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Rainy Day Idea 2: Dinosaurs, Wolves, and Bears, Oh My!

Written by Anna Husted on at

When the rain comes it's only natural to look to local museums and theaters for inexpensive and fun entertainment. For me that means Bozeman's Museum of the Rockies, West Yellowstone's Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center or IMAX, and Big Sky's Lone Peak Cinema.

Founded in 1957, The Museum of the Rockies is a Montana staple with dinosaur specimens from all over Montana including the largest Tyrannosaurus Rex collection in the world. A great time to visit is when the museum's curator of paleontology, Jack Horner, is speaking, or time it just right to catch a light show in the Taylor Planetarium. I would also highly recommend the current temporary exhibition: Chocolate, which delves deep into the science behind the delicious dark treat.

Catch another glimpse of dinosaurs in Jurassic World at Lone Peak Cinema or on the IMAX in West Yellowstone. Nothing beats a rainy day like the movies, but I enjoy the drive to West Yellowstone to check out Hollywood blockbusters, new to the regional IMAX, or to see a movie like Titans of the Ice Age, about great wooly mammoths. The field-trip type science experiences in and around Big Sky, Montana, cannot be taken advantage of enough. Last year I had the chance to catch Yellowstone Wolves and Alaska. Neither would I have seen if I did not live so close to such amazing facilities or in a community that values using technology to express nature.

From time to time when I do drive down to West Yellowstone I stop at the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center to see the northern saw-whet owl Acadia, who is blind in one eye after being hit by a car, but is easily the cutest owl I've ever seen.

Rainy days in Montana are a normal part of spring and early summer, but they are easily enjoyed with the right plan and right attitude. The clouds are breaking up as I write this, yet now all I want to do is hold an owl named Acadia.
-Anna

acadia
Northern saw-whet owl Acadia at the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center. 

trex
Trex at the Museum of the Rockies. 


Did you know...

Written by Lyndsey Owens on at

A group of foxes is called a leash, skulk, earth or pack. Fox can identify each other's voices like humans. The red fox has 28 different sounds used to communicate, including yips, growls and howls.
Elk bark to warn each other of danger.
Grizzly bears live 20-25 years and raise their cubs for two to three years.
Moose have a flap of skin known as a bell beneath its throat. The bell is for identifying status of males, warmth, scent, and may also play a role in communication.
Mountain Goats live 12-15 years and can be found on Lone Peak year-round. See them on the Lone Peak Expedition this summer. 
3 million visitors see Yellowstone National Park each year. Don't go to Yellowstone without checking out all Big Sky Resort has to offer! 

Discover more wildlife facts in the next issue of Live Big Magazine available at Big Sky Resort this summer.
-Lyndsey

wildlife
Graphic by Michel Tallichet


Fountain of Youth: Found at Big Sky Resort

Written by Anna Husted on at

My Montana childlike wonder makes it easy to write about all the fantastic places and activities I explored in Big Sky as a kid, but it also makes it easy to write about all the new and wonderful activities offered in Big Sky for kids today.

First of all: Basecamp to Yellowstone. Yellowstone Park was the neatest, most odd thing to 9-year-old me: Geysers, hot beds, bison, and low-lying mountains that seemed to move with every breath of the molten underbelly. But I'm getting ahead of myself, before venturing south of Big Sky, the activities right at the resort were something I would have devoured as a kid. I still love ziplining, a high ropes challenge, archery, paddleboarding, jumping on a bungee trampoline, or scaling a climbing wall. These things came after my childhood for the most part, but I was enthralled as a sixth grader of my friend's tall tale of ziplining through a forest. Now kids can zipline all the time and in so many cool places, not least of which is Big Sky Resort.

Second: Hiking. I remember taking a guided hike as a kid in Montana and being shocked that the guide could remember all the flora and fauna of the area. How did he know what flower that was? How could he tell an elk had been here? Take a hike around Big Sky for free or go on a guided hike right at Big Sky Resort.

