Story and Photos by Wes Overvold EBS Videographer

The morning of Dec. 28 was picturesque in Big Sky, even by Montana standards. Towering pines were coated with a layer of frost, covering the larger pockets of snow that clung to each bough. Occasionally the clumps came loose and tumbled to the ground, filling the air with a veil of sparkling ice crystals lit by the bright morning sun.

From wobbly first steps to smooth gliding, the author introduces his younger sister Julie to the sport of Nordic skiing at Lone Mountain Ranch.  PHOTO BY WES OVERVOLD

From wobbly first steps to smooth gliding, the author introduces his younger sister Julie to the sport of Nordic skiing at Lone Mountain Ranch. PHOTO BY WES OVERVOLD

Animal tracks littered the blanket of white along our route through the small meadow. The Nordic ski trail we were exploring at Lone Mountain Ranch proved the perfect choice for the day’s objectives: be outdoors, be active, and soak in the surrounding mountain views.

I stood by the side of the trail and listened for a familiar sound that morning: the erratic rhythm of the skier I brought along to enjoy the cross-country ski. It was my younger sister Julie visiting from Georgia.

“Oh Wes, you missed it!” Julie yelled as she rounded the turn and came into view. Thinking she had the special opportunity of seeing a moose or glimpsed a unique piece of a landscape unfamiliar to her, I was happy.

“I totally ate it back there!” Julie said. “You would’ve been really impressed – like, face first into the snow and everything. This is a blast!”EBS@LMR_Julie-6

My sister has that kind of enthusiasm for everything she does, and cross-country skiing for the first time was no exception. She rarely gets to see snow in the South, much less strap on a pair of skis and slide around on it. That day I saw a new spark light an old flame inside her. The physical exertion, the beautiful scenery, and occasional wipeouts in the snow had us feeling like kids again.

LMR incorporates many of the components that make Big Sky such a special place to both live and play. The expansive views and quiet solitude you find on more than 85 kilometers of groomed Nordic trails, combined with the warmth and friendliness of the staff, guests and locals, make LMR one of Montana’s best kept secrets.