Friday, September 6, 2013

Whitefish and Huckleberries

This afternoon we went in to Whitefish to see what we would see.  It's at the base of a ski area.  The outskirts of town consist of urban sprawl.  There is an older "historic" downtown that features restaurants, tee shirt shops, tourist junk and the usual; none of which was photo worthy.
What they do have is this.  This is the Whitefish Amtrak Station, it's on the Empire Builder line.  It was built in 1927 and is on the National Register of Historic Places.  It's just beautiful.

The interior has been preserved.

In the olden days this was used to weigh freight, which is how the shipping was billed.

During the Great Northern Railway years, a fleet of 12 Brucks was used to take train passengers, luggage and freight to Kalispell.  The vehicle was high enough so that it was at the same level as the train car to facilitate off loading to the bus.  They were in service from 1951 to 1972.  After being retired, the last one languished in a salvage yard, rusting, until it was refurbished.

What do you know about huckleberries?  Prior to our visit to Montana, I knew nothing.  They are the state fruit of Idaho.  Apparently they're a very big deal in this area.  They're not grown commercially.  All huckleberries are foraged from the wild - in bear country.  One wonders how the bears feel about people tromping through their turf, taking their berries when they need to be fattening up for hibernation.  This is a tourist trap, specializing in huckleberry preserves, candles, pancake mix, ice cream, hand soap, body lotion, bath salts, and etc.

One wall of preserves.  One wonders where all of these huckleberries are coming from.

We succumbed to the hype.  Here we have $20 worth of hucks (as they are called locally) and preserves.  Although they look like blueberries, they're different.  They almost have an apple flavor.

So that was today.  Tomorrow we are up and out, taking a leisurely jaunt to Missoula where we will spend a few days.


  1. I was shocked when I went to buy fresh huckleberries when we were staying outside Glacier. I knew nothing about them at that point. I almost feel over when the man said they were $8 for a small snack baggie! A gallon bag was $32. Needless to say I didn't purchase any. But once I learned how they are picked I understood the price.

  2. Those giant huckleberry stores cracked me up! I'm glad I got to pick my own at Whitefish Mountain!