There’s an episode in Season 3 of The Big Bang Theory when, after he and Leonard have been robbed, Sheldon runs away to Bozeman Montana to escape the crime in Pasadena.
“That’s a bracing cold. That’s an invigorating cold. Lord is it cold!” Sheldon proclaims.
Although no one stole my luggage, my reaction was similar to Sheldon’s when I landed in Bozeman, a much lovelier airport than what The Big Bang Theory presents.
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Moonlight Basin Ski Resort in Montana
I was on my way to explore Moonlight Basin in Montana, about 90 minutes south Bozeman and 50 miles east of Yellowstone National Park in the Gallatin National Forest. I arrived during a particularly wicked cold snap. It was -19 below zero when I checked into my condo. The next day’s highs on the mountain were right at zero.
But that’s unusual. Most of the time, skiers can enjoy the slopes of Lone Mountain in 20 degree temperatures.
Share the Slopes with Big Sky Resort
Moonlight Basin shares trails with nearby Big Sky Resort, so in reality, guests at either resort get double the access to this 11,200 feet high peak. Moonlight, however, is a much smaller, more intimate ski resort. On a busy day, 2,000 people will take the lifts here, making it very pleasing for those who don’t like crowds.
Moonlight opened in 2003, so in many ways, winter outdoor enthusiasts are still finding the place.
Moonlight’s main lodge is anchored by a massive fireplace, cozy seating arrangements and a bar that serves some might fine hot toddies. To continue the warming process, the Jack Creek Grille has incredible French Onion soup and a hot cranberry cobbler to die for.
My favorite part of Moonlight Basin, (in fact of most ski resorts), was the spa. I had the 50-minute Bounce Back massage that just beat the ugly out of my titanium-supported spine.
When it was over, the therapist was waiting for me beside the fire with a heated neck wrap and warm blanket. She insisted that I spend at least 30 minutes on a chaise lounge, under that warm blanket next to the fire.
It would have been rude of me to refuse.
And that’s why visiting ski resorts in the cold dead of winter is one of the best getaways I could ever recommend. Sheldon Cooper should have hung around a while. He might have learned to like it in Montana.