Quick Trip: Big Sky, Montana

Well hello there!

Happy 2019…it has apparently been some time since I have posted on here. Work and life have been really busy this year and honestly, I’ve been feeling kind of uninspired about this space. Most of the trips we’ve been on have been work related, or super fast and focused more on seeing family, so it just didn’t seem worth writing a blog (although I did go to Disney for like 2 days and I feel like it could be a hilarious post, so maybe I’ll write that very much after the fact). Anyway…sometimes ya gotta prioritize other things and that is what this year has looked like.

BUT, I am back because Scott and I just got back from one of my most favorite trips ever! I just have to share it. Plus, I miss writing these posts because they amuse me, and that’s really what counts, right?

Scott and I spent this past weekend in Big Sky, Montana to celebrate our 2 year wedding anniversary! Big Sky is around 5.5 hours of drive time from Salt Lake City, so it was a bit of a haul but that’s how we like it. We stopped in Idaho Falls because they have a PANERA yes you guessed it. My obsession hasn’t waned, don’t worry. Also, if you ever drive through Idaho and think “I should stop at the Potato Museum!” just do it. We drove past and thought “We’ll just stop on the way back,” but we drove back on a Sunday and it was CLOSED. Sadness. I saw an advertisement that says they give FREE TATERS to out of staters (heh…rhyming). FREE POTATOES. We missed our shot. I am saddened.

Anyway…we got to Montana in the afternoon and checked into our AMAZING AirBNB! Scott booked us a tiny house because I have  bit of an obsession with tiny homes and have always wanted to stay in one. This AirBNB was top notch. It had all the basics that you want – it was clean, great style, all amenities you could want, but the things that really put it over the top for us were the extremely detailed binder with suggestions of things to do in town, PLUS they had binoculars! We left ours at home and were heading to Yellowstone the next day, so we were really grateful for that! We had expected the AirBNB to be a little more secluded in nature, but it’s actually right next to a main road. That wasn’t an issue for us and made going to the town center a 10 minute drive. But just know that you’re not out in the literal boonies, you do have access to everything you could need.

The first night we just lived it up in our tiny home! My husband is 6’2″ and I was a liiiiitle concerned there would be some spacial issues, but he actually fit quite nicely in the house and really loved it! We went to a grocery store down the street and bought some food to make for dinner and then just on the porch and enjoyed the scenery!

The next day was basically all Yellowstone. As you know, we did the southern loop of Yellowstone back in October of last year, so we were wanting to hit the north loop before we had to renew our parks pass. The west Yellowstone entrance is about 45 minutes away from the tiny house, so not a bad drive! And OH MY GOSH did we have a great time at Yellowstone! If you like baby animals (which…are you breathing?) then this is DEFINITELY the time of the year to come! We saw so. Many. BABIES. And in general, so many animals! After the like third herd of bison that we saw in very close range we decided we shouldn’t stop ever single time. There were just so many! And elk feeding everywhere! But the highlight was definitely seeing a mama black bear and two of her bear cubs. It was truly a wonderful animal experience.

One thing to keep in mind though – the bison seemed to be in a migration of sorts. I’m guessing the weather was getting warm for the first time, their babies are finally able to move about on their own, and they are all ready to get some food. So they were movin and groovin EVERYWHERE.  This is my not very scientific assessment of the situation. All that to say, we got caught in some major traffic because there was a bison herd that just wouldn’t move out of the street for a good 45 minutes. Like not moving. And that happened a few other times that day. So just keep in mind that while the animals are moving you might not be. But that’s nature so like…what do you expect?

A few highlights for the north loop of Yellowstone were obviously the animals, Mammoth Hot Springs, Roosevelt Lodge, and Tower Falls. Also the scenery is a lot more frontier-like in my opinion. I don’t really know what I’m getting at there but that’s just the first way I could think to describe it.

We drove back to the Big Sky area in the evening and we ate at the Lotus Pad for dinner. It was fine, not great. There were a lot of pizza restaurants that I wished I had taken advantage of but there’s always next time.

The next day we went on a couple of hikes! Well, really a hike and a half. We tried to do a hike at Beehive Basin but the elevation is pretty high so there was a lot of lingering snow and some major mud that the already melted snow had left behind. We got maybe halfway and it was just a little too much snow/mud action for us so we turned around. The drive up there is great if you’d like to feel like a peasant, though. Crazy big houses galore. The second hike that we did was much more accessible and it was called Porcupine Creek. A very easy hike but it’s really pretty! Well…if you consider forging a small river easy. There has been a ton of rain and snow melt recently so the rivers and creeks are all a little bigger than usual, and one of the creeks ended up flowing right over the trailhead. My shoes are waterproof so I just walked through water about shin deep. It was also the temperature of a glacier and I lost feeling in my feet for a few seconds but there’s no lasting damage so I would do it again, I guess. But that morning pre-hikes we went to Caliber Coffee, which is a cute little coffee shop that roasts their own beans! I don’t really care about that because I get a mocha every single place I go, therefore most craftsmanship is lost on me, but maybe that’s something you care about. I mostly went there because our host said they have awesome breakfast burritos and she was very correct. So delicious, so cheap. I would eat one every morning if I could.

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Porcupine Creek trail

And that was basically our time in Big Sky! We made a lot of adjustments to make the trip really simple and a true retreat while trying to save some money. For simplicity, I turned off my phone and we didn’t use the TV in the tiny house. There is Wifi and cell service, but it was nice to unplug for the weekend and enjoy being in expansive nature. For food, going grocery shopping felt really expensive at first because the prices are a lot higher than they are in Salt Lake, but it’s also a resort town so eating out is also more expensive. We ate at home for dinner the first night and breakfast the next morning. For dessert I asked Scott to take me to the gas station down the street to buy ice cream (classy). We bought stuff to make sandwiches for Yellowstone so we could just eat wherever/whenever. However, the Roosevelt Lodge did look like it had an amazing restaurant so I would recommend checking that out! I have no idea if it’s good but it’s cute and smelled good so it’s worth a shot. Sorry if I’m wrong.

 

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