Today has been an absolutely incredible day! My aunt treated Tid Bit, the Hubs, and myself to a helicopter tour over Glacier National Park. It was another one of those kinds of experiences where words are insufficient. “Magnificent” is such an understatement. I could go on and on for days about it and still fall short in my description…get a load of this picture to the left though. Just breathtaking….
After our helicopter tour, we all went to an off-the-beaten-path place that might just have made it to my list of Top Ten Most Favorite Places Ever (and that’s saying something because I’ve been to some pretty cool places in my life.)
The PoleBridge Mercantile
The place was built in 1914 by a man named Bill Adair. He originally owned and operated a store in 1907 in what is now Glacier National Park. When the national park was established in 1910 and a bridge was constructed across the North Fork of the Flathead River, the traffic patterns changed, so Bill and his wife moved to the present location in PoleBridge onto a 160 acre homestead in 1912. The store was completed in 1914 and an icehouse and shop were added soon after. From its inception, the store was the social and business hub of the North Fork and a gateway to the new national park across the river. The 5 buildings of the property (the home, a barn, the mercantile, icehouse, and shop) were added to the National Historic Register in 1983 as a representative of an early Montana mercantile enterprise. The location has maintained it’s early charm and continues to be one of the last outposts of its kind in the country.
The present day Polebridge Mercantile boasts a bakery, general store and cabins, serving the most adventuresome families, floaters, fishers, hikers, bikers, artists and “lifers”. Nestled up to the primitive west entrance to Glacier National Park, on the Wild and Scenic North Fork of the Flathead River and in the North Fork Valley is where you can find them. 35 miles from pavement, electricity and “civilization” you can find fabulous baked goods, spices, t-shirts, prints, books, etc. from Polebridge artists and complete separation from the everyday grind. No street lights. No cell phone service. Unbelievably serene views. We ate the most melt in your mouth homemade sandwiches and literally bought every last one of their famous huckleberry coconut macaroons. The food alone is worth the drive out there, but if you don’t stick around longer than that I promise you’d be missing out! And, for just $35 per night you can rent one of their adorable cabins and take it all in even more.
The next time we come out here, it’s on my list of things that absolutely cannot be missed!
The current owners are some of the nicest people I’ve ever met. Flannery Coats (pictured on the left above, with staff Caroline Canarios on the right) and her husband Stuart Reiswig bought the Mercantile property just 3 years ago and have been serving up authentically old-fashioned goodness ever since. Flannery told me that part of the agreement with the purchase required an apprenticeship with the bakers who ran the store for years after the Adairs had passed. The same recipes are still being served with improvements such as the inclusion of more organic and local ingredients. The original home now houses the Northern Lights Restaurant and Saloon where you can also get a bite to eat and a drink to wash it down.
And for some added fun, Flannery agreed to host a giveaway for all of you, my fabulous readers! The winner will receive a Polebridge Mercantile t-shirt, a slingshot made from a real deer antler, and half a dozen of their famous huckleberry coconut macaroons!!!! The contest will end at Noon EST on this Friday, June 17th.
How to Enter
Loads of thanks to The Polebridge Mercantile for such a fun day today and for hosting this great giveaway! I promise friends, you do not want to miss out on this!