Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Big Sky Montana!

Its almost become our tradition each year to go skiing in January around the MLK holiday weekend.  I can't believe its already been over 2 weeks ago since we were gone but it has!   2017 is already passing fast.   This year was our year to go with no kids so we left out on Saturday and headed out to Big Sky, Montana!  We had SO much fun.  I love our crew and we always have the best time together.  We laugh, we ski, this year we snowmobiled and we laughed some more!  Oh and of course we ate!  What's a vacation without some good food?!  We flew into Bozeman, Montana and made our way to Big Sky.  Saturday was really our day to travel, get checked in and get our skis so we would be ready to go on Sunday morning.  It never ceases to amaze me how beautiful it is out there and the entire trip I would find myself thinking that and how blessed we all were to see God's BEAUTIFUL creation.  It is so different from Georgia and offers so much to see and take in.  

a view from our house

Our room
After getting all of our ski equipment we headed to eat and night 1 was Mexican.  I think it was about -5 degrees!  

Sunday morning we were up early because we were not adjusted to the time difference.  Between that and the altitude sleep is not our friend.  I think we woke up about 15 times each night starting anywhere between 2 and 4 am.  Fun times!  It does get us going early in the morning though.  The lifts opened at 9 and we were there for them.  We all skied together most of the morning on Sunday and we immediately loved the wide slopes and how there were no lines whatsoever!

chair lift pictures are the best!  Alan squeezed in the bottom corner!

We came in for lunch and then skied more that afternoon.  The lifts close at 4:00 so we all were in to shower and get ready to go out to eat that night.

Sunday night we found a great place to eat and be entertained!  The guys played some ping pong and a deer hunting game while we waited.  This place won me over by having sweet tea and good sweet tea at that.

All the kids in the restaurant loved watching Brad shoot too.  

Monday we were up and on the lifts at 9:00.  This time we decided to start our day by making our way to the peak of the mountain.  We skied and took a few lifts then got on a tram that took you to the top.  You could ski down which Westley chose to do or ride down like the rest of us sane people did.  Being up that high was enough.  Kelly isn't a fan of heights but we did manage to take some great pictures!  From the peak you are able to see 3 states!  It was really breathtaking!

the view from our bedroom balcony...the moon next to the peak!

Tram ride up!

Stepping off the tram!


headed back down the tram

Going down it was so neat looking so close at the side of the mountain.  This mountain is huge!

We all skied together all morning until it was time to take a lunch break.  After lunch we were back out again enjoying our last few hours of skiing before we had to turn our skis back in.

It was so neat to see this cross on this huge mountain.  They had church here at certain times on Sunday.  Seeing this cross with that backdrop of the peak just shows how awesome and how big our God is and how awesome His creation is.

That night we headed back to the village to turn in our ski equipment.  I can say for sure I have never been so glad to get rid of a pair of ski boots in my life.  The lady there did not fit us well for these boots and never have I had the problems I had this time with my boots.  I am now fairly sure I am going to lose one if not 2 toenails because of them.   Nice!  And if not who knows how long I'll live with purple/black/blue toes.  So not fun.  We ate after turning everything in then ended our night with more laughs at our house.  We also got to enjoy our hot tub and even though it was below zero outside that hot tub felt wonderful!

Tuesday was our day for snowmobiling.  I have to admit I was most excited about this part of our trip.  I have always wanted to go snowmobiling and going into Yellowstone had me very excited.  I have been to Yellowstone in the summer so I was excited to see it covered in snow!  We left out of West Yellowstone, Montana and snowmobiled into Yellowstone, all the way to Old Faithful and back.   We stopped several times each way to see all of the wildlife and stopped at 2 waterfalls.  We also stopped at the geysers and paint pots.  It was all so amazing.  I LOVED it.  Each couple rode together on the snowmobile but we each took turns driving and it was so much fun.  When we left the parking lot it was -11 degrees!  The gear you are given to wear is so warm and only a few times did I feel like my hands or feet would start to get cold.  You have hand warmers on the snowmobile which was nice too.  We saw so many bison, coyotes, elk, and a bald eagle.  I loved seeing all the animals and have so many pictures and videos.  The bison would be walking right beside us in the road!  It was crazy how close they were.  Old Faithful was nice to see too.  It is very different from how it looks in the summer to me because in the winter there is just so much steam.  You can barely see the water because it just turns to steam immediately.  It was all such a neat experience though.  We saw so many beautiful things.

Dawn got this picture of all of us behind her and Westley

Our guide told us this double rainbow around the sun that we saw was what they called "dog ears".  So pretty!

We felt like astronauts in space suits as bundled as we were!

Our first animal sighting was this coyote.  We thought we had gotten lucky to see a wolf but nope just a coyote.  Since all we had camera wise was our phones we weren't able to zoom in and get a good quality picture but it is still good enough to see what it is.

coyote #2

Our first waterfall stop was at Firehole Falls.  Absolutely gorgeous!

As we got closer to all of the geysers you would look out and see steam coming up from everywhere. It is crazy thinking about how many geysers are in this area.

It wasn't long before we had our first of many road stops for bison.  They were right at us but just walked right past like we weren't even there.  This was a mother with 2 babies.

stop #2

After we left Old Faithful we stopped at the paint pots.  There were also more geysers to see up close.  I think we walked out in a field of several different thermophiles.  The paint pot amazed me the most because it looks just like that.  A pot of hot paint, all colors, bubbling constantly.  Another thing that amazed me were the trees.  They were completely covered in snow and almost looked like statues.  I guess being from the south we never see sights like this because our snow consists of about 10 flakes.

Our second waterfall stop...Gibbon Falls!

Hubs took a break...just relaxing in the snow.  

Our guide actually rode right by this elk I don't know but Hubby saw it and I made him stop so I could take a picture.  Of course we were told to keep up with the guide but sometimes you have to stop for the picture!  This elk was huge and just right on the side of the road.

elk #2

Our last animal stop was right as we were leaving the park and it was this bald eagle.  I would have loved to have my camera for this one since you can't see much with the iPhone camera, other than you can tell what it is.  It would have been nice to be able to zoom in and see good!

It was such a fun day!  I would definitely love to snowmobile again in the park!  We headed back to Big Sky after snowmobiling and ate a nice dinner for our last night.  It was such a fun trip!  It was nice to see our babies but sad to get back to the "real world".  While we were gone the kids had a blast and were spoiled at Suzy's house one night then at Sug and Pop's house the rest of the time.  They got to go to birthday parties, hiked at Toccoa Falls.  I know they were having a lot of fun and a big thanks to our family's for making our trips possible for us by keeping these kiddos!  Its always nice to have a little getaway together and with friends.  

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