What better way to bring in the new year than with some skiing? We went to Red Lodge, MT to enjoy some cross country and downhill skiing with a few friends. There were sub-zero temperatures, cribbage, beer, hot-tubing and lots of snow!
We left after work on Friday and headed west through Belle Fourche and onto Hwy 212 with our car topper full of winter sports gear and the inside full of two dogs, two humans, and all our supplies for four days of fun in the mountains.
We arrived in Red Lodge about 10:30pm and a couple of our friends were already at the cabin, with the fireplace going! We unloaded our vehicle and stayed up late chatting and hanging out. We opted to sleep in the next morning and then go cross country skiing.
Saturday morning was a bright and glorious winters day full of high winds and some blowing snow. Now that is was morning, I was able to check out the cabin we rented through Airbnb. The cabin was super cute with vaulted ceilings, a loft, and beautiful views of the creek and forest. The cabin was tucked back in the trees at the end of a road so we enjoyed the quiet and privacy! It had this great rustic vibe, was decorated all cute for Christmas, and there was a propane fireplace and outdoor hot tub!
After checking out the cabin, we headed over to the Red Lodge Nordic Center, which is a really nice place to cross country ski that has the only groomed trails in the area.
I really enjoyed cross country skiing because I have now done it enough that I feel more comfortable and can go faster. I have super old gear that I bought at Play it Again Sports for about $30 and the boots are a bit small but I didn’t want to buy all new equipment until I knew I really enjoyed the sport. This is now my third season cross country skiing and I would definitely like to buy better gear. There is a ski swap every November in Rapid City that is always a fantastic event. It is put on by Black Hills Ski for Light. I wish I would have been able to buy gear at their last swap but I was out of town that weekend. I guess I will have to wait until next time!
On Sunday we headed up to Red Lodge Mountain to enjoy some downhill skiing. I was hoping for better snow conditions but they hadn’t had snow in about a week so everything was pretty beat up with some iced over spots. I still had a good day and enjoyed just being out on the mountain.
From there we all went to Red Lodge Ales Brewery and had a fun time chatting, playing cribbage and trying some of their signature brews. It started to snow when we were leaving the mountain and by the time we arrived at the brewery it was really coming down and the winds were blowing. We were in the mist of a blizzard! As we left to head back to the cabin we had to drive carefully because the roads were super slick and the visibility was terrible. But we made it back safe and sound, cranked up the fireplace and settled in for the evening with dinner, cribbage and hot tubbing.
We got on the fist chairlift and 25 minutes later we made it to mid-mountain. The lift was running slowly due to a part that wouldn’t arrive until Wednesday. So we got off there and I was feeling like an icicle but I didn’t want to ski down because I would have to ride the super long lift again to get back to the good ski areas. So we opted to go up the next lift.
The guys made it until about 1:30 before deciding to call it a day. So we headed back to the cabin to warm up and enjoy the rest of our New Year's Eve! We decided on wood-fired pizza for dinner, a few rounds of cribbage and more hot tubing. This was the only night I went in and had a blast. The contrast of the temperatures was very nice and we stayed in until we were pruney!
We rang in the New Year with a champagne toast and then finished our game of cribbage...which I won!
The next morning we all headed home, very slowly since the roads were atrocious. The normal six hour drive took us over eight. We were thrilled to not see or be part of any accidents. All in all it was a very enjoyable and relaxing trip. Each time we go to Red Lodge we have a blast. It is such a cute town and everyone is so nice!
For the love of travel and new adventures, we live our lives for the next dream fulfilled!