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Holy Smokes, We Did It.

Holy Smokes, We Did It.

Love LetterHoly Smokes, we did it.  Thanks to you.GO LOCAL TEAM Back when it became evident that Corona was not just a beer you drink when you’re all out of the good (local) stuff, it felt wrong to talk about anything other than surviving. It was difficult to wonder...

Editor’s Note – Summer 2020

Editor’s Note – Summer 2020

Editor's NoteA Crinkly Wiggle of a Stick A word from our Summer 2020 Editor-in-Chief, Clare Menzel.CLARE MENZEL Have you ever picked up a magical river stick I have. The first one I really remember was delicate and silky gray, with a spray of hairy frayed bark....

The Lemonade Chronicles

The Lemonade Chronicles

Business Bonanza!The Lemonade Chronicles.  When the virus pelted the world with lemons, these scrappy local business owners made something oh, so, delightfully sweet.CLARE MENZEL BACK TO THE FUTURE WITH GLACIER LANES   Like a pair of homing pigeons, Kristen and...

Shake Your Leg

Shake Your Leg

FEATUREShake Your Leg Channeling the gritty spirit of a Montana frontier legend, gravel-grinding cyclists tackle a herculean challenge during the annual Joe Cosley Ride.Pete Thomas I t’s almost 4 a.m. on a brisk August morning. I straddle my gravel bike in the dark in...

Fifty Classic Worst Climbs of North America: Mount Cleveland

Fifty Classic Worst Climbs of North America: Mount Cleveland

Field NotesFifty Classic Worst Climbs of North America: Mount Cleveland Think a 35-mile, 10,000 vertical-foot day hike sounds rough? Here’s how to make it even worse.MIKE BESTWICK I n 1979, Steve Roper and Allen Steck published the inspiring book Fifty Classic Climbs...

Donna The Destroyer

Donna The Destroyer

HeadwatersDonna the destroyer In Columbia Falls, a painter revels in spontaneity and experimentation, with a healthy dose of destruction. JONATHAN FETTER-VORM "G o east of the zebra.” This is how Donna Gans directs me to her painting studio, a...

Flathead Nonprofit highlight: The Flathead Food Bank

Flathead Nonprofit highlight: The Flathead Food Bank

Non-Profit FeatureGo Local donates 3% of each issue’s advertising revenue to a local nonprofit organization. This issue supports The Flathead Food Bank. NONPROFIT HIGHLIGHT: The Flathead Food Bank Q&A with Jamie Quinn, director of the Flathead Food Bank JAMIE...

Unity

Unity

HeadwatersUnity In the Flathead Valley, two women find solace, support, and joy in shared experiences of oppression.CLARE MENZEL Curled up together on a porch in Whitefish, Sami Francine and Tanya Gersh have the giddy energy of newly-minted BFFs. The evening marks...

Spin Doctor

Spin Doctor

FEATURESPIND DOCTOR In downtown Whitefish, the feisty 25-year-old “entreprenista” who owns Sobba Cycle peddles her own brand of high-octane fitness bliss.Clare Menzel P errey Sobba cracks open a bottle of kale juice. Her acrylic nails are electric-blue and...

The Tomato People

The Tomato People

Business HighlightThe tomato people Enchanting towers of vegetables comprise a family farm in Kalispell that’s locally famous for juicy tomatoes and crisp cucumbers. BENJAMIN ALVA POLLEY T he Flathead Valley’s growing season is short. But one...

A Far Cabin In The Dark Woods

A Far Cabin In The Dark Woods

HeadwatersA Far cabin in the dark woods On hitch in a remote corner of Glacier National Park, a nostalgic trail dog reflects on the ranger era of Kishenehn station. BENJAMIN ALVA POLLEY I n the autumn of 2002, the wind trembled the lemon-colored...

All Ears

All Ears

HeadwatersAll ears In a home recording studio, a Kalispell couple introduces listeners of their podcast to a wide range of Flathead Valley residents in hopes of sparking community connections.KATIE CANTRELL I n 2018, Justin and Julie Shobe, of Kalispell, were feeling...

STUMPTOWN VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY

STUMPTOWN VINTAGE PHOTOGRAPHY

Business spotlightStumptown Vintage Photography “Whether you’re 5 years old or 85, it’s fun to get dressed up and hold a gun.”Anna George Richarde W alking down into Stumptown Vintage Photography feels like stepping into a scene from Montana’s past. The old-time photo...

