3/19 -Leaving on a plane for Montana! I packed yesterday and am currently getting caffeinated up before our 4:20 PM flight. Thought I would try blogging our trip by experimenting with the Weebly phone App. Recent conversations about other adventures has made me realize my memory is getting fuzzy.
Our flight is 4 hours from now and Ben is itching to leave already. My folks are taking us. We are leaving my car at their house assuming we can fit two board bags, two roller bags and two backpacks inside the Golf.
Packing was tough. Two pair of snowboard pants practically filled the roller bag I'm using. I probably still managed to pack more than I need.
For some reason, Ben is obsessed with home security. After all the various trips we've been on since living here, he's only just this week fixed the broken motion light, installed another in the back yard and cut wood pieces to bar the downstairs windows. Plus, he is planning to lock the garage door. My only security contribution is to put a dog toy by the patio door next to Logan's old water dish.
It only took 15 minutes to get to the airport from my folks'. Despite the crowds, we managed to get through check-in and TSA 55 minutes before boarding was scheduled to start (it's now been delayed 25 minutes). Stopped by the airport Sub Pop store and Ben bought a book. Apparently, a band member of Mudhoney was working at the store. I got us a couple cheesy sandwiches from Beeches. We are now ready to fly.
Brought a small knitting project on the trip with me. Fractured Light hat from knitty.com. I'm using red Cascade Heritage 150 yarn. When we get on the plane, I'll finish the button band and join it in the round. The instructions look a little interesting for the overlapping flap. Hopefully it makes sense in action.
Weebly app is iffy. A couple things I wrote on the plane while offline have vanished. Plus, the font color seems to alternate between black and grey, depending on if I type something with the computer or my iphone. I'll fill in what I remember...
3/20- We got to the resort last night. It's cold up here. I wore black long johns and my dark teal Burton hoodie on the plane. I was hot in Seattle (50s). I was hot when we landed in Bozeman (40s). But I was cold when we got to Big Sky (20s). I had carried my red parka the whole way but we scurried into the room before I needed to wear it. We are staying at the Stillwater Condos in room 1002. Ground floor. The wood stairs down from the parking lot were icy, making it treacherous to carry down all the gear and groceries. Can't start the trip with a sprained ankle!
The room is cozy. A murphy bed is next to the patio door which is a little awkward since we never put the bed up. We just shimmied around the foot of the bed to get outside. It has a full kitchen with all the appliances you would expect. Too bad we didn't know there was a crock pot. We got in late and were hungry so I cooked a couple Totinos pizzas that fit perfectly in the small oven. Living it up! This morning we woke up pre-dawn and are finally able to see the area. We have a view of a lift in the distance and are basically across the street from the end of a run. Ben gave me my birthday present! Some snowflake earrings to match the necklace he gave me for Valentines Day.
Snowboarding was fun today. I think it got up into the 50s, maybe even the 60s on hill. The Sun was shining and I was warm. I wore my Burton long johns and my black Whistler fleece under my red Roxy parka. Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer. I might just wear a hoodie. Snow coverage was thin in a couple spots but overall it was perfect spring riding. We started on Andesite Mountain then moved over to the Swift Current high speed quad which is a long lift, providing access to a ton of runs. We also rode the ironically named Pony Express (it's slow) and an equally slow Iron horse. Eventually, we worked our way to Shedhorn. I liked it up there. It's above the timberline. The view was breathtaking. The lift must go over 10,000'. We stopped for lunch at the Shedhorn Grill yurt for brats. According to the sign, the grill is at 9037'. We sat near some other Asians. They were funny. The one was making fun of how bad the photos the other took compared to his own. They were also the first minorities I had seen at Big Sky. I hadn't even noticed how white everyone was until then which made me feel conspicuous. It wasn't like people acted differently but they stood out to me which made me feel like I stuck out to everyone else.
Ben took me for a birthday dinner at Olive B. We had reservations for 7:45, so we killed some time in the village. I bought a spring jacket to wear Saturday because it was going to be another warm day. The Volcom Circle Flannel. Season pass holders from any Boyne resort get 15% off at The Board Room. The Burton store was surprisingly small. Same thing with the Oakley store. There is a tiny yarn store. The lady was balling up some yarn and pretty much blocked access to half the store. Since I was with Ben, I didn't want to stay long anyway. We drove down to near the restaurant and checked out a bigger sporting goods store - Gallatin Alpine Sports. I saw a KAVU vest I really liked but it didn't have zipper pockets. Ben picked up a light base layer shirt. At the restaurant, we were early and got a couple stiff cocktails at the bar. They were able to seat us before our reservation time and I ordered a special - Bison Wellington. Ben ordered a giant steak. Both dishes were very pink but still tasty.
