Trains, bars, and some damn fine snow
“After skiing crusty snow off the chair on a warm day last February, I find myself standing in the rain in the Turner parking lot, drinking Coors Lights and smoking cigars with alum from the Libby High class of ’78. The wet weather eventually forces everyone to head down the hill to Red Dog, the nearby watering hole. I hop in an oversized truck with a man named Frank, a big red-headed, bearded construction worker who learned to ski at Turner but now lives in Helena. As we approach a hairpin turn, Frank, with a cigar dangling from his mouth and a beer in his cup-holder, looks at me and says, ‘Watch this.’ Then he spins his steering wheel as hard as he can. We make a 350-degree rotation on the ice-covered road, laugh, then straighten out and drive to the bar.”
That’s part of my story, called “Montanafest Destiny: Finding the true meaning of skiing at the small ski areas of Montana.” A double-chair, family-owned ski area tour of the Treasure State, it was probably the most fun assignment I’ve ever been on. Here’s some GoPro footage I took to offer another glimpse of the whirlwind trip. You can also read the rest of the story in our November issue. Find the magazine on newsstands or buy the digital version.