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.)