3/21 - Explored more of the mountain(s) today. Ambush was the big winner. Nicely groomed with a layer of soft spring slush. We rode all over and only had trouble with some icy moguls with trees and rocks sticking out in places. Temperatures probably got to about 50 and it was partly sunny. I was comfortable wearing the new jacket with the Whistler fleece and a base layer. After riding, we were on our way to eat in the village and saw a rescue dog demonstration. We tried to eat at Scissorbills but they were closed for the Dirtbag fundraiser. We ended up at M.R. Hummers. The other bar had live music that didn't interest us. Burgers at Hummers were descent.
3/22 - Another sunny day! It was hazy at times and cooler. The snow stayed stiff in a lot of places. We went to the top of Lone Peak. I got a little cold wearing my new Volcom jacket layered with the teal Burton hoody and Volcom base layer. My fingers were numb in the Celtek gloves. It must have only gotten up to mid 40s today. I think the haze got thicker later into the day.
3/23- We took the day off snowboarding. It seemed colder and we thought the groomers would be icy. We tried to get sushi for lunch but the place was closed. A lot of places were closed on Monday. We ended up at Lone Peak Brewery. Steep and Deep ale was good. The food was not good. We stopped by East Slope Outdoors and I bought a long sleeve Big sky sweatshirt. Met the best shop dog ever, Ullr (ooler), a Bernese mountain dog. He came galloping up to us as soon as we walked into the door. He was super friendly. I wanted to take him home with me. I settled for sitting on the floor with him and rubbing his belly and tickling his feet. He really hates that. Wish we had taken a picture of this dog. I looked up the store on the internet but there are pictures of other shop dogs we didn't meet. Next time...
3/24- Today was crazy. It snowed overnight. Our flight was supposed to be at 6AM but driving down was slow going. We passed plows going the other direction. Now all those crosses along the pass seem understandable. Probably nervous tourists, hurrying down for their predawn flight. It was dark, below freezing and winding almost the whole way back to the airport. We returned the car to Hertz via dropping the keys down a hole with a note about mileage. When we got to the Alaska counter, no one was there. They close 40 minutes prior to take off. I'm skeptical that we were late. It was by 5 minutes if any. Ben gets on the phone and tells them about the snow and why we were late. They first tells us we are going to have to pay $700 to get on the next flight. But after talking to a supervisor, who looked up the weather at Big Sky, the nice lady said we only had to pay $50 total to get on the next flight which was at 3:25PM. I email mom and dad with the airport WIFI (because, no Sprint!) about missing the flight. I tried calling but, of course, mom's cell went straight to voice mail (what town with an airport doesn't have cell coverage?!).
With 9 hours before the flight, Ben gets on Hotwire and rents us another car. We wait an hour for the Hertz counter to open at 7AM and get our car. The lady from Hertz said we could have just gotten the keys back to our original rental since we technically had it for the whole day but since we already booked a new one through Hotwire, we got a Toyota Sequoia. It was gigantic. Only had to put one seat down to fit the board bags. We met Mikel, Ben's (actually Char's) childhood friend, for coffee. I had no cell coverage, so I used the cafe WIFI to let mom and dad know when our new flight would arrive. We then drove to Bridger Bowl. It's only like 15 miles from Bozeman. The snow that made us miss our flight was fluffy when we got to the resort. We had so much fun. 6-7 inches of pow with partly cloudy skies. We didn't take pictures. Just too busy having fun. Plenty of untouched snow along Powder Park but a little flat for my liking so after a few runs we rode Bridger then ended up riding Pierre's Knoll a few times. It started to get warmer and the snow got heavy and tracked out after a couple hours. Last Chance run was shady and stayed loose and we did find some nice tree skiing off Pierre but the cat track back to the lift was brutal on my feet. Toe edge the whole way. Made my plantar fasciitis flare.
Here is a link to the photos Ben posted to his Facebook. He has details about each photo with comments and whatnot on FB. Or just stare at the slideshow below. I couldn't decide which was better...
For my own future reference, and kind of the whole point of blogging the trip, here is what I packed. I have such terrible packing indecision and can never remember what I packed and wore in previous trips. The issue inspired the creation of this travel log. Thus, the weird detail about clothes, temperatures and comfort level. I was originally NOT going to share the blog but Ben said friends and family might be interested.