After arriving to Whitefish, Montana, the very first thing we did was drive down highway 93. I wanted a chance to take it all in upon arrival. Ryan drove ahead of us and led the way from the south end of town. As we drove through, I noticed several picturesque horse ranches and farms. Of course every time we passed one, I heard, “cow!” coming from the backseat of the car. Caleb was more than obsessed with cows, horses and trains from our journey thus far.
We eventually ended up driving through the charming historic downtown with several breweries, art studios, coffee, gear and gift shops. At the edge of downtown is a train depot with a large rail yard, all right next to the park where the town hosts a weekly farmer’s market. This area is stunning because you also have this great view of the Whitefish Mountains in the background.
As we drove on, Ryan put his arm out his driver side window indicating to look out our right hand side. My eyes widened and I was thrilled to see that it was our Bed and Breakfast, Good Medicine Lodge! This was the first time I had ever seen it in real life. It took everything I had not to pull in and be nosy.
I was surprised by how much more charming it was in person. I thought it was going to be in some sparse country road, but it was actually nestled in this lush tree lined street with bikers riding along a bike path and a hip brewery right next door. Bonsai Brewery Project was hopping and had a yard full of beer enthusiasts. There were several other neighboring businesses that all looked to be converted from old houses. One of them was a sandwich shop, another was a BBQ joint, and another was an artist’s studio. There was quite a buzz in our quaint little neighborhood. A couple of doors down is the local hockey arena called Stumptown Ice Den. Ice skating was one of my favorite sports growing up and now here it was only steps away for our boys to enjoy whenever they wanted. I was very excited to learn that this location was prime! As we drove past our B&B, it felt as though we were entering a tighter woodsier landscape. I could see we were getting closer to the mountain and what a perfect scenic route it was heading towards the resort. It had started to sprinkle out and there was fog. So it was easy for me to imagine the snowy scenery. What a perfect setting for our little rustic business. I could already picture the roaring lit fire and all the gooey hot chocolate we would serve to our guests.
We made a quick pit stop at the city beach at Whitefish Lake, which to my surprise again was only minutes away. There we saw several deer carefully grazing the tall grass, which the kids were so excited about. Ryan was anxious to head to the KOI, which was our next destination to set up camp. But I had other plans. I was not going to spend another minute in Whitefish without heading up to the ski mountain for a closer look. I knew we were pushing our luck with the two kids in the back seat, who had been in the car for several hours over a three day stretch. However, I just had to see it. We had come all this way and there it was so close.
So we drove the 15 minutes up the steep windy drive but it was so worth it. The village is made up of the typical large condo style lodges that you see at a ski resort. The layout was tastefully done. Some of the lodges have this Bavarian style exterior look to them, which is quite appealing and magical. For a moment, it almost felt like I was in northern Europe, like Switzerland or some place. I have heard from the locals that skiers hardly have to wait for a chair lift, the lines are short. It is hard to believe that but after seeing only a slight infrastructure at the base, I actually think it might be true. I was eager to explore more but with my boys in the background antsy and unruly, we quickly hightailed it back towards the KOA just south of town to set up our camp site.
Once we settled in, I started to feel a little more easy knowing that we were finally here in Whitefish. I had just seen the Bed and Breakfast we would be purchasing and the charming little town I would call home. This place felt right. I didn’t need to stress anymore about whether I would like it or not and I could relax knowing that we made the right decision to come here. I am sure Ryan was awaiting anxiously to hear what I thought of the place. I told him my thoughts and basically that I loved everything I had seen so far. It seemed like a really unique mountain town. He seemed relieved and so was I. So to celebrate, we lit a campfire and with a couple of local brews in hand we toasted in honor of our new home.
to be continued………