The Love of Lone Peak

Posted on April 29, 2011

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It’s funny when you grow up somewhere and you have aspirations, one of the only things that will quench that thirst is leaving. It happened to me–two days after I graduated high school I was gone. I can look back and be proud of where I grew up (especially now that the Packers are Super Bowl champions… ahem), but that doesn’t have any effect on what I was thinking back then.

I have this conversation with some of the students I substitute for regarding¬† Butte. They ask me why I live here-how can I stand it-and the memory of same philosophies come rushing back. It’s difficult to explain that I had already left-this is where I have gone. I eerily relate to them and that attitude. I was that conversation and I believe in leaving.

This post isn’t about leaving, though. This post is about reasons not to.

This past weekend a group of friends and I went to the final weekend of the ski season at Big Sky Resort, a two hour drive from Butte. This has become an annual trip full of fun, friends, and PBR (and the pond skim, of course). In the midst of all the tom-foolery, there was a moment. I call it a “Montana moment” and although they happen a lot; they never happen enough.

Montana has its issues just like anywhere. Butte… well, it’s Butte. Between the two they have a fair share of stereotypes to live up to and to fight against. One piece of advice I can share about all the places I’ve lived and traveled too: there are things you will love about a place and there are things you will hate about a place–typically, you cannot do a thing about either of them.

These moments are when the reasons strike me about why I chose to live where I live. Remember the conversation with the middle-schoolers? I have chosen to live here. I’ve never been forced. Perhaps that is an underlying seed of the conversation.

Sunday, tired and a little sore from the two previous ski days, Cassie and I were skiing out of the bowl underneath Lone Peak–the mountain on which Big Sky Resort is located. I stopped, mid-run, and looked back up the hill. Before us stood a majestic pyramidal peak set against sapphire sky. The white snow contrasted dark rock on the surrounding ridges leading up to the mountain’s pinnacle. The sun was warm on my face; the breeze was calm. In that moment, I was humbled. My life has brought me to a place of the utmost beauty and the gratitude I felt was overwhelming. It reminded me of why I love the mountains, Montana, those that share-and have chosen to share it- with me.

With all that is going on at this time of year, a moment this poignant couldn’t have come a better time.

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Posted in: Think, Travel