Remedies Lakeside

Remedies Lakeside

business highlightREMiedies LAKESIDE Ask anyone in Lakeside and they’ll likely tell you it’s a pretty perfect little spot with at least one of everything to meet life’s needs – you know, the basics, like a lake, a ski mountain, and a brewery. And yes, other essentials...

Q&A  with Maranatha Cleaning

Q&A with Maranatha Cleaning

business Q&AQ&A with Maranatha Cleaning Commited to the deep clean. c  atrina & Doug Davis, owners of Maranatha Cleaning,  a local cleaning service based out of Bigfork. What does your business offer? Maranatha Cleaning offers what we and our customers...

Reclusive Moose Cabins

Reclusive Moose Cabins

business highlightThe Reclusive Moose Cabins Cozy cabins away from the crowds. Allison Batch C hristy Dunn jumps out of her seat to point out an impressive buck through the window. We’re sitting inside Moose Cabin, one of the four cozy...

HUMANIZING  THE DIGITAL  REVOLUTION

HUMANIZING THE DIGITAL REVOLUTION

Nonprofit highlightHumanizing the digital revolution The digital age has challenged almost every industry to reimagine their service models. It’s not an easy adjustment. One local institution that’s consistently stayed at the forefront of innovation might surprise you...

Old Traditions – New Ambitions

Old Traditions – New Ambitions

business featureOld Traditions - new ambitions Snowline Acres, formerly Snowline Tree Company, forges new seasonal rhythms under new ownership.  Clare Menzel E very autumn for half a century, Clinton DeLong has watched morning sunbeams stream through rows upon rows of...

Flathead Nonprofit highlight: The Abbie Shelter

Flathead Nonprofit highlight: The Abbie Shelter

Non-Profit FeatureGo Local donates 3% of each issue’s advertising revenue to a local nonprofit organization. This issue supports The Abbie Shelter. FLATHEAD NONPROFIT HIGHLIGHT: The Abbie Shelter Q&A with Hilary Shaw, director of the Abbie Shelter Hilary ShawWhat...

Shop Sisters

Shop Sisters

business featureSHOP SISTERS Patricia and Lorien Johnson, the sisters and business duo behind Mountain Valley Foods, on their family tradition of feeding the Flathead Valley. Shea Swenson T he smiling faces of regular customers can be found throughout the aisles,...

WILD WINTER

WILD WINTER

outside adventureWinter Wild Exploring the stillness of winter in Glacier National Park. David Powder Steele Make a chill inside yourself and imagine a wind that does not heed seasons. A wind churning across the landscape, a wind as feral as any animal treading the...

The Perfect Cut

The Perfect Cut

business featureTHE PERFECT CUT Old-school butchering is alive and well in the Flathead Valley at Perfect Cuts in Columbia Falls. Shea Swenson It only takes a minute of watching Karla Hansen with a razor-sharp knife and a slab of meat to realize...

S T U M P – TOWN ART STUDIO

S T U M P – TOWN ART STUDIO

business featureSTUMPTOWN ART STUDIO Accessible art for all – young and old.   Katie Cantrell T he studio is quiet on this rainy morning. It’s a Wednesday, kids are in school, the tourists have gone home from their summer vacations or haven’t yet arrived to ski....

The Flower Gardener

The Flower Gardener

By Mary Jo Gardner. Photo by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. Cheryl Lowe never thought of herself as a gardener. In fact, the closest she got to noticing flowers as a child was to chopping the leaves off her mother’s prize iris to use as swords for swashbuckling...

Another Person’s Treasure

Another Person’s Treasure

Southside Consignment, the Flathead’s first consignment store, has offered incredible deals on high-end, preowned furniture for 28 years. By Allison Batch. Photo by Amanda Wilson. Donna Kouns, proprietor of Southside Consignment and Antiques, invites me to sit on a...

For the Birds

For the Birds

“I’m a fortunate guy.” Josh Arrants measures his life’s success not with what he’s received, but in all the ways he’s been able to give. “I’m never going to be a millionaire, but I hit the lottery, man. I’ve absolutely hit the lottery.” By Richard Turbiak. Photo by...

All of the Good Stuff

All of the Good Stuff

By Katie Cantrell. Photo by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. Michael Johnson maneuvers his red truck into a makeshift parking spot on the edge of the forest service road. Two small boys with shaggy white-blonde hair scramble out of the extended cab and head...

