A couple of weeks ago a small group us went on a road trip down to Whitefish for a mid-season holiday and to ride the biking trails on the ski hill.
We drove down early on Tuesday morning and stopped off at Cafe Jax for a solid diner breakfast before reaching the car park of the resort for around 11am. Because Dre and I work for the ski hill, we had a day pass under the reciprocal program that our resorts have with each other so were saved the $36 at the ticket office.
Being mid-week, the trails were practically empty so we had full un-interrupted runs from top to bottom and with the relatively quick lift ride (compared to the Fernie Elk chair) were able to fit in plenty of laps. The trails were majority machine-made which meant nicely built up bermed turns and long flowy sections. It made the riding a lot easier despite the black rating and I was even able to keep up for most of the day with the rest of the group and try some of the features e.g. jump lines, drop downs.
We did 6 runs in all with a pit stop at the day lodge at the top of the mountain for a beer (they had a great selection on tap). By the last run I was feeling every bump through my all mountain suspension and is one of the few times I wished I had a proper downhill bike. Riding high off a fun day we went on to enjoy the good weather for a swim at the lake before checking into our hotel, The Stumptown Inn. It was my first stay in this hotel and I was pretty happy with it. Usually in the winter time we stay at the Pine lodge (next door)the Downtowner or the hostel, however with summer being the peak season, this place was the best value for money. It is basic lodging but perfect for a group doing a road trip.
Later that night we had a nice dinner at the Craggy Range (the Mac and Cheese is amazing!) followed by some bowling and a night out in the Whitefish downtown hitting up old favourites like the Great Northern and Caseys. FYI: the zombie dog guy operates in summer as well, providing tasty eats for the stumble home.
Heads were hurting the next day and after a coffee in town at the Montana Trading co (excellent coffee!) we drove down 20 minutes to Kalispell to the Ski Haus to check out any good deals on outdoor gear. I’d emailed the store a couple of days earlier to see if they had any of the hard cased ski cases available and turns out that they had a few of the Sportubes left over from winter in stock. Usually retailing for $230, Marcus and I both snapped one up for $99. Hangovers quickly allayed by thrifty satisfaction. We both got the series 3 which fits 3 pairs of skis and poles or several snowboards. I opted for a hard case for the long term durability and to protect my skis for overseas travels. The case has sturdy handles, wheels and is easily adjustable to different lengths. Pretty neat!
As the afternoon drew nearer we decided to head back to Fernie and made a quick pit stop on the way in Stillwater for a dip in a random lake we came across, complete with log built dive bar. A refreshing way to break up the 3 hr drive and end another awesome road trip down to Whitefish, Montana.