My family took the Amtrak from Spokane to Whitefish, Mont., last weekend for a spectacular weekend of skiing at Big Mountain. Amtrak is definitely the way to go, even though the train departs Spokane about 1 am and reaches Whitefish at 7 am. We stayed at the Meadow Lake resort, and enjoyed three days of prime conditions in the Montana Rockies. I forget sometimes that the reason I moved to Spokane in the first place was to be close enough to recreate in my home state of Montana. That's some members of our party at the Tudor-style train station in Whitefish, waiting for the return train.
We went with the Crumpackers, whose kids are the same age as Tom and Eli, which always makes it easier for the adults to have a good time. The kids played cards in the club car on the way back, while I read my book and fell asleep.
The only downside was that Ann picked up a bad cold and was under the weather for much of the trip. You wouldn't know it to look at her smiling face on the pix below, where she appears to be grading my talents as a husband. That's her friend Min on the left. The picture on the right shows reluctant skier Eli taking a turn on the slopes.
Whitefish was the scene a couple of years ago of a legendary scene in my ski career. I was riding up the lift with a guy who introduced himself as former NFL quarterback Bobby Hebert, the Cajun Cannon. We had a nice chat, but when we got off at the top our skis got tangled up and Hebert fell down. As he struggled to get up, the chair hit him in the helmet and knocked him down again. I wanted to say ``That's the way we hit in Montana, Cannon, not like those pansy NFL types.'' But instead I helped him up and skied away.