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Advertise on the Tentacle

July 16, 2014

A Cheap Ski Resort

Tom McLaughlin

Big Sky, Montana – The drive from Bozeman to Big Sky took about an hour and a half with myself, Suriani my wife, my with-child daughter Mary, my 3-year-old old son Dzul and my granddaughter, at 16 months, Leeilia. We had quite a crew!


The firs trees gave way to lodge pole pines, straight and tall as we coursed through the wilderness. Occasionally, there were homes as people were still ranching on the plains cum forests. Finally, the drive took us through National Parks as the lodge pole pines became predominate and our ears burped as we steadily rose higher and higher.


We entered Big Sky and took a cross roads to our hotel, a ski lodge which was nearly vacant for the summer. We stayed in Huntley Lodge, named after the American television news broadcaster – Chet Hundley – who founded the resort. Bellhops dressed in cowboy hats, boots and other western attire, greeted us, a bit overdone I should say. We were taken to our sumptuous rooms with a view of Lone Mountain that still had snow. Ski lifts ran up to the top with trails coming down the mountain.


Our rooms were pretty cheap, about $125 per night plus breakfast, much less expensive than the $350 per night during the ski season. Unfortunately, the restaurants connected to the hotel were not. We enlisted the help of the bellhops to drive us down the mountain to cheaper local establishments. This was a free, unadvertised service.


We found a brewery-type restaurant that served bar food but welcomed children, if you can believe that. The kids were encouraged to run around the establishment, behind the bar and had a play area in the back. Crayons and colouring paper were served with the meal. I had developed a taste for Mexican food and ordered Quesadillas. I thought they were something else; but, whatever they were, they were delicious.


The other restaurant, further away from the resort, was more of a local type. We had a three-piece fried chicken, corn on the cob, a bean dish and salad – all for $7.50. After weeks of eating beef, the chicken was a delight. Next door, through the partition, a guy in his 50s played country music.


The hiking, with two children three and under, was a pleasant experience. We ambled down a wide path, about a mile one way – suitable for wheel chairs – to a waterfall, intriguing in its composition. Suriani, Dzul and I took our time examine the alpine flowers, rocks and other flora. Leeilia was strapped to her mother's front in one of those carryalls.


It started to rain mid-way, but that did not deter us as we ignored most of the wet weather as it was a light sprinkle. We could see the ash from where the super volcano, where Yellowstone Park sits, erupted 640 years ago.


We stayed in Big Sky to avoid the very costly rooms, $250 and up, in West Yellowstone. We would take a tour of the park during our stay; it was the highlight and main purpose of our trip.


...Life is good . . . . .


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