a depth of 472 feet.

OPPOSITE: Visitors gain a different perspective and memorable boat ride on the DeSmet wooden boat on Lake McDonald.

between the Apgar Transit Center and St. Mary Visitor Center. On the west side from the Apgar Transit Center to Logan Pass, buses run every 30 minutes and on the east side every 40 to 60 minutes. Buses fill up quickly so you might have to wait for the next bus. If you are at one of the visitor centers it will afford an opportunity to look at the displays and visit with a ranger. If you are at one of the other stops, just relax and enjoy the view. Sun Tours, based in East Glacier, offers guided tours on air-conditioned buses that highlight Blackfeet Indian culture. (800) 786-9220

GLACIER PARK 101 For first-time and possibly one-time visitors, a tour on the Goingto-the-Sun provides a crash course along the main artery of the park. The full 50 miles of the road usually opens sometime around the third week in June until Sept. 21. The road begins at the valley floor where it travels along Lake McDonald through old forest fires, lush cedar forests, past avalanche chutes and water features before it begins winding up the mountainside. There is a sense of other worldliness with colors that appear to be Photoshopped, layers of jagged mountains, steep snow banks and sweeping snowfields that remain well into the summer and the storybook, crooked little trees on the timber line known as krummholz. This road tour is possibly one of the most beautiful in the world. First stop after entering the park should be in Apgar at the Lake McDonald boat launch. The stunning view across the lake to the dramatic mountains that curtain the landscape is like looking into

a window of the park and a great preview of what is to come. Stop at the mountain range map where you can point out Reynolds Peak near Logan Pass. You can dazzle your guests and family when you inform them that in an hour or two you will be over a mile high at this mountain pass. You might want to save a visit to the new Apgar Visitor Center and some of the stops along Going-to-the-Sun highway for the return trip so that you can reach the summit before the parking lot is full. We have found that if we leave Apgar before 9 a.m. traffic is reasonable, and parking is still available. Make sure everyone visits the rest area in Apgar before heading up the road since it is your last chance for flush toilets until you reach the pass. There are state-of-the-art outhouses at Avalanche Creek and the Loop if nature calls before you reach the top. There are plenty of outstanding features on the way up to the pass – highlights such as the Weeping Wall, ever-changing views of the mountains above and the valley below. Wildlife sightings are not unusual along the road, including bears, mountain goats, bighorn sheep and deer. Once you reach the pass you can stop at the visitor center and take a walk up the boardwalk. The 1.5-mile walk to Hidden Lake Overlook is a perfect way to stretch out and see some of the most spectacular scenery in the world with vast wildflower meadows, rugged peaks still blanketed in snow, and streams and waterfalls gushing through meadows and rock faces. You might want to continue on another 1.5 miles to Avalanche Lake, but keep in mind that you have to climb back up.

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Fill Your Day Times are approximate, fine-tuned by you, according to interest and travel time.

30 MINS. to 1 HOUR

1 HOUR Apgar Village Visitor Center and Discovery Cabin

Trail of the Cedars hike: one-mile loop

30 MINS. each way


Logan Pass to St. Mary Lake

DeSmet wooden boat tour on Lake McDonald

1 & 2 HOUR OPTIONS Horseback rides with Swan Mountain Outfitters in Apgar and near Lake McDonald

1.5 HOURS Hidden Lake Overlook hike: three miles round trip

1.5 HOURS each way

Going-to-the Sun Highway motor tour to Logan Pass


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Avalanche Lake hike: 4 miles round trip

3 HOURS Lake McDonald Lodge tour and lunch

More than just a golf course... OPPOSITE: A red bus awaits park visitors at Logan Pass.

Depending on time allotments, you can continue on the road for 18 miles to the east entrance of the park near St. Mary Lake. Vast meadows afford outstanding views of the turquoise lake and surrounding forests and mountains. On the return trip there are several stops to consider. In complete contrast to the wide-open meadows at the pass, you will find the lush cedar forest at the bottom of the road. Stop at Avalanche Campground to take a quick walk on the Trails of the Cedars and stop at one of the most photographed spots at a mauve rocky gorge sculpted by Avalanche Creek. A two-mile hike leads to Avalanche Lake, one of the most popular hikes in the park. There are also several pullouts where you can view snowmelt unleashed as it roars down McDonald Creek over colorful rocks. Watch for old avalanche chutes along the road, where the destructive force of snow has left heaps of trees and rocks. Just a few more miles up the road is Lake McDonald, a log lodge built with native western cedar and local stone by Great Northern in 1913-14. This stop can be tailored to your schedule. Take a stroll to learn about the history and observe details such as Native American etchings in the flagstone floor and a massive fireplace, and then refuel at the charming bar or restaurant. You can also take a onehour boat tour from the Lodge on the DeSmet, a historic wooden boat operated by Glacier Park Boat Co. For those who have already made the trip to Logan Pass, there are numerous other options in this vast park. You will find the North Fork, Goat Haunt, Many Glacier and Two Medicine regions of the park less traveled because of the longer travel time to reach each of these unique areas. Everyone’s perspective and appreciation of the park will be a little different. A geologist might be consumed with the rocks, a hiker with summits, a historian with the buildings and founding story of the park, and a botanist with the diversity of plants and trees in the park. The park’s expansive website is bulging with information and facts that can help you plan your trip: htm. FL

