July 8, 2014
Yesterday after we left Missoula we cried a little bit and then we got on our way up north. We stopped at an overlook for the Mission Mountains and then got off the highway for a short pit stop at St. Ignatius Mission.
In 1840 Friar Peter DeSmet came to Montana and in 1841 he established St. Mary’s Mission. The sisters lived in this cabin which was built in 1864.
Then in 1854 St. Ignatius Mission was established to serve the Kootenai and Salish tribes. There were some really cool photographs of the centennial celebration in 1954. The Catholic church at St. Ignatius Mission was built in 1891. The gorgeous murals inside were painted by the mission cook, Brother Joseph Carignano. I was stunned when we went inside; I wasn’t expecting such a beautiful interior.
After St. Ignatius we continued to Flathead Lake. We took the east side of the lake and stopped along the way to buy some Flathead cherries! It’s slightly early for the cherries so I’m glad we were able to find some.
After eating some cherries we stumbled upon Flathead Lake Brewing Co. so we stopped for a couple of pints. They had a nice patio with a view of the lake and some killer salsa. We tried several of their beers and they were all great!
Eventually we forced ourselves to leave and drove just a little further to meet our couchsurfing host for the night, Janice. Janice lives in a lovely area of Whitefish and she was really wonderful. We chatted for a little bit and then she led us into town so we could explore. Downtown Whitefish is adorable! It’s very clean, lots of gorgeous flowers, and several nice stores. Zach bought a cool painting at an antique store and then we went over to Great Northern Brewing. The bartender ended up being a native Texan too so we talked a lot about possibly moving to Montana. He was incredibly supportive of the idea – but I think he’s a little biased. Great Northern makes some great beer – Zach drank a TPA (tea pale ale) and I had their IPA and a red ale. We’ve noticed that all the breweries up here have more variety in the types of beers they brew which has been really wonderful for us.
We didn’t stay out too late and met Janice back at her house. We stayed up a while with her chatting about travelling, teaching English in a foreign country (she and her husband taught in Japan), and what living in Montana is like. I’m so glad we stayed with her. We had a wonderful time.