Winter solstice

It’s the longest night of the year.

Hard to believe. Maybe because the solstice is actually the 22nd this year. So, it’s just one of the longest nights.

Pat’s making jerky from one of the big hunks of frozen meat he didn’t want to deal with earlier this fall. And dancing in the kitchen. Sort of.

Recipe: venison, soy sauce, Stubbs barbeque sauce, Tabasco, Jim Beam, maple syrup, Beaver sweet-hot mustard, garlic, Louisiana Cajun seasoning, seasoned salt, Kosher salt and pepper.

“Beer would probably be good in there, too,” he says.

Nick’s in his office, scheming for his super-awesome-business-to-be, flying remote control helicopters and shooting photos and video. We’re crossing our fingers he scores his website name on the auction. The owner is messing with him, and took the name down at noon today when bidding was supposed to end.

Cotton disappeared after walking in and out of the house about a million times while talking on the phone. Enough times that Nick asked, “Is Cotton moving out?”

I’m drinking red wine. And doing research on knee replacements, cartilage repair, clinical trials and foreign stem-cell surgeries (NFL player Terrell Owens flew to South Korea last year to have one of these procedures done, and Payton Manning had his neck done in Europe). It’s kind of half-assed, because I don’t actually want any of these procedures. The other option is to move to Arizona and pick up golf. But I’m not that coordinated.

It snowed over a foot at Big Sky today while I was in the office. Somehow, it didn’t bother me at all. I do sort of really want to ski tomorrow but am not sure if it’ll happen.

We toured up in Hyalite last Sunday with Mike and Steph. I didn’t bring a camera. A clandestine day where we hiked 3,000 vert through thick forest over thin snow to ski 800 wind-affected but smooth and soul-wrenching feet in an alpine bowl.

I thought I was going to collapse halfway up in a nice subalpine meadow. My desk-contoured hips are not strong, and I had the mild-funk that’s been going around town and makes it harder to breathe. Five miles felt like 15. When I finally dragged my slow ass to a ridge top I’d never been to but always coveted, I felt at home. The December light glowed soft and alive. We futzed with gear and where to ski. Then left.

Shortest days of the year.


About Emily Stifler

I grew up in Vermont and live in Bozeman, Montana. I love topography: mountains, rocks, weather and people.
This entry was posted in Montana, Mountains, Skiing and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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