The last third of June saw us in Bigfork, Montana, thanks to the hospitality of an old friend, Peggy Atchley, who let us camp in the field behind her house for about ten days or so. It was my first time back to Bigfork in 25 years, and it was truly an experience of time travel. Rufus and I went on some long wanders around the town, as I noted the changes. As one might expect, there were a good many after so many years.
Some things had not changed all that much. Electric Avenue is the main street of Bigfork, and the newer, larger theater for the Bigfork Summer Playhouse had been built the year before I left. Rufus and I walked the trail that borders the Swan River, along with various other parts around and just outside of town. There are more houses to the north and west of town, but it has preserved its small town atmosphere, for all that. Pony now has some understanding for what inspired me to live here for a few years, back in the 80’s. It is still an incredibly beautiful corner of the Earth. Pony understands the attraction of living in such a place, but also observed how removed it is from….well, from just about everywhere else, as it were.
The old grocery store is now called Harvest Foods , although the locals still refer to it as the IGA. A couple of doors down from the grocer is a relatively new place called the Grateful Bread Bakery. I had a chance to chat with the owners, Michael and Gabrielle. That chat, plus the fact that I had one of my guitars in the back seat of our car, resulted in my being hired to play 3 hours in the afternoon for three days in a row. I made some good money, sold some CD’s, and had a great time.
There are some concert series and some other venues that make it possible to return to Bigfork sometime next summer. At the very least, I don’t look to wait nearly so long to come back for another visit.