Third: Whitewater rafting and horseback riding. One of my biggest regrets, that I may not have had full control over, was that I didn't go whitewater rafting until high school. Although it is not for the smallest children, rafting the Gallatin River is such a great kid-friendly family past time, I don't know how anyone can even pass by the rafting outfitters without booking. The same can be said for horseback riding. Not only is horseback riding classically Montana, it is also one of the most challenging and then relaxing things a kid could do. I was afraid of horses as a young girl, but once I got on horseback it was like I was meant to be there.

Big Sky, Montana, invites kids and adults into childhood. The adventures to be had are endless and unforgettable.
-Anna

bison
Photo: Glenniss Indreland

lonepeak
Photo: Glenniss Indreland


Bungee Trampoline... It's For Adults Too

Written by Sheila Chapman on at

Bungee Trampoline At Big Sky Resort the Basecamp To Yellowstone Park
So there I am standing in line behind a 6-year-old girl waiting my turn to get on the bungee trampolines in the Mountain Village Plaza at Big Sky Resort. She and I watch an 8-year-old boy attempting a flip and a 3-year-old girl bouncing as she giggles looking at her parents, both of them have ear-to-ear grins on their faces. Well, here I go a 40-something year old woman about to find her inner child.

Barefoot I climb onto the trampoline. The Basecamp bungee trampoline guide connects two bungee cords to my harness, I look over at the 6-year-oild girl and she already has it figured out- jumping and laughing on the twin trampoline next to mine. The guide explains some how-to's for jumping, she steps off, and tells me to have fun.

I start off a little on the shy side- I haven't done this in a while and I make some baby jumps at first. I put some more leg into it and it's like an instantaneous transformation...

BAM... my fearless inner 6-year-old comes out and I'm using those bungees to launch me in the air, bouncing higher and higher. I can't stop laughing and smiling and feeling free. As I rocket again in the air I start singing out loud "sky rockets in flight... [insert sound effect]... afternoon delight" by the Starland Vocal Band (yes, I had to Google it). Now I hear my guide laughing and yelling to me to do a flip. Woo Hoo- I'm six again! Ahh yeah I can do flips- watch this! My first attempt at a flip brought me back to the reality of my adult form. Not as easy and nor as graceful as I pictured in my head.

I fly up again, my inner 6-year-old tells me I can do it. Using what little abs strength I have I throw a backward flip. Yeehaw! I did it!! Now I'm trying to jump even higher, the bungee cords stretching to heights of 30-feet. I do another flip and another. My inner 6-year-old is roaring, I'm laughing, and the crowd of parents are cheering me on. Then my 40-something year old body pipes up. This is on heck of a workout. I'm using all my core muscles. I become breathless and my legs are tiring. Of course my brain interjects on my body's behalf, "time to let the other kids have a turn." So I slow my jumping to a stop, dismount and slap a high five with a 3-year-old boy waiting in line.

As I walk across the plaza, my inner 6-year-old girl skipping in my heart, with an ear-to-ear grin on my face.

-Sheila


Training for a 50K?

Written by Lyndsey Owens on at

Training on the trail with Enthusiastic Training Partner

I love running. Running distances for fun, like on a Sunday- all day. I know this is not the norm because I only know a few people that get as excited as me when I ask if they want to go- and I mean I can count them on one hand.

It was a Saturday this past January. I had just returned from some morning skiing when my phone rings. It’s my friend Allison (she is counted on that one hand mentioned above). “Where are you? It is registration day and the 30k already sold out in 5 minutes.” she says. I reply “What? Oh better get on it” . So my race begins, at a computer, six months before the physical start line. There I was feverishly pecking away my information with credit card in hand. The result? Allison has the last spot in the Big Horn Wild and Scenic 50k and me close behind landing first on the wait list.

A few weeks later I am explaining my predicament to Mike Foote, accomplished mountain runner on The North Face Ultra Running Team and Race Director for the Rut 50k & 12K at Big Sky Resort. “You’re first on the wait list? Oh don’t worry, you will get in. You better start training.” Foote says. He was right. In April I got my confirmation, I was in!

