North Slope Deli at Moonlight Lodge boasts a plethora of delicious breakfast and lunch options not least of which is their Fast Lane breakfast sandwich with turkey and their Hot Sandwiches grilled Panini-style with choice of bread (try the focaccia). Growing up skiing and hiking at Big Sky Resort my dad and I would lunch at North Slope Deli nine days out of 10 because of its ease of access, great views, delicious soups, and quiet atmosphere. Skip the crowds and check out North Slope Deli this summer or grab a great lunch for that Beehive Basin hike. My friend Lyndsey and I went to North Slope for lunch recently, enjoyed sitting in the sun, and topped off the great lunch hour with a North Slope Americano.
Although the best summer (and often winter) seating is out on the deck, the cozy and convenient indoor seating is where my dad and I would often sit when the snow was coming down outside.
The Drover Panini comes with Roast Angus beef, pepper-jack, apple wood bacon, on aioli, on focaccia with lettuce, tomato, red onion. The Panini focaccia was something I had never tried before. It is not too greasy and balances great with the roast beef.
A House Salad at heart, the Lone Tree salad is made from all regional vegetables and a flavorful Vinaigrette dressing. The salad: green leaf, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, tomato, sprouts, red onion, herbed croutons, and a choice of chicken.
The Moonlight Lodge deck shared by Jack Creek Grille Bar and Grille and North Slope Deli has one of the best views in Big Sky. With great views from the sun or shade, it's easy to enjoy the delicious food and great service.
If someone told me I would find five blouses, a sweater, and bracelets that were trendy in Big Sky I would have said: Ok maybe, but how much money am I going to spend? Turns out, not too much at all. With new shops and new renovations popping up around Big Sky's Town Center I walked and shopped last Saturday and found quite the mother-load of cute clothes.
At first appearance The Rhinestone Cowgirl looks exactly like its name sounds: Rodeo Queen Attire. However, The Rhinestone Cowgirl carries Mystree, a Vernon, Calif., brand with western simplicity in mind, and a number of not strictly western-looking clothes. Rhinestone also had an excellent sale rack collection with a number of winter items available for under $30. They also carry leggings and tights (something that's hard to find in Big Sky), and they have a variety of cute boots. The best part: My mom and I both found things we liked. In general not many stores cater to the 50-something and the 20-something.
Without an extensive fashion knowledge (beyond what I see on Pinterest and what my sister tells me what part of my wardrobe is out of fashion) I rely on local boutiques and buyers to help with my style. Mountain Maven and Big Sky Shirt Co. are no strangers to cute style. Big Sky Shirt Co. supplies the casual and cute, while Mountain Maven has the I-need-a-dress-for-a-wedding-this-summer pieces. The great thing about Maven is that the dresses I could buy for a wedding also work for business attire. These are the sort of versatile pieces missing from my wardrobe, but were found right here in Big Sky.
All three boutiques also have a plethora of gift ideas from soaps and hand creams at Rhinestone, to bow ponytail holders and rings at Maven, and hand-made fair trade African bracelets at Big Sky Shirt Co.
Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised. A few shops I failed to mention that also have great winter and summer options are the new Signature Burton Store in the Mountain Village, Grizzly Outfitters in Town Center, a few dad-like options at East Slope Outdoors, and more.
Big Sky has a lot to offer for a town of 2,000, and I couldn't be more content with a town that prioritizes the outdoors, but doesn't forget other fun things in life like fashion.
Shirts from The Rhinestone Cowgirl, Big Sky Shirt Co, and Mountain Maven.
A new style for me, off the shoulder blouse from Mountain Maven.
A long sleeve black shirt, touch of western shirt from Mystree, and the sweater my mom purchased. All from The Rhinestone Cowgirl.
In most cities there's a wide range of special events and activities, which often lead to debilitating decision-making. But in small towns like Big Sky the entire community comes out for almost every event.
One of the first events of the summer was the Big Sky Wide Open on Saturday, June 8. The third annual putt-putt tournament Ophir School fundraiser took place from shop to shop around Big Sky's Town Center the second Saturday in June. Raising funds for our public schools couldn't be more fun. With holes designed around snowboards, slack lines, movie theater cut-outs, taxidermy Grizzly Bears, and old skee ball machines each par was more unique than the next. If only we could raise school funds more than once a summer...
Another great summer event I'm excited for is Brewfest on July 12. Big Sky Resort's Brewfest is in its 9th year and promises to be the largest beer festival in Montana. My favorite part is being outside, enjoying great beers with friends, and the live music. Roadkill Ghost Choir, who played The Late Show with David Letterman earlier this year, will perform at Brewfest alongside Hollow Wood.
Although I spend my fair share of time fly fishing in solitude, I love the annual Big Sky Fly Fishing Festival on July 26-27 because it combines one of my favorite hobbies with my love of socializing. I'll spend two days tackling the difficulties of fly fishing while sharing in the camaraderie. This festival makes for a fantastic way to enjoy food from the Gallatin Riverhouse, watch fly fishing films at Lone Peak Cinema, and, of course, catch some fish.