Q&A with Bigfork Brokers

Q&A with Bigfork Brokers

Don and Rose Schwennesen are the owners of Bigfork Brokers, a local real estate brokerage company specializing in homes and land in Bigfork and on Flathead Lake. They live on and operate a small organic-style cherry orchard and grape vineyard south of Bigfork on...

Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa

Nuestra Casa Es Su Casa

In Mexico, strangers are treated as family. That’s the atmosphere Francisco Valera wants to create at his restaurants, Vaqueros and Casa Mexico. By Linda Jaquette. Photo by Archer Messenger. Traditional food steeped in culture and tradition, as well as genuine...

This Is Our Happy Place

This Is Our Happy Place

Holt Stage Hideaway hosts a place to have fun and celebrate in a beautiful barn surrounded by mountains. By Justin Wachtel. Photo by Marianne Wiest Photography. Laurie Mason was born into the recreation business. Her father owned the largest privately-owned picnic...

Skin in the Game

Skin in the Game

Montana-inspired natural skincare in two downtown locations. By Wendy Coyne. Photo by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. When you walk into Sage & Cedar, you know that you are going to have a wonderful experience. Lovely aromas fill your senses. The store has a...

Q&A with Local Business Owner: Northwind Shirt Co.

Q&A with Local Business Owner: Northwind Shirt Co.

Pippi Robben is the owner of Northwind Shirt Company, a local gift shop and screen printing business on Central Avenue in Whitefish. What does your business offer? We have an assortment of Whitefish, Montana, Glacier National Park and Big Mountain T-shirts designed by...

Inhale // Exhale

Inhale // Exhale

Curative Yoga Bigfork combines balance and breath to better your mind, body, and spirit. By Katie Cantrell. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. I used to take a yoga class from a woman who had biceps like a Marvel comic hero. She seemed to get great joy...

Rise & Shine

Rise & Shine

Uptown Hearth is baking the world a better place from a shared community shop in Columbia Falls. By Jane Ellen Sexton. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. You know those little gems that you find in the world? Those places that you just have to go back...

Doing It Her Way

Doing It Her Way

Badass Babe's Jenn Mayrand handmakes one-of-a-kind statement jewelry pieces from spent ammunition in her shed in Creston. By Linda Jaquette. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. Jenn Mayrand was born in a small town in northern Illinois to a math teacher...

The School House Rocks

The School House Rocks

For 20 years, The Museum at Central School has brought the community together over the shared history of the Flathead Valley. By Gil Jordan. Photograph provided by The Museum at Central School. 124 years ago, the fledgling town of Kalispell was little more than a few...

We Need to Talk About Your Flair

We Need to Talk About Your Flair

How a love for funky finds and Office Space inspired downtown Kalispell's wittiest gift shop. By Mary Jo Gardner. Photograph by Archer Messenger. According to the dictionary; flair: 1. a special or instinctive aptitude or ability for doing something well, talent,...

Against the Grain

Against the Grain

Lower Valley Woodworking grew a part-time passion project into a busy custom woodworking shop focused on quality craftsmanship and customer communication. By Terry Meyers. Photograph by Archer Messenger. Between the slough and the antique store at the north edge of...

Find Your Lanes

Find Your Lanes

Pick's Bowling Center in Bigfork centers on family, community, and a love of bowling. By Allison Batch. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. Lou Pickavance is a bowler. “I am absolutely a bowling addict. I love it! It’s been a great way to meet new...

RockFish Climbing & Fitness Gym

RockFish Climbing & Fitness Gym

In 2016, Belinda Kreitman saw a need and a dream. After working for 16 years at Next Level Fitness at the Mountain Mall in Whitefish, she bought the business with her partners Darren Stone and Shaun Olcutt and expanded it into a bouldering gym. Her brother Jason...

Rose Mountain Floral Q&A

Rose Mountain Floral Q&A

Q&A With Local Business Owner Janet Walsh is the owner of Rose Mountain Floral, a local florist and gift shop on Main Street in Kalispell.   What does your business offer? Rose Mountain Floral is a nature-inspired, premier floral boutique on Main Street. We...

Dirt Rich Compost

Dirt Rich Compost

  Alissa LaChance, self-proclaimed “Soil-Nerd” and sustainability enthusiast, is on a mission to make composting for the Flathead Valley a win-win. At Dirt Rich Compost, she sees their service as a double-whammy for customers – an affordable and environmentally...

