On the night of February 22nd, I pulled off an exit near Granite Peak and went right to sleep for the night. After the drive around Lake Michigan, and having skied earlier that day and the night before, I badly needed some rest. I also didn’t want to drive at night though a storm and it had just started snowing. Or so I thought. It was freezing rain. I stopped just in time. Snow and rain can be hard to drive in, but freezing rain is probably the worst and very dangerous. The road looks wet, but it can be like and ice skating rink. No traction, at all. I parked just in time for my truck to become an icicle.
Fortunately, my bed was cozy. I listened to the rain fall and went to sleep. I didn’t plan on skiing the next day as I knew I needed to get some serious miles down before a big storm held me back. I woke up to an ice covered car with a couple of inches of snow on top.
Somewhat groggy, and around 7am, I pulled into an auto shop down the road. Putting this many miles on a car requires more frequent oil changes, and mine was almost due. If I was to make it to Montana by Sunday, I had to make sure everything was in good shape. Especially if there was bad weather expected along the way. They were booked for the day but very generously made some time to take a look at the truck, rotate the tires, change the oil and get me on the road, all before 9am.
Right down the road, Granite Peak. I pulled into the lot just after 9am and figured I’d ski for a few hours before getting back on the road. The snow was great, not Colorado great, but really really good. Fresh snow, soft groomers. I loved it. I took the lift with one of their patrollers, he told me that the snowpack was very good this year.
I then met a local on the lift who started talking about skiing Colorado. I hadn’t even mentioned being from there. We did a couple of laps and he recommended some places in Montana for me to check out. At that point, I was just hoping I’d make it out there past the weather (I did).
I stopped in around lunchtime saw a t-shirt with their motto “Easy to get to, hard to leave” It was easy to get to that morning, and hard to put down another 500 miles to Jamestown, North Dakota in the same day, hard to leave. Next stop, Big Sky, MT.