Spring Skiing in Montana, March 2012

Though this post will not do justice to the fabulous trip we had to Big Sky, Montana a couple weeks ago, I will attempt to highlight a few key memories using a handful of the many wonderful photos taken that week [click here to be brought to the slimmed down “full” album]. First of all, thank you to Mom and Dad for scheduling the trip and pushing your children to agree to a spring skiing vacation, even if we hadn’t yet reached Christmas. The weather couldn’t have been better as we drove up to Big Sky Sunday morning after spending the night in Bozeman (with one Bison burger already under my belt).

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While some of us worked to get our ski legs back after a couple years, others worked their arms to dig out a stuck rental car with no snow tires that just happened to end up perpendicular to the road, wedged in each snowbank. Luckily the property manager of Cascade Ridge had a sturdy SUV that was able to pull him out without a problem. We missed Ben at lunch, but were happy to hear that his afternoon wasn’t a complete shambles after some exploration and much needed food in the belly.

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Later in the week, the legs had sufficiently adapted to allow for more active photo opps, though none from the crazy windy and steep tram run where it took all we had to focus on one turn after the next.

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Tuesday’s snowstorm afforded the opportunity to work a few more hours and avoid the whiteout on the mountain, but more importantly, provided the chance for family bonding on a different type of ski slope: Lone Mountain Ranch Nordic Ski Center.

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Despite initial trepidation by some, we all survived (and enjoyed!) the 5.39 mile trail up and down a 504 ft elevation gain.

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What kind of ski trip exists without some relaxation? Hot tubbing, rooting for IU basketball, sampling (and re-sampling) a variety of Montana brewed beers, shuffleboard and pool were some of the notable activities, each having their own preferred activity (bet you can’t guess the match ups).

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Last to note, but certainly not least, was Thursday’s expedition to Yellowstone National Park. Off to a bit of a chilly start with -17 degree temps on the drive down, the massive snowmobile suits combined with the warmth of the sun helped keep us toasty. Snowmobiles turned out to be a fantastic way to tour the park, especially as they afforded an up close and personal experience with the bison. Luckily they chose not to attack us by Old Faithful as Dane brought us closer and closer for that perfect shot.

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Despite all the good times, we were missing one element to make it a perfect family vacation: Claire, hopefully you can join us next time!