If you are a skier and you live outside of Montana, chances are good you've never heard of Discovery ski area – but that is slowly changing. Skiers inside Montana, meanwhile, know that Discovery is the real deal, a cheap ski-till-you-drop mountain with something for everyone. Don’t be surprised to see dogs in the parking lot and families brown-bagging in the lodge, and also don’t be surprised to see super-wide cruisers and gulp-inducing steeps. “Disco” – as most know it by – has been growing steadily and is currently working to build a road that will access the west side of the ski area from Philipsburg; when that’s done, the drive time from Missoula will be cut by 20 minutes or more. Pssst – want a local’s tip? Save your lift ticket at the end of the day and take it to the gas station in Philipsburg, where it’s good for a free fountain drink.
It's not often hot in Montana, but man was it hot last weekend. We were coming back from Wise River and the a/c in the truck could barely keep things cool. Laura scanned the map for a spot to jump in water and cool off -- Georgetown Lake was the obvious choice. Georgetown is a 3,700 acre reservoir sitting at 6,300 feet and fills the gap between the Flint Creek and Anaconda Pintler mountains -- even on a hot summer day, snow dapples the high country. The lake has vacation homes on its shore and plenty of power boats on warm days, but even so it's not nearly as noisy or busy as lakes in other resort towns. We pull into a mostly empty parking lot and walk a brushy access trail to an "island" -- well, not really, but close enough for Cooper. It's a hot day for sure, but still the water is cool enough that it takes a moment to brave up and jump in. When we do, it's like the reset button has been hit.