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AGE: 16 Hometown: Whitefish, MT Vehicle: #12 TTC Toyota Camry

1st Place Win: Semi-Pro Division

First Race: Age 8, INEX

First Pro Division Standing:


First Drive:

Age 7 in a Bandolero

sanctioned Bandolero Bandit Division, Montana Raceway Park

First Track Record: Age 9,

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring; record still stands

Additional Victories:

Raceway Park & Bullring: 2008, 2009, Bandolero Bandits & Young Gun Divisions

Montana State Championship Title: Legend Young Lion Division, 2009


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Championship, Raceway Park, 2010

Las Vegas Motor Speedway Bullring, 2010

Summary: Giles fast track from

INEX Divisions to Pro Status took just 1 ½ years at remarkable age of 12

Super Late Model Division:

Best in the West Showdown, Raceway Park, Top 15 Qualifier, 2010

Second and Final Super Late Model Races: Top 10 Qualifier, Age 12

2011-2012 Training Sessions: Jason Jefferson Racing,

Lake Havasu Speedway, Arizona; Lap Times consistent with Top 3 Qualifiers of most current Super Late Model Race; and Chad Little Racing, Hickory Speedway, North Carolina

First Full Season: Age 13, Montana Raceway Park, 2011

Summary: Finished 8th overall in championship points and entered Montana 200 as youngest racer; Finished 11th (out of 35 Late Models) in Spokane 200, while also running Super Stock at Raceway Park; Pole Award, unclaimed track record, and 2nd Place victory.




2012 2013 2014 ACCOMPLISHMENTS:



Racing UARA Series and INSSA Series; awarded Super Late Model Rookie of the Year title (INSSA); set fast time record of the year (Raceway Park); finished 4th at Spokane 200 & 7th at Yakima Fall Classic

2nd Place Qualifier, Get Rich 212;

Placed 6th at Napa Auto Parts 150, Irwindale Event Center, Irwindale, CA

1st Place, Montana 200 Giles advanced to the K&N Pro West Series (NASCAR) as one of only a handful of 15-year-olds in the nation competing in this esteemed division. To date, he has taken four Top 10 and two Top 5 places in this series.

Placed 3rd in Stockton California in the K&N Nascar Pro Series

S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G



WHITEFISH WHITEFISH DOWNTOWN FARMERS MARKET Every Tuesday, May 27 – September 30 North end of Central Avenue 5 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. Live music, prepared food and the season’s freshest, local food. FOURTH OF JULY FIREWORKS Whitefish City Beach 10:30 p.m. – 11 p.m.

THE GLACIER CHALLENGE – MULTI-SPORT RELAY July 19, 2014 This popular race supports the efforts of the Flathead Youth Home and has six different legs, which include a 10.5k run, kayak, road bike, mountain bike, canoe and 4k run and, covers 50 miles. New to The Glacier Challenge this year is a triathlon. HUCKLEBERRY DAYS August 8 – 10 Depot Park This popular art festival inundates Depot Park in downtown each year, bringing more than 100 artists and vendors with the popular huckleberry bake-off.

KALISPELL KALISPELL FARMERS MARKET Every Saturday April 19 through October 11, from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Flathead Valley Community College THURSDAY!FEST Museum at Central School 5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Relax post-work in historic downtown and enjoy company, food, drink, arts and crafts vendors, and various live music acts.


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Multi-instrumentalist Christian Johnson, of the Mission Mountain Wood Band, ventures out into the audience and plays at a surprise reunion show during Picnic in the Park.

PICNIC IN THE PARK CONCERT SERIES Wednesday Lunchtime Concerts Tuesday Evening Concerts Depot Park Don’t worry if you don’t pack your own picnic; just come and enjoy music on the lawn at Depot Park, along with food and drink from local vendors. BIBLER SUMMER TOURS Bibler Gardens July 21 (kick-off event) at 6 p.m. July 22 – 25 for tours The Bibler Gardens and estate is an extensive, private display garden and exquisite home in Kalispell that features ponds, waterfalls, sculptures, an arboretum, a log stable with a menagerie of miniature animals with the interior home displaying a collection of 18th and 19th century furnishings, art, Inuit tribal art and Persian Rugs. Tours are available this summer with all proceeds to benefit the Flathead Valley Community scholarship program. Tickets must be purchased in advance. MONTANA 200 July 17 – 19 | Montana Raceway Park The 24th annual Montana 200 attracts racing fans and some of the best drivers in the region.