New this summer is Vine and Dine Festival. If there's one thing I like it's food and wine and someone telling me how to pair that food and wine. In particular I'm looking forward to the Big Sky Mountain Village Stroll because I'll have the chance to try a wide variety of wines from dozens of vineyards (including Green and Red Vineyards in Chiles Valley) as well as socialize with friends and wine reps. I intend to ask a lot of questions to learn everything I can about the ins and outs of wine tasting. With only a handful of other tastings under my belt, I'm looking forward to increasing my knowledge of wine and finding new appreciation for the art of wine tasting. Vine and Dine Festival is August 14-17 at Big Sky Resort.
Big Moon Rising Music Festival replaces Spruce Moose this year with its debut over Labor Day Weekend (August 29-30). I have not had a chance to see any of this year's bands live before and I cannot wait for the funk of New Orleans' Dumpstaphunk. Check out "Gas Man" performed by Dumpstaphunk in San Francisco.
Lastly, The Rut. In only its second year, it is now the International Skyrunner Federation's World Series Final, The Rut Vertical K, 12K and 50K promises to be even more impressive than the last. National Geographic Adventurer of the Year Kilian Jornet will make an appearance, and is sure to set a fast pace, in this ultramarathon of ultramarathons. Running is not my sport of choice, but I plan to cheer each runner on, cowbell in hand, and enjoy the Saturday afternoon BBQ, beer in hand. The Rut is one of those events unlike anything I have ever seen. It's too simplistic to say that it is impressive, it's a feat of physical fortitude, but more than that it is a feat of human spirit.
These are just a few of my favorite summer events around Big Sky. More info on these and other events can be found at bigskyresort.com/events
Yes. This scene:
I do not fish like that scene, but I fish with fishermen (and women) who fish like that: Head-hunting fish when they surface and riding the rapids to hang on to that fish. I aspire to fish like Brad Pitt's Paul Maclean does in that scene for a number of reasons. Not least of which is for bragging rights to catch a fish that size on the Gallatin, but also for deeper reasons. When I was in middle school and high school I thought A River Runs Through It was boring, but I loved that scene. It was larger than life and filmed basically in my backyard. Robert Redford captures the beauty and integrity of the Gallatin River in his oneiric scene from Norman Maclean's memoir. In Big Sky, when I cannot possibly comprehend a curveball life has thrown me, I go to the Gallatin. I go fishing.
Growing up in Montana is an experience few Montanans can say they've had. Even though A River Runs Through It is set in the early 20th century it reflects how I feel about my childhood and how I experience adulthood. It's the feel and the look and the torment of nature's grasp on my life whether I'm living in the mountains or in the city. Nature can be wild and unpredictable, but it is also a place of serenity, keeping Montanans in constant paradox of all nature has to offer.
A River Runs Through It captures the elegance and peace found in nature, particularly in fishing, through benevolent romanticism. It's also just plain cool that I can go down to the Gallatin River any day and fish near House Rock, exactly where Redford staged his aha moment for his protagonist.
"The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs. I am haunted by waters."-Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It
Father's Day is that special time of year devoted to dads. The one thing I know about my dad is he loves Big Sky. As a Great Falls, Montana, resident, my dad finds his fair share of fishing on the Missouri, golfing at various courses in town, and biking the hills of the high plains, but he is beckoned by the rushing fishable waters of the Gallatin River, the views of the Big Sky area golf courses, and the cross-country mountain biking. Thus, I've created this list of Father's Day gifts my dad will love. Now how will I decide which one to give him?
Flies & Fishes- Nymphs for now, Salmon flies for July, and grasshoppers for August, I'm thinking about setting my dad up with a fly-fishing variety pack. With the world-class blue ribbon fly-fishing found on the Gallatin, I know he'll need extra flies all summer long.
Hike, Bike, BBQ- This is a gift my dad would love because it also means quality time together. Hike, Bike, BBQ at Big Sky Resort begins July 1 and goes through August 26. Eating delicious BBQ after hiking and biking around Lone Mountain is right up my dad's alley, and also appeals to me.
Firecracker Open or Big Sky Open- Golf is a passion, an obsession, and a little bit frustrating from time to time. However, golf is one of my dad's obsessions and he's already asked me about the summer tournaments at Big Sky Resort Golf Course. All the tournaments are listed online, but with a dad like mine I still had to send him a list via email ("The IT Department," as he calls me, has at least helped him move beyond snail mail). Since he is eager to participate I thought I would pay his entry fee in a tournament or buy him golf balls that include a free entry into a tournament.
The great thing about having two other siblings is that, when in doubt, we can all go in together for the best gift possible. Father's Day is June 15 so I still have a couple days to decide, but either way I hope to share some fun days on the river, in the mountains, and on the golf course with my dad this summer.
-Anna and Erik
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