There’s plenty to like about Whitefish, Montana, even if you are dedicated to watching the Montana State Girls Hockey Tournament and not to going skiing at Big Mountain, snowshoeing or nordic skiing.
For instance, there’s the Pin & Cue Bowling Alley where for $15 your kids can bowl and eat as much pizza as they want in 2 hours while you pretend you are going to the car to check on something and then you go to the Great Northern Brewing Company. The building is gorgeous and the 2nd floor draught house has an incredible view, not to mention good eats and a divine elixir known as Good Medicine. Skiiers hadn’t finished their business yet at Big Mountain, so the place was mellow as can be — a stark contrast to later in the evening when Iron Chef and I returned, perhaps to buy a T-shirt, perhaps to sip a pint, and we were greeted by red carpet literally rolling out when we opened the door.
Ah, you shouldn’t have, was our first impression, but as a scurrying young woman backchecked us out of the way so they could begin duct taping the carpet to the humble concrete floor, I began to doubt this treatment was meant for the Podunks. Since I’m sort of a reporter, I decided to snoop around. “What gives?” I asked the scurrying young woman. “Is something going on here?”
She helped me understand. “Private party,” she said, pointing to the sign next to me that said PRIVATE PARTY. Gee thanks.
We left the Great Northerners to do their bootlicking, and as we walked out the door and the black SUV with the woman in the white fur showed up, we exhaled, “Whewee! Are we glad we have tickets to the roller derby or what?”
Say what? That’s right, because we live right, we just happened to be in the Flathead Valley when the local flat track roller derby team — the Big Mountain Misfits — were tangling with the Hel’z Belles crew from Helena at the local fairgrounds. We arrived about 15 minutes early just in time to get the worst parking spot at the fairgrounds. The big metal shed was rockin.
Roller derby tended not to attract the shi-shi-la-la crowd, so the Podunks (with several Salmon Lady Rapids in tow) felt at ease…
Other than, it never occurred to me to show up with a cool roller derby name and corresponding sleeveless shirt.
As a patriot, I couldn’t help but favor Babe Lincoln; Skaty Perry had the Salmon Lady Rapids vote; Iron Chef seemed to have his eye on Screwella.
Now after watching 3 games of Montana State Tournament hockey played by frenzied 13-17 year-old females with attitude, I have to admit that the pace and physicality of flat track roller derby were a tad underwhelming. But the spectacle of it all left nothing to be desired.
Now if we could just get them to serve Good Medicine….