What we talk about when we talk about Big Sky

Written by Anna Husted on  at

Any ski town has its quirks, but for me Big Sky's quirks are the main reasons I choose to live here. Be it the single traffic light, the wildlife traffic jams, or Lone Peak Cinema's full bar, living in Big Sky, Montana, has some amazing peculiarities that will entice and indulge the notion most non-Montanans have of Montana: It's the Wild West. The following fairly comprehensive list encapsulates the bizarre, mundane, and wonderful logician's reasons for calling Big Sky home.

1. One stop light. Enough said.
2. Backpacking out my front door. The possibilities are endless for being able to throw on a pack and walk away from my condo into the wilderness with friends. Growing up in Montana I thought it was easy enough to go backpacking in the Bob Marshall Wilderness or Lee Metcalf as these were only an hour or so away from my house. Now I know what it's like to have backpack accessible wilderness literally in my backyard.
3. Cross-country skiing to the grocery store. Although I did not do this as much as I would have liked, cross-country skiing is the favored transportation method to retrieve comestibles. Behind my condo is the best in-town cross-country trail that crosses through the golf course and gets me just steps from the Hungry Moose or Country Market.
4. Big Sky recycles plastics #1-7. Even when I lived in Minneapolis (a city that prides itself on recycling) a resident could not easily recycle plastics #3-7.
5. The peaceful off-season. When the resort closes for the winter or summer seasons the town goes from 17,000 people on a peak winter day to about 2,000 full-time residents, according to the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. The off-season separates the wheat from the chaff, and I love being part of the wheat: the year-round mountain life.
6. Lone Peak Brewery's Nordic Blonde on Nitro. Try this or any beer on nitro (meaning the gas used in carbonation is Nitrogen instead of or in addition to CO2).
7. Coming home to my roommates cooking five types of meat. Montana is full of meat-lovers, but the concentration of grills and grill-lovers in Big Sky far outweighs the rest of the states. Last summer I came home from work to grilled steak, elk, pheasant, hamburger, and deer.
8. Lone Peak Cinema's Full Bar. Although a movie theater with a full bar is not unheard of in large cities or fancy Midwestern AMC Theaters, it is rare in Montana. But the Lone Peak Cinema does it up right with a full bar, four beers on tap, and fantastic managers (or the owners) to serve those adult beverages.
9. Five hours of daylight after work. I have a 9-5 job in Big Sky (which is quirky in itself), but perhaps the best part about summer in Big Sky is that after leaving the resort at 5pm I can still have nearly 5 hours of adventure in the day.
10. Wildlife traffic jams. Big Sky locals are impatient and irritated with traffic and congestion when visiting the closest "big city" Bozeman (a city of 38,000), but when it comes to wildlife traffic jams we might be worse. However, there's still nothing like city-like bumper to bumper traffic due to buffalo or Big Horn sheep or Elk. It's a beautiful thing. After all, it's a place we all want to call home.