What’s it like living in Montana? I’m asked that almost every day.
I assume it’s a lot like living anywhere else, in the sense that it’s amazing and hard, the perfect place and the worst place 🙂 depending on the moment, depending on our mindset…. Just like everything in life it has pros and cons. That being said, Montana is known as “The Last Best Place” and I have to say I agree with that most of the time 🙂
One of the things we do to stay active in the never-ending winter is to ski. I grew up in Texas, so it couldn’t be further from my comfort zone… So during the first few years in Bozeman, I was determined to learn the art of downhill skiing. I took lessons and I can proudly say I’m a successful amateur skier, but I can do it. I have more stories of crashing, falling and untimely lift dismounts that I care to I share 🙂 but when you’re on those skis there’s nothing like it! The adrenaline, the beauty the thrill is hard to describe.
As our family has grown, I have less time to get up to the mountain to ski, but I now get to put all my energy into my kids skiing experience, and let me tell you, it takes a lot of energy. Yes, it’s thrilling and exciting, but boy does it take a lot to make it happen. I mean just the amount of gear needed is astonishing. You’re talking ski boots, skis, poles, helmet, goggle, face mask, gloves, ski socks, ski pants, ski coats and all this X3 (as I have three of them currently in ski school). You also must be on top of your game, because registration for ski school is in October and if you’re not signed up in the first week, chances are you ain’t getting a spot. I have Made that mistake more than once, but come on, who’s thinking about skiing in October (apparently the whole Bozeman :). So, you get your kids signed up, next you to rent your skis (that’s what makes the most sense for our family) and make sure you have your season passes.
Now, you wait for the season to start!
On ski day, it takes about a half hour to get everyone outfitted in their gear, and let me tell you the struggle is real, getting those ski boots on can be quite the challenge, and is almost certain to bring about tears from one of the kiddos.
We are so lucky to live 25 min from our local ski hill Bridger Bowl… but the parking, oh man! It’s quite the workout just to get from your car to the hill, and shlepping the skis and poles is no small task. Yet, you know what? We get used to it, the kids become pros and learn great skills. By the time they get to the lesson, you’re sweating through all the layers of clothing you’re wearing. After that, you definitely need a glass of wine and a massage 🙂
You may wonder, is it all worth it? Sounds like a whole lot of work, not mention expense? YES, YES, YES, every bit of it. Here’s why: When you see your child persevere, work hard, and feel so much pride in their accomplishments, There’s nothing like it! It’s hard core out there, they fall, they get hurt, they’re cold and tired but they go out of their comfort zone, and they are brave. Many times they are on top of a run that really freaks them out and they want nothing to do with it, but like Chaya said “I didn’t have a choice, I had to get down; I couldn’t stay up there for forever”, what great life skills! And side point, they are busy on a Sunday doing something healthy and active, not much else to do around here in the winter 🙂
The best tradition of all is the hot cocoa they enjoy when they get home after a long active day 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this little glimpse into life in Montana and how we utilize what our amazing state has to offer in the best possible way.
You never know, you might want to make a trip to the “Last Best Place” and experience it for yourself.