2008 Trip - Big Sky Montana

Trip Memories

Attendance .. Of course the biggest change was the absence of our prez, Grant. Grant missed this trip due to hip replacement surgery. But don't forget, Paul and Jason were also missing, regulars from way back. Of our 19 trips, Grant and Scott have missed only one. Paul has missed two.

Accommodations .. These were without a doubt, the best ever. Truly ski in and ski out. None of that cross-country ski in and ski out. No shuttles to the ski area. No long marches to get anywhere. Whether going in or out, our own private trail was second to none. Certainly our own private hot tub with a view to die for, was first class all the way.

Sleeping Accommodations ..  Mike and Hall scored big with a fireplace, plasma TV and a walk-in closet. Nobody ever did figure out where Steve disappeared to up in his loft each night. And of course, there was "The Jungle" with Hall of Fame snorer, Scott and runnerup Jeff.

Females .. The contributions of Carrie on this trip were too numerous too mention. Perhaps it's time for the first official female Rail Rider.

Mike .. Mike celebrated his 60th birthday in style during the trip. Carrie and Derek brought the cake. Never did get to see him model those custom made briefs. Unfortunately there were also a number of senior moments. Getting caught coming off the chair lift and being helped by the lift operator will go down in RR history (see photo section). His embarrassing spill of a full water glass at dinner may soon become very commonplace. And he even went after the senior citizen discount at breakfast before departing at the airport. And don't forget, senior portions and prices on the menus.

Beer Pong .. Beer pong made its first appearance on a ski trip. Brad and Derek were the team to beat throughout the night, but Scott and Carrie sneaked by them in the final match of the evening.

The Corral .. While it took awhile to get there, we finally found The Corral. One van almost gave up the quest, but persistence finally got us there. Steve found out the answer to the age old question of "What do you have on tap?" Answer from the wisecracking Montana bartender - Beer. Thought we might see Steve go flying over the bar to regain respect. Many had a chance to sample a change from the usual Coors Light and Fat Tire, a local microbrew, called Lone Peak. The steaks were about thirty dollars but worth every cent. Hal and Mike were so liked by the owners, they have been featured on the home page of the restaurant's home page .. Click Here

Travel .. Travel to and from went fairly well The long layover in Denver on the way to Big Sky provided the opportunity for a sit down meal and drinks with a Mexican flair. There was one exception. No skis at the airport in Boseman!!!. Fortunately they could track our bags to let us know they were still in Denver. Big deal! Vouchers were issued for rentals but who wanted to cruise on anything that wasn't from Ski Tunes (Roger?). Besides, how could we ski in and ski out on rentals? Luckily many had learned to always carry on your boots and clothes for a day of skiing. Skis and Hal both arrived that night, ready for the first day of skiing .. P.S. For the record, Mike didn't lose his ID and made it through all security checks.   

Chef Brad ..  Brad treated us all to a great Italian dinner Saturday night at the house. Another great evening, followed by Mike's 60th celebration and some beer pong. Speaking of food, a sit down lunch back at the house each day, sure beat the heck out of packing sandwiches. Steve and Mike made sure the day got off to a great start with a hearty breakfast. You could also count on Hal to keep the dishes and kitchen clean.   

Derek and Carrie .. D & C kicked off the trip by stocking the house with food and drink. What a great way to start with her home made chili, brought all the way from Colorado! And no lugging bags of food back to the condo on a shuttle.

Technology .. Who wudda thunk that technology would come to the RR's out west. Roger led the way, keeping Grant up to date with photos and keeping us up to date with the latest weather/ski reports. He provided everyone with a CD including loads of pictures even before we left Denver. And of course, Hal (the Steven Spielberg of the West) filming the events, in anticipation of his annual DVD.

The Skiing .. Four days of sun and clear skys. We truly know why they call Montana the Big Sky state. A bit more snow would have been nice (no champagne powder this trip). The mountain was huge and much to ski in four days, from great cruisers for Scott, to Derek's extreme runs. Lift lines don't seem to exist in Montana. Is there a more beautiful experience than skiing in the shadow of Lone Peak?     

Van Drivers .. Thanks to Brad and Jeff for taking care of the transportation!

The Final Night .. A long Happy Hour, a great meal and closing down Whiskey Jack's. Definitely one of the best finishes to a great vacation. We should end all our trips like this. Not sure what all the hype is over these energy drinks. Derek assured us the combination of alcohol and energy drink would allow him to drink an extra hour or two (yeah right!). How many times has our group closed down a bar? Grant would have been proud. Even amidst all this frivolity, we had time for a business meeting. Roger was put on temporary probation pending getting rid of the Salomon's. Special thanks to Brad for being our designated driver. Hope Derek is over the Montana flu he caught that night.   

Closing Comments .. All in all, one of the best. Lots of skiing, drinking, eating, hot tubbing, and good ole comradery. While perhaps the most notable event was the absence of Grant, everybody pitched in and made it a true team effort.