ARTS IN THE PARK July 18 – 20 Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Sunday, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Depot Park The Hockaday Museum of Art presents its 46th Annual Arts in the Park festival, which features premier arts, crafts and music with more than 100 local and visiting artists. Daily admittance $3 Weekend pass $5 Children under 6 are free A JOURNEY THROUGH HISTORY: ART AND ARTIFACTS FROM THE COLLECTION OF DR. VAN KIRKE AND HELEN NELSON May 29 – July 26 Hockaday Museum The Nelsons are widely recognized as one of the West’s major art collectors and this exhibition features a wide array of art from Charles M. Russell, O.C. Seltzer, Fred Fellows, John Fery and many others. THE EVENT AT REBECCA FARM July 24 — 27 1385 Farm to Market Road The Event is one of the largest equestrian triathlons in North America and draws fans and participants from all parts of the globe. Equestrian events include dressage, cross country and show jumping. It’s free with a $5 suggested donation to support the Halt Cancer at X organization. www.rebeccafarm. org


ALPINE THEATRE PROJECT: GUYS & DOLLS AND BIG RIVER PRODUCTIONS July 11 – August 1 Whitefish Performing Arts Center – 8 p.m. Alternating nights for each production, the Alpine Theatre Project brings two fantastic shows to Whitefish this summer. For a full schedule visit:

NORTHWEST MONTANA FAIR & RODEO August 13 – 17 Flathead County Fairgrounds Fun for the whole family, the 2014 Northwest Montana Fair is rich with excitement, heritage and culture with three nights of PRCA rodeo entertainment, concerts, carnival rides and games, food and drink. GRAVELPALOOZA August 23 LHC Gravel Pit 1179 Stillwater Road, Kalispell 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Ever wish you could operate a bulldozer? Now you can at Gravelpalooza. Brought to you by the Community Action Partnership of Northwest Montana. Tickets $5 Children under two, free

BIGFORK FARMERS MARKET Starts June 4 8098 Highway 35 Wednesdays, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. CROWN OF THE CONTINENT GUITAR FESTIVAL AND WORKSHOP August 24 – 31 Averill’s Dude Ranch on Flathead Lake This weeklong workshop and festival boasts some big names in the guitar world, and this annual event grows each year. BIGFORK SUMMER PLAYHOUSE Throughout summer Bigfork Playhouse in downtown Bigfork The 2014 summer season at the Bigfork Playhouse offers a fantastic lineup of shows sure to entertain everyone. Shows this summer include “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown,” “West Side Story,” “Thoroughly Modern Millie,” “Disney’s Tarzan” and the “Full Monty.”

LAKESIDE LAKESIDE COMMUNITY FAIR AND SUMMERFEST July 12, 11 a.m. Enjoy a full day of activities – road race, parade, vendor fair, kids’ games/activities, volleyball tournament, music, food and more! Fair.html

BEACON’S 5 AND 10K RUN AND/OR LIGHTHOUSE LOOP SWIM July 12, 9 a.m. 5 and 10k 10 a.m. Lighthouse Loop Swim, 1.4 or 2.4 miles Start the Lakeside Community Fair and Summerfest off right with a 5 or 10k run and/or a swim in beautiful Flathead Lake for the Lighthouse Loop Swim. Register early at $20 for run $35 for swim $55 for both 9TH ANNUAL BIG SKY ANTIQUE AND CLASSIC BOAT SHOW August 1 – 3 The Docks Restaurant & Marina Wander through displays of beautiful historic wood boats, canoes, kayaks and other small crafts. Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Sunday 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. – Featuring a parade of boats to close the show. Free |

COLUMBIA FALLS HERITAGE DAYS July 23 – 27 Heritage Days is an annual festival that celebrates Columbia Falls’ roots with activities spanning the four days to include parades, road race, basketball street tournament, dancing, auctions, live music, a car show and more. Free |

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WEST GLACIER FARMERS MARKET Starts late June, Friday afternoons Spend a Friday afternoon exploring local artistry, food and crafts in the quaint and adorable village of West Glacier, at the entrance of Glacier National Park. Free BACKPACKER’S BALL August 2 Green Valley Ranch The Glacier National Park Conservancy Backpacker’s Ball is an enchanted evening set on the edge of Glacier National Park and is for those who love the outdoors! This event supports the efforts of the Glacier National Park Conservancy. For more events, visit

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Polson, MT 59860 S U M M E R 2 0 1 4 | F L AT H E A D L I V I N G



Gambler Shot by Partner Excerpt from Death in the Valley: Odd Tragedies in the Flathead Valley, Montana 1887-1917 DEMERSVILLE, MONTANA
 MONDAY, JULY 27, 1891

John “Jack” Butler – the notorious gambler – has been shot dead. Butler had arrived in Demersville last winter with his gambling partner Charlie Whiting. However, the two have since parted ways. Butler and Whiting were gambling at a saloon and winning admirably at faro (a face-paced card game, popular in saloons and gambling “hells” throughout Montana in the late 19th century). Despite owning the table, their partnership unraveled as they disputed their sizable winnings. Butler stood above six feet. He was tall and thin, but had a wide reputation throughout Montana as a dangerous, ill-mannered gambler. His face never revealed his hand, but certainly revealed a life of hard drinking and fiendish smoking well beyond his 25 years. The gambling partners had yet to reach any mutual conclusion about their winnings as Butler walked out of the saloon. It appeared Butler had enough arguing – but not enough drinking. Demersville had innumerable dens of ill repute and nearly 100 drinking establishments to her claim. So whether Butler went along Gregg Street, Foy Street, Sanders or Stannard Street, he stumbled all but a few paces before he found his fill at some other saloon. After drinking heavily and well into the afternoon, Butler somehow made his way home in what must have been a remarkable state of belligerence and bewildering intoxication. Despite the comforts of home, Butler was still angry with Whiting and rage had overcome him. Butler shouted at his wife about the makings of his earlier dispute with Whiting. And after a fit of ramblings, Butler declared he was fixed on settling the matter – not with kings and queens in his hand – but with a 45-Smith and Wesson instead. Butler shoved a revolver in his pocket,


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pushed his wife aside, and bolted from the house. He was determined to find Whiting, and shoot him dead in the street if he must. Mrs. Butler, with a wisdom likely drawn from much experience, dared not to interfere with the vengeance of her gun-toting husband. Instead, she left at once for the home of Mrs. Whiting. As the gamblers were friends, so too were their wives. Mrs. Butler arrived and told Mrs. Whiting of the trouble between their husbands. Mrs. Butler implored Mrs. Whiting to keep her husband home, so that sobriety could take hold and the whole matter could soon be forgotten. The wives thought the plan was wise, but they made one flawed oversight. That is, they presumed their conversation had been a private one. Mr. Whiting had overheard their talk. He was now aware that his former friend and gambling partner no longer intended to cheat him – but kill him instead. Whether Whiting had been the bet-

ter gambler all the while hardly mattered now, for he certainly held the upper hand. Having learned of his partner’s deadly intent, Whiting was not going to wait for death to find him first. He readied himself with a 45-Winchester, as the wives tried to console each other in their excitement. Unlike Butler, Whiting left his house gun-in-hand. He made no attempt to conceal his intentions or his gun, as he made his way down the street. Whiting had walked a block along the street through Demersville when Butler suddenly turned the corner about 20 yards away. Despite their admirable winnings and years of betting toward their mutual benefit, the two gamblers now opposed each other. Fate would draw the last hand between them, as any amelioration or amicable adjustment among them appeared absent that afternoon. Whiting and Butler recognized each other at the same moment. In a flash, Whiting raised his gun, while Butler fumbled as he tried to pull the revolver from his hip pocket – a gun shot rang out! Excitement took to the streets, as dozens of citizens and visitors of Demersville were startled by the gun shot – and the smell of gun smoke. Butler fell over dead in the street. His cocked revolver fell beside him. His eyes closed shut all but a moment later. Whiting shot Butler straight through the heart. As gamblers would later remark of his dying, Butler went “two blind with an empty hand, and nothing to draw except his last breath.” Jaix Chaix is a writer, researcher, and photographer who appreciates the history of the Flathead Valley and Montana. He first visited Montana by freight train in the 1990s and now lives in Lakeside with his wife and daughter. His book, “Death in the Valley: Odd Tragedies in the Flathead Valley, Montana 1887-1917,” is available at and locally (at select retailers).



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Flathead Living Summer 2014  

Northwest Montana Lifestyle Magazine featuring Ultimate Guide to Summer, Life on the Links, Five Amazing Hikes in Glacier National Park, A T...

Flathead Living Summer 2014  

Northwest Montana Lifestyle Magazine featuring Ultimate Guide to Summer, Life on the Links, Five Amazing Hikes in Glacier National Park, A T...