I was 27 years old before I ever skied in the mountains at Big Sky, Montana. Most of my skiing was cross-country on the North Dakota prairie which I still love to do. But as a flat lander, I have a deep appreciation and love for visiting the mountains for downhill skiing.
I took a couple of skiing lessons to learn how to get down the mountains and can maneuver “easy” runs without severely hurting myself…so far. That is the extent of my skiing expertise.
But I LOVE Big Sky regardless of my novice skiing ability. When our son Hunter was nine years old we brought him to Big Sky. He also took a couple of lessons and away he went! As a kid there was no run he wouldn’t tackle. For the following four or five years we skied in Big Sky often. Then Hunter got involved in varsity sports and our winter schedules were overflowing.
This week is Hunter’s first college spring break. He wanted a return visit to Big Sky and planned it with Nathan for all of us to go together. With schedules and work, we couldn’t swing taking a full week away so we drove 700 miles, skied for three days and drove home today. It was a lot of driving for three full days of family fun.
And it was worth it. I never regret carving out time for family getaways. We need the time together and the adventures create forever memories for us.
Hunter is a college student and football player now and not a 7th grader like he was the last time he skied. He mostly skied near us rather than the extreme runs but had a fabulous time. He told me skiing the easy runs is “relaxing.” He was also very patient his ski school sisters who learned to ski for the first time.
Here are a few favorites from Wednesday afternoon when Hunter convinced me to bring my camera out on our afternoon runs rather than only phone captures.
She said to me after her two days of ski school, “Mom. I am really fast so I hope Dad can keep up with me.” She knew I wouldn’t. Elizabeth is play it safe girl but she knows how to ice skate, thanks to her dad taking her often in the winter at our small town rink. Turning on skis came easy to her. She loves the outdoors and skiing with our family but hates falling and getting up. Me too, sweet girl!Watching our family ski together on this afternoon was one of my favorite days ever. It was easy, fun and full of views you can’t see from our corner of the North Dakota prairie.Watching Hunter ski reminded me again how quickly time goes. I dug out a picture of him skiing in 2011.
Life chapters change. I am grateful for the experiences in each one. And I am a prairie girl who loves fitting in visits to Big Sky into the chapters. We won’t wait another six years to visit Big Sky again. Do you ski? What’s your favorite winter outdoor activity?