Ski Montana


by Nan McKenzie

Many years ago, my former husband RJ, my 17-year-old son Curt, and I were in Big Sky, Montana for a ski weekend.  When we went outside Saturday morning, it was 35 below zero ski-liftand the wind was blowing.  A thermometer at the bottom of ski lift said it was 20 below on top.  We decided to go home.  However, the truck was too cold to start, so we sat around awhile, waiting for something interesting to happen.  A wrecker was supposed to come help start the truck, but the people said it could be hours.

A while later, I noticed that the temperature on top was now at 2 degrees below zero, still 35 below at the bottom.  I grabbed Curt and said, “Let’s go skiing.  We’ll get warm while we ski.”

That’s a fallacy, you just get colder, especially riding an open chair lift to the top, but the sun was out now, and we could pretend it was a perfect day for skiing.  RJ had to wait for the wrecker to come, and he didn’t care as much for skiing as Curt and I did.

I’m not much of a skier, too much arthritis, but I’m game.  Curt and I discovered a whole hill covered with moguls, and my short skis were amazing as we roared along to the bottom, rocking and rolling over the bumps on the hill.  Curt was always in front, always hollering, “Come on, Mom!”  We’d slide to the bottom and I knew for sure that I was too cold to ride that bugger again, but I’d head for the lift and ride it to the top.  We skied for hours, Curt and I, and yelled in exhilaration and fun.

RJ finally stopped us at the chair lift, saying the truck was running and we should go, 180 miles from home.  “One more,” we both shouted, and since he wasn’t there at the lift when we reached bottom again, we took advantage and made it six more runs.

One of my best-ever days, bar none.  We grinned all the way home, Curt and I, and shivered for at least 100 miles, with wet feet, pants, and sore knees.

Not much of a skier, but I’m game.

Happy Skiing,


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