Put This On Your Bucket List, Montana

A week in Montana just makes you desire more time and more exploring. Winter time is the only time that I have experienced this beautiful state but summer is now on my bucket list while driving an airstream.  Big Sky has a blue sky that is indescribable.  It has an ever-changing light that draws your attention back to the natural landscape that is truly majestic.  Mother Nature has been very kind to Montana.  Experiencing the magic from an elevation of 7,500 feet at the base to over 11,000 feet at the top of the mountain you are quickly made aware that one can not tackle this mountain at Big Sky in one week.  You feel small in comparison to the grandeur of the mountains and the wildlife that make it their home.  We did are best with the spring like temperatures and fresh pow pow that delivered.  Here are some highlights from a week of skiing in Big Sky!

We rented a home for the week through Big Sky Vacation Rentals.  A perfect solution for two families.  The house was fully equipped with all the amenities including an outdoor fireplace for s’mores, hot tub, and a foosball table for some tournaments.  Every morning started with a fresh coffee sipped over the first rays of sunlight awakening Lone Peak.

Skiing was the goal! 6 days straight of rising and taking hold of the day was achieved.  Bluebird days and some fresh powder to keep it fresh.  A week filled with fresh air, beautiful landscape, and family fun.

Big Sky has a fun and growing downtown center.  Everything one needs is a short drive from the ski area.  One can grocery shop at Hungry Moose, sip a coffee at Compass Cafe or Caliber Coffee, pizza at Ousel & Spur Pizza Co. or take in a movie at Lone Peak Cinema.  All your skiing requirements including rentals and gear can be taken care of at Grizzly Outfitters.  My favorite shop to buy souvenirs and other Montana inspired merchandise can be found at Montana Supply.  They have expanded into a new larger space shared with Compass Cafe.  What a nice concept (shopping and sipping coffee, perfect!).  Montana Supply is offering even more crafted accessories and clothing from local artists.  The space is industrial and rugged.  It complements the outdoor nature of the store.  It is one stop shopping offering stylish garments and accessories for men and woman.  The shop is so well curated that you want to make a lifestyle change and move to Montana!

One of the most surprising events that was happening in Big Sky’s town center on way out-of-town was the National Skijoring Event.  Skijoring is a winter sport that combines skiing and horseback riding.  A horse and rider pair up to pull a skier or snowboarder at a fast speed around a track with obstacles and jumps along their path.  A team can take home a purse of up to $2,000 and the champion takes home a belt buckle as a trophy.  This is a highly respected sport and professional athletes come from all over the country.   It is a spectacular event that draws crowds from all over Montana.  There was a special guest supporting the event, Miss Kayla Seaman, Northwest Montana Miss Rodeo Queen.  While I was snapping pictures of the event, my isostilo partner met Kayla.  Kayla is your all American sweetheart with a big smile and proudly wearing her NWMT Miss Rodeo hat.  She is equally sweet, smart, engaging and in a brief interaction a young woman who is a role model.  You can find Kayla on instagram or Facebook.  This event was the icing on the cake.

I can’t end the post without mentioning two other eating establishments to check out. The Horn & Cantle delivers an authentic inspired Montana menu in a beautiful ranch setting.  They also offer a saloon with live music and an outdoor wood burning fireplace for the full ranch effect. The other restaurant is the Gallatin River House Grill.  It is your down and dirty barbecue filled with large tables, a bar, arcade games, a stage for live music, and incredible view of the mountains.  The best in Montana!

Rise and Conquer The Day

Staying active and staying outdoors is the theme here in Montana.  Yesterday’s activity was a five hour snowshoe hike in the northwest tip of Yellowstone National Park led led by our fearless leader, Ken from Yellowstone Safari Company.  An amazing day trekking through snow enjoying the natural beauty of a constant changing landscape.

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Peaceful and untouched
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Ken led us with enthusiasm and an abundance of local knowledge
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Bear claw sightings

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One learns how vast this land is when you put on snowshoes and think you are going to just take a hike to explore Yellowstone.  Yellowstone is so large that five hours of adventure trekking just gave me a taste of the majestic environment.  Although no wildlife was spotted on this outing, a distant grizzly sighting would have been amazing.   I did feel like a humble trespasser in their vast home of unspoiled wilderness.  It is breathtakingly beautiful and nature is meant to be respected and enjoyed.

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Untouched
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Coffee, snowshoeing, and mountains is pretty spectacular!
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Found a lovely spot for lunch under the trees with the sun keeping us warm

The day started off chilly but by the end I was peeling off layers of clothing.  It was a bluebird day.  I have a few more wrinkles from the sun but they will be a constant reminder of this beautiful day!

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Yellowstone Safari Company

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This week I am enjoying a family vacation with our dear friends in Big Sky, Montana.  Land in Bozeman and drive 1.5 hours.  Easy!  One goes from the big flat land of traveling 70 miles per hour on a main road with the big boy trucks just hauling to a landscape of trees that sneak up on you.  There are no scary, twisting mountain roads that you endure.  Arriving late at night did not allow for us to take in the beauty of what we would be waking up to.  But upon waking to the sun rising and a window view of the mountains of Big Sky I can share that mother nature is stunning.  My morning coffee routine for this week will be sitting at a small round table perched on a baby blue Eames chair watching the sunrise and the mountain waking up.

There is something special about Montana.  It doesn’t take long to forget about the city life and welcome the calmness of the mountains.  I love the vast landscape and the bright clear sky at night that makes me feel like the stars are reachable.  As I have shared, I have resisted skiing for many years and did not grow up with this activity in my life.  But over the years I have been flirting with it.  Last year was a turning point for me.  It was here at Big Sky that I embraced it a bit more and took lessons.  I have nothing to prove on the slopes because I have proven to myself that it is never too late to give something a go.  Believe me at times like yesterday that I felt I was way over my head with no alternative way down.  But I am perfecting the art of the side slide.  I enjoy the wide open terrain and the long rolling trails that Big Sky offers as well as the apre scene at Madison (eye on the prize!).  This mountain has something to offer for everyone.  It is massive!  Big Sky is laid back with a chill vibe.  A vibe that is contagious.

This year I am fortunate to be here again.  I will be embracing all the fun this mountain offers.  The spring like temperatures have my arms wide open to all the adventures!  THANKFULLY  my family and friends are beyond patient  and encouraging when I click into the skis.  But today I am trading in the skis for a full day snowshoe adventure.  Fingers crossed that it doesn’t have me meeting a grizzly!  Stay tuned.  xo

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Mornings
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Sipping and blogging with a beautiful mountain view.
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Good morning