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West Yellowstone Ski Festival 2019 — TUNA for Thanksgiving

West Yellowstone Ski Festival

It’s that time again! Time to Think Turkey! TUNA will once again have Thanksgiving dinner at the West Yellowstone Ski Festival. And kids from 0 to 80 or more will be there to enjoy the trails — and more!

It’s Turkey Time Again

Mother Nature has been teasing this October with a dusting of snow on the peaks. I hope you have all transitioned to fall dryland training to get ready for early skiing in West Yellowstone.

Thanksgiving is a week later this year, the 28th of November. Conditions should be great. I hope that many TUNA members already have reservations in West. The TUNA Thanksgiving dinner is a wonderful opportunity to reconnect with friends you don’t see over the summer and to meet skiers new to our community. Don’t sit on the fence, get your hotel reservations early and then send me an RSVP for our potluck dinner.

LINK: Reserve your passes!

I have reserved the Community Protestant Church located at 505 North Electric Street. TUNA provides the turkeys and you provide a side dish. We start with set up around 4 pm and plan to sit down to a fabulous pot luck dinner at 6 pm.

This event only happens with the help of many volunteers. It takes 8-10 turkeys to feed our group, depending upon the number of RSVPs. The church only has 2 ovens. If you are staying in a room that has an oven or if you have a roaster oven, please consider baking one for us. If you are baking a turkey, you can pick it up from me in the Grey Wolf lobby at 5 pm on Wednesday.

Please RSVP to me at dwstice@gmail.com by November 25th to help with the food purchases. I need to know how many adults, how many children and what you would