Have you ever been to a place where you stepped through the door and knew you’d come upon some place special, knew you’d come back, and knew this place would be a forever deposit in your memory bank? That’s how felt when I walked through the doors of the West Kootenai Kraft and Grocery. It’s a store in northwest Montana not far from the Canadian border. It’s not some place you stumble on. It’s so far off the eaten path that you must make it a destination to get there. It’s a place centered in the middle of a small community that comprises of both Englisch and Amish. It’s part store, part bakery, part restaurant, and part giftshop.
Another character in the book is one of the Amish bachelors, Jathan. If you’ve visited West Kootenai any time, you’ve no doubt heard about the bachelors. Every year, 30-40 Amish bachelors come from all over the United States to live in Montana for a time and gain their resident hunting license in order to hunt in the fall. It’s quite an adventure traveling from rural farms and factories in Ohio, Pennsylvania, Indiana and moving into the wild where the deer, bear, and moose still roam, and it’s a good possibility you could run into one riding your bicycle to work. (Work that might include felling trees, crafting log furniture or building mountain homes.)
Amy Mapes says
My family and I are planning our summer vacation to Montana this year (2014). While making reservations at a cottage near Glacier National Park, I realized that I recognized the name Kootenai on the map from reading some of your books. As you said in this post it isn’t directly on our way but not far from where we will be staying for a week. Is West Kootenai some place that my husband, kids (ages 14 & 12) should make plans to visit? What is there to experience besides the Kraft & Grocery?
Tricia Goyer says
You’ll need to check out Eureka and Rexford. Also, http://cripplecreekhorseranch.com/