Training….uhhh….Training for a 50k, I like running, but I am no expert on actually training for 31.6 miles. I sought out the internet for some advice.

“The 50K schedule alternates between hard weeks and easy weeks to allow recovery and help prevent overuse injuries that may occur from ramping up mileage too quickly. Rest is essential.”
http://www.trailrunevents.com/ul/schedule-50k.asp

“….there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a foray into ultra-running. Adapting to increased mileage, developing the ability to run while fatigued and experimenting with different nutrition and hydration needs are all very individual endeavors.”
http://running.competitor.com/2012/11/training/going-longer-how-to-train-for-your-first-50k_61887

I like that it is subjective to the person and I think I can work with this. Rest is something I have failed at in the past especially during the taper. I have definitely experimented with the ability to run while fatigued and with different nutrition and hydration, not that it was a success. With all that in mind I put together this checklist on what I essentially needed in my training:

1. Time
2. Enthusiastic and Willing Training Partners
3. Hydration
4. Nutrition

Time, where does it go? This was my biggest challenge. Trying to find the time to log all the miles. I found that I had to juggle priorities to hit the numbers. As always, I would have liked more time in the day to run more.

Training partners. As I mentioned before there are a limited number of people I can call and say “What are you doing on Saturday? Want to run all day?” or “Meet me at 6 am for a trail run?” and get a “Yes, I’d love to” response. A good partner is essential and will keep me motivated and it’s always more fun to share the experience, especially in Big Sky, Montana and the greater Yellowstone ecosystem where the views alone are awe-inspiring. Another thing in our world today is “there’s an app for that” and guess what? There is an app for training! I found my iPhone app Runmeter to be an effective training partner for only $1.99. It logs my distance, time, pace and elevation. This app assisted tremendously by connecting my “how I feel today” to some hard numbers. Runmeter talks to me while I run, updating me on my distance, time and pace…I liked that a lot too. I have had many conversations with fellow runners and everyone seems to have an app that they like and use- that’s great.

Hydration, managing this is essential. More miles equals more water, hydrating pre-run is ultra-important and I have learned to drain my hydration pack (a Nathan pack) before the downhill to avoid back pain later. Have you ever heard of ancient medicine like Aruveda? I have tried it- Aruveydic practitioner Callie Stolz (www.santoshabigsky.com) introduced me to this rehydration therapy: a warm cup of water with fresh lemon in the morning. It’s a delicious way to start the day and I do think it has worked for me.

Nutrition, eating the right foods at the right time is important. I am still figuring this one out. Through much trial and error I have found what works for me and what does not. I have also learned to play it safe on race week with my diet. My husband and I have moved toward a plant based diet. We have kept our diet clean with organics and local when possible (sometimes hard to do, but worth it). I have found an Aruveyda approach to eating has been beneficial for me. Good websites like www.joyfulbelly.com and seeking advice from a professional- Aruveydic practitioner (Callie Stolz) provided more understanding on nutrition and digestion.

After all I hope all my training will make the day more fun, because for me that is really what it is all about. This Saturday, June 15 is the day I have been working for over the past 6 months. I am a little nervous, but mostly excited to spend most of the daylight running, because I love it. Wish me luck or better yet join me wherever you are by running a few miles on Saturday.

Looking for your next trail race? Big Sky Resort is hosting The Rut 50k and 12k September 14, 2013. Run the Rut- sign up today. There is limited availability and spots are going quickly. Oh and I recommend you start training!

-Lyndsey

Mile 20

I am still smiling at mile 20. After a down pour and lightning.

allison

Enthusiastic running partner- Allison looking fast on an all day training run.

Snow

Enthusiastic running partners found snow! Sometimes you got to grin and bear it.

Apps are fun! More App StuffRunmeter

Look what my app can do! Runmeter logs all the important stats.


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