Rocky Mountain Nature Co. & The Sapphire Shoppe

Rocky Mountain Nature Co. & The Sapphire Shoppe

Murry and Janet Graham first met when attending Columbia Falls High School. Murry’s family owned a dairy farm on LaSalle near what is now Glacier International Airport. Janet’s family lived in West Glacier. After they were married, the Grahams worked in West Glacier...

Lend a Hand to Your Public Lands

Lend a Hand to Your Public Lands

When the trails we use to navigate the wild are in danger, we need to lend a hand to their recovery. Though the open air and crisp vegetation is loved by many, when our access to these lands are threatened it can be hard knowing where to start. Oftentimes, we need a...

Great Northern Whitewater Raft & Resort

Great Northern Whitewater Raft & Resort

Summer with a Splash! From luxurious lodging to wild river adventures, Great Northern Whitewater Raft & Resort provides everything you need for a one-of-a-kind Montana experience. Just a mile outside of Glacier National Park, a bright red caboose emerges from...

Rocky Mountain Outfitter

Rocky Mountain Outfitter

The New Sheriff in Town I was sitting in the loft of Rocky Mountain Outfitters (RMO) the other day talking to Don Scharfe about his future and the future of his store after 42 years on the job. They call the loft “the library.” It’s a cozy little space filled with...

Purple Mountain Lavender

Purple Mountain Lavender

Fill Up Your Senses One never knows when a passion will be discovered. Deb Davis shares the journey she took to find hers. “We moved to Lakeside and decided to grow something in a section of our 40 acres." With the help and support of her husband, Purple Mountain...

Air Therapy Aviation

Air Therapy Aviation

A Flight for Sore Eyes From 100 feet above ground, Linda Graf saw two red foxes. They were running nearly shoulder-to-shoulder together across a field; one just a pace ahead of the other. Graf watched their tails catch in the wind behind them. They didn’t break...

Q&A With Local Business Owner: Rose Mountain Floral

Q&A With Local Business Owner: Rose Mountain Floral

Janet Walsh is the owner of Rose Mountain Floral, a local florist and gift shop on Main Street in Kalispell. What does your business offer? Rose Mountain Floral is a nature-inspired, premier floral boutique on Main Street. We offer an eclectic mix of decorative...

Montana Made

Montana Made

From fine jewelry to fly-fishing supplies, the Grahams have cultivated their shops to be as uniquely Montanan as they are. By Linda Jaquette. Photograph provided by Janet Graham. Murry and Janet Graham first met when attending Columbia Falls High School. Murry’s...

Closing the Loop

Closing the Loop

Leading the way in sustainable waste management for the Flathead Valley, Dirt Rich Compost in Columbia Falls is turning our trash into treasure -- one banana peel at a time. By Aaron Rabin. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. Alissa LaChance,...

Reaching New Heights

Reaching New Heights

RockFish Climbing Gym in Whitefish is bringing this once intimidating sport within reach. By Richard Turbiak. Photograph provided by Rockfish Climbing Gym. In 2016, Belinda Kreitman saw a need and a dream. After working for 16 years at Next Level Fitness at the...

Summer With a Splash

Summer With a Splash

Luxury lodging and wild river adventures with Great Northern Whitewater Raft & Resort. By Allison Batch. Photograph provided by Great Northern Resort. Just a mile outside of Glacier National Park, a bright red caboose emerges from pines and cottonwoods. The sight...

The New Sheriff in Town

The New Sheriff in Town

Changing hands at Rocky Mountain Outfitter. By Terry Meyers. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. I was sitting in the loft of Rocky Mountain Outfitters (RMO) the other day talking to Don Scharfe about his future and the future of his store after 42...

Fill Up Your Senses

Fill Up Your Senses

Purple fields above the lake at Purple Mountain Lavender. By Mary Jo Gardner. Photograph provided by Deb Davis. One never knows when a passion will be discovered. Deb Davis shares the journey she took to find hers. “We moved to Lakeside and decided to grow...

A Flight for Sore Eyes

A Flight for Sore Eyes

Float on with Air Therapy Aviation. By Clare Menzel. Photograph provided by Todd Ware. From 100 feet above ground, Linda Graf saw two red foxes. They were running nearly shoulder-to-shoulder together across a field; one just a pace ahead of the other. Graf watched...

Hart Jewelers

Hart Jewelers

Straight from the Hart Hart Jewelers in Whitefish, Montana specializes in handcrafted fine jewelry, created with Montana Fancy Sapphires that can be found in all of the colors of the rainbow. Owner Wes Hart has been in the jewelry industry for 45 years. He started out...

Loren’s Auto Repair

Loren’s Auto Repair

Service with Integrity Travis Sallee was raised in the auto repair industry, but he never became a mechanic. His mother urged him not to, after seeing her husband labor in the business. “She kind of drilled that into my mind,” Travis explains. “Then I had a dad who...

Good Seed Company

Good Seed Company

The Good Seed Whitefish, Montana’s Good Seed Company is on a mission: re-establish the community practice of selecting, saving, and sharing seeds for common use. “It’s how our ancestors survived disruptive change for 10,000 years,” says Robin Kelson, the company’s...

Whitefish Massage & Amalgamated SOPE

Whitefish Massage & Amalgamated SOPE

To amalgamate means to merge or join into a single body. The endeavors of local business owner Jen Elden is just that – the merging of her passions. One of those passions was what brought Jen to the Flathead Valley in 1996. She had just graduated with a degree in...

Piggyback BBQ

Piggyback BBQ

Feeding a community with locally sourced ingredients and a whole lot of love. You don’t necessarily need to be a native of the Flathead Valley to become a wonderful addition to this community. The owners of Piggyback Barbeque left Texas seven years ago before life...

Historic Downtown Kalispell

Historic Downtown Kalispell

Discover Historic Downtown Kalispell Just days after the town of Kalispell was laid out, before true roads were constructed, buildings began rolling into town, literally. They came on logs, rolled continuously, from the town of Demersville, just a few miles to the...

Imagination Station Toys

Imagination Station Toys

Our Downtown Toy Shop When Mary Witbrod came to Whitefish from Virginia in 1983 she knew she would stay. “This area spoke home to me more than anywhere else I’d ever been. It reminds me of where I lived in Germany.” Denise Magstadt was born and raised in Helena and...

Discover Historic Downtown Kalispell

Discover Historic Downtown Kalispell

From Demersville to current day downtown Kalispell. By Joe Carbonari. Photo courtesy of The Museum at Central School. Just days after the town of Kalispell was laid out, before true roads were constructed, buildings began rolling into town, literally. They came on...

Q&A with Local Business Owner: Highline Design Co.

Q&A with Local Business Owner: Highline Design Co.

George Giavasis is co-owner of Highline Design Co. a local design, marketing, and branding agency. What does your business offer? I work with local businesses, organizations, and non-profits to help them sell their ideas to the right people. We build brand identities,...

Straight from the Hart

Straight from the Hart

With parrot in tow, Wes Hart handcrafts stunning jewelry and incredible miniatures, the old fashioned way. By Linda Jaquette. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. Hart Jewelers in Whitefish, Montana specializes in handcrafted fine jewelry, created with...

Service with Integrity

Service with Integrity

For over 30 years, Loren's Auto has gone the extra mile to keep your vehicle doing the same. By Allison Batch. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. Travis Sallee was raised in the auto repair industry, but he never became a mechanic. His mother urged him...

The Good Seed

The Good Seed

A local business' quest for resilience through saving and sharing seeds. By Linda Jaquette. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. Whitefish, Montana’s Good Seed Company is on a mission: re-establish the community practice of selecting, saving, and sharing...

A Journey to Wholeness

A Journey to Wholeness

Jen Elden merges her many passions into a single drive for wellness. By Diane Taylor. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. To amalgamate means to merge or join into a single body. The endeavors of local business owner Jen Elden is just that – the merging...

Our Downtown Toy Shop

Our Downtown Toy Shop

Catching up with Imagination Station Toys. By Mary Jo Gardner. Photo by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. When Mary Witbrod came to Whitefish from Virginia in 1983 she knew she would stay. “This area spoke home to me more than anywhere else I’d ever been. It...

Piggyback BBQ

Piggyback BBQ

Feeding a community with locally sources ingredients and a whole lot of love. By Jane Ellen Sexton. Photograph by Mandy Mohler of Field Guide Designs. You don’t necessarily need to be a native of the Flathead Valley to become a wonderful addition to this community....