This weekend saw a trip up to Kalispell for two day’s training at Blacktail Mountain. And if you’re asking yourself where the heck that is, don’t worry. I didn’t know either. But it’s just about 25 miles south of Kalispell, up a long dirt road. The resort overlooks the Flathead Valley and you can see part of Flathead lake. Most of the runs have you facing North, and Big Mountain in Whitefish looms in the distance. The first day there was a lot of cloud cover, but Sunday was super sunny and the meowtains of Glacier National Park stood like giants behind Big Mountain. It is gorgeous up there, and I know I’ve said it before, but I love it there.
US team members Cory Snyder and Tanner Visnick, and I drove up Friday afternoon to Kalispell (road trip with da boyzz, amIright?) After 5 hours of Adele, throwback playlists, and little bit of Taylor Swift, we dropped Tanner off with US team alumni Pete McMahon, who lives in Whitefish. Cory and I had made plans to stay with Cassady and Nathan in Kalispell, and went down to Kalispell Brewing Company to meet them for beers. KBC is owned by two other US Tele team alumns, Maggie Doherty and Cole Schneider. I was furiously texting Maggie the whole drive up to let her know when we would be at the brewery. They just had a baby boy in the fall, who I was lucky enough to meet back on Halloween. Cole met us at the brewery, and it was great to catch up with him and reminisce on World Cups past. Cass and Nathan were subjected to stories of travel in between World Cups, among other things.
Up next on the agenda was dinner. Pho, aka “FUHHHH” was on the menu. Cory chopped all the veggies while Cass and I sautéed and simmered. Nathan was in charge of pouring beverages and filming Cory’s lime zesting skills.
Saturday morning we woke up and left for Blacktail. It was a white knuckle drive up the dirt road as the winds gusted and Cory’s Toyota Corolla rallied around every corner. It was kind of like driving around in Slovenia, except the road was wider and Cory’s snow tires are bomb. And we didn’t get stuck. Shout out to Cory for driving all weekend. At the mountain we met up with Stephanie and Cedar Mattole of the US team. Pete and Tanner met us there too, along with Glenn. The last time I saw Glenn was in 2010 for US Nationals at Whitefish, so it was awesome to see him still involved with telemark up there. We set the course and I took some video and pictures, along with a few course runs!
Saturday night was Winter Carnival in Whitefish, and the New Wave Time Trippers, an 80’s cover band, was playing at the Great Northern Bar. Cassady, back in Halloween, had thought they were playing and then it turned out they weren’t. So she had talked them up a lot and was so so excited that they were actually playing this time and I was going to get to see them. She surprised me with pantsuits to wear to the show. They were awful and great and so ridiculous but so fun. We were definitely the best looking people at the show, if I do say so myself.
This band was hilarious. Their whole performance is based off the fact that in the 80’s, they were playing a show and then time travelled to the future. There are screens the whole time that play each song’s music video…this night is up there as one of the most fun I’ve had at a show. Not to mention they had two songs of karaoke, says Cass, “We HAVE to get up there, we are wearing PANTSUITS.” And she did. For Jessie’s Girl. And I died laughing. Stoke levels were at an all time high.
On the drive home we stopped at the Garden of One Thousand Buddhas. It was pretty magical and I can’t really put into words what it meant to me.