Sunday, March 13, 2011

It was a Showdown

Melynda Coble-Harrison is a writer.  Because she is such a good writer, she won a free trip by winning an article submission contest to Visit Montana. The trip was skiing, a nights stay, and dinner at Showdown Ski Resort and Bob's Motel in Neihart. She was nice enough to share her winnings with the Howell Family.  So Saturday morning we loaded up the car and made our way to Neihart and Bobs Hotel.   We stopped along the way for a soak in the mineral hot springs in White Sulpher Springs, then to Kings Hill Recreation Area in the beautiful Big Belt Mountains for some cross country skiing.  

Always ready for activities that require helmets.
This would be our first "downhill ski" day with Matine and her first time on skis.  Prior to this we have strapped her to our back or pulled her in the Chariot on XC ski adventures.   When we told her that when we ski we wear helmets ... she was psyched.  Her helmet had to be worn before we even got our coffee for our road trip on Saturday morning.  You think I am kidding. She wore the helmet for the entire road trip. 

Peter and I, minus Matine (I had already strapped her into her carseat and I wasn't about to do that again).
The Coble-Harrison Family - Melynda, Henry, Anders and Finn
A little stop in White Sulpher for soaking, lunch and family photo ops!

With Paci inserted, Matine strapped in to her first pair of skis.  On the XC ski journey on Saturday, she made it about 10 feet and had enough.   Granted, she is pretty sick and had no nap.  She quickly opted for dad's back as we enjoyed a little wide-open space xc-ski adventure.
I was a junk-show!  I was so excited and so focused on making sure that Matine had her hat, gloves, paci, jackets, snacks, sunscreen, etc ... that I managed to make it to the ski area WITHOUT my own gloves or hat.   There are benefits to never cleaning out your car.  I found old, smelly socks for my hands and Peter's fishing "Buff" for my head.   A little ridiculous, but it did the trick.   Thank goodness Matine was properly dressed.

Kings Hill Recreation Area.  We did a little trail breaking to get away from all the Snowmobilers and find a bit of quiet.
Entering the small and quaint, Neihart, MT --- and the "IN-convenience" Store on it's one and only main road.
Did you know that Bob's is THE place to stay?  We were hoping that Edna and the band would be playing Saturday night.
Saturday night we had a lovely dinner at Bob's Place.   We hit the hot tub (the highlight for Matine thus far).  That's right folks - TWO soaks in one day!  The kids (and parents) were pooped after driving 120 miles, skiing, managing children, dogs and gear, and then a relaxing soak.  We hit the sack and most of slept fairly well.   Sunday morning was a big day.  It was the first time for all the kiddos to be on downhill skis (and this also means the first time for us parents to GET our kids on downhill skis)! 

Our goals were this:
1)  Make sure Matine had fun in the snow 
2)  Make sure Matine had fun "on" skis (even if this meant 2 minutes) 
3) Make sure Matine stayed warm and fed

It was a success!  The warm and fed part were easy - it was mid 40's, sunny, clear skis. We couldn't have ordered a prettier spring skiing day.  The warming house / lodge was walking steps from the "bunny hill" and we could go in and out all morning and afternoon, making sure kids were happy and filled with greasy snacks.  

The morning was a bit rough - again, Mattie is defnitely sick with something and crabbier than usual.  She wasn't really into wearing the skis and she didn't really want to do anything but be held.  We managed to get her fairly comfortable in the backpack and we did a couple of green runs on the main hill.  She LOVED the ski lift and we heard a few screaches of excitement as Pete skiied fast with her down the mountain.   

After lunch she was a different baby - happy, fed, a bit more rested and she was eager to get on those skis!  This attempt was 100% successful and as she strapped those boards to her feet and rode the "Magic Carpet" up the bunny hill she was all smiles behind those Barbie sunglasses and pacifier (we cannot get that thing out of her mouth!).  

She was literally SQUEALING as she rode between Pete's legs run after run.  When we would get to the bottom she would say, "more!"  It was so much fun! 

on the ski lift with dad... there is a grin behind that paci, I swear.
"ready GO! "  Something she said alot as she slid down

Anders and Melynda on a real run!  Anders did GREAT for his first downhill trip - and had a great time!
The old ski school instructor skills, coming in handy - not really.  I just held on tight and made sure not to get too tangled in her little wobbly appendages. 
Action shot of the fun ---


Weather said...

A very big accomplishment! I love the pic of her getting ready to cc ski. So stinkin' cute!

Jo said...

this is amazing brooke! i had no idea you could put someone so little (and cute!) on skis! i'm clearly not a skier because all i could think during that video was don't fall down peter don't fall down!!!!

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