By Eileen OgintzTribune Media ServicesOld Faithful spews thousands of gallons of steaming water right on schedule, but Miguel isn't the least bit interested. He just lumbers by us searching for…
You gotta hate that guy. The guy sitting next to you on the plane, at the pool or the chairlift who can't stop bragging about the fantastic vacation deal he snared that saved his family big bucks.
Mary Blilie had been at Big Sky Resort in Montana for just one day but had already snapped more photos of her kids than she had in a long time. That's because when Blilie, now a Minneapolis engineer, was a kid her family skied here every winter and now, after a 17-year hiatus, she was determined to create some of those same happy memories for her own two children
Did you know Yellowstone has more thermal feature than anywhere in the world? And I’d rather visit in winter anytime. The last time we were here in the summer, there were so many people, the kids could barely see Old Faithful. Now we’re hiking in snowshoes around the geyser basin and there’s no one but us and Miguel.
Mother Nature, my daughter Mel says, delivered the best Christmas present of all -- more than a foot of fresh snow. But unlike other ski resorts during a holiday week, there are no lift lines and no crowds. Where is everyone?
The good news is that it’s snowing -- dumping snow actually. The bad news is that it’s snowing -- so hard that there’s hardly any visibility Even my die hard skiers don’t want to move from the cabin. They’re watching an ER marathon. When do we get to do that at home?
Other families I meet around the village at the Base of Big Sky are equally enthusiastic about the ski school. The mountain is big but the ski school is small “and that’s important” says Lori Woolbright, who is back for her third holiday here with her husband and eight year old daughter from Myrtle Beach, SC.
That’s the thing about Big Sky -- it’s at the same time a mountain known for its steeps and deeps with the most with moonlight Basin next door -- the most terrain in the country – 5,512 skiable acres and a 4,350 foot vertical drop. There’s enough extreme terrain at the top of the tram to satisfy my kids but also plenty of wide open blue terrain for those like me nursing a bad knee.
It’s seven in the morning and we’re ensconced in a cozy log cabin with a stone fireplace at Big Sky Ski Resort. I smell bacon and coffee -- my husband is cooking us a hearty breakfast before our first day on what is billed as “the biggest skiing in America.” I’m hoping my kids will love here that Big Sky allows access to some of the country’s biggest vertical drops and steepest lift accessed terrain anywhere