Thursday, August 13, 2009

The Hi-Line

I love the Hi-Line. This is the area along Highway 2, that runs across the very northern part of Montana. Some say it was so named because it was the "high line" of the railroad -- as opposed to the rail line that ran in the southern part of the state. Why it is spelled this way, I can't find out.

It is flat land here, endless prairie, endless wheat fields, a long long road with little traffic.

But even here you find farmers markets.

In this photo you see Alene (far right), market manager, and her friends at the Shelby market. As many as 15 vendors show up each week to sell produce and crafts. There were only 6 vendors today because it had been raining heavily, but I was happy to meet Sandy, who sells baked goods. She invented huckleberry brownies: "I know people put cherries in brownies, so I thought why not huckleberries?" Indeed, why not?

Then on to Chester, where the market is located in the rustic Lions Park rest stop.

The picnic shelters come in handy on rainy market days like today.

The raspberry vendor kept her berries dry.

I don't take many photos of them, but you will see Hutterites at most markets, usually with the most produce. Here I got one of some boys. Well, one boy. The other is bending his head to hide from me. Hah!

There were fresh huckleberries at Chester. Did you know there are 8 kinds? I tasted a small red one called a cherry huckleberry, and it really tasted like a cherry, with huckleberry undertones. Here is a photo of Ross and Dennis, who described the huckleberry trade to me. Fascinating.

I saved this cute photo for last, but in fact Conrad is a kind of gateway to the Hi-Line, being about 25 miles south of Highway 2. In this town you will find a 90-year-old soda fountain (the second oldest in the world) in Olson's Drug Store, still serving up old-fashioned ice cream dishes, including a fabulous, authentic, absolutely amazing chocolate malted. This happy couple stops in each time they are in Conrad.

Shelby Food and Craft Market
City Hall Park, east end of Shelby
July 23 - September 17
Thursday, 4 pm - 6 pm

Liberty County Farmers Market
Lions Park rest stop, Highway 2
June 4 - August 27
Thursday, 5 pm - 7 pm

1 comment:

  1. No idea there were so many huckleberries! I love that prairie photo, Mary.