Montana, U.S.A.

Big Sky

January 5-12, 2019

By the time we got to Big Sky in Montana I had been in a “cold” climate for a record period of time. It had been a little over a month. Yes I know for many people that is nothing and my “cold” may not necessarily be cold but for a warm weathered person it sure felt cold. Amazingly enough, I loved it. I’m not sure if I would feel the same after months in the cold but for now I was reveling in it.

We were staying right near the ski resort, it had a little grocery store and some restaurants but we did the majority of our grocery shopping in the Village of Big Sky a couple of miles down the mountain. Not having spent much time in ski resorts I wasn’t sure whether this was a typical one. We were there after the School winter vacation so I guess things were a little quieter.

On the first day while my husband and daughter were off skiing at Big Sky Resort I discovered the sport of snowshoeing and it was fantastic. I rented a pair of snowshoes from the ski shop, it was quite expensive and I later learned that it was a third of the price at the ski rental shop in the village. Moose Tracks Trail was my first challenge. It followed a wooded ravine between 2 ski runs. To get to the trailhead I had to cross a few ski runs dodging skiers who weren’t expecting to see someone walking at the bottom of their run. As a result of a head cold and the altitude by the time I made it to the entrance of the trail amongst the pines my head was killing me. I guess if I was smart I really should have turned around then but I had rented these snow shoes and by golly I was going to use them. The pain in my head stopped after a minute or so, I continued to walk up the trail. About half way up it started to snow lightly. The atmosphere was magic. When I stopped walking there was not a sound.

I only had to stop twice more because of the pain in my head but I pushed on. I was hooked on snowshoeing.

The next day due to an unfortunate collision between my daughter and husband while skiing we decided to go dog sledding. Craig came off the worst in the collision with a very sore knee. I was trying to stay very positive about dog sledding as I do not have a love for dogs. This was an experience I didn’t want to miss though so I sucked it up and went for it. Before we’d even started I was wondering if I’d made the right decision. As I was sitting in the basket waiting to get going, one of the dogs came an urinated on the tarp covering my feet. Gross. Ah well at least the canvas was waterproof.

The ride was amazing, the scenery spectacular. Even my very cold feet and toes couldn’t put a dampener on the ride. The hot chocolate halfway through was a welcome relief as well.

The next 3 days were all filled with hikes in and around the Big Sky region. As I was walking by myself I had to stay fairly close and in cell phone range. Next time I’ll have to talk a friend into coming with me. The hike to the frozen Ousel Falls was another first for me. I had never seen a frozen waterfall. The trail was well marked and had had quite a bit of traffic on it. I really didn’t need to have the snowshoes on for this hike but again I had paid to rent them so I was going to use them. The hike was a 1.6 mile round trip. There is an option to take a community trail right from the village that links with the Ousel Falls trailhead, this will add another 4 miles to the round trip.

The final 2 hikes were the icing on the cake. The views were amazing even though I did get a little lost on the last day and walked a mile more than I needed I didn’t really care. This is one place we will return to as there are many hikes I didn’t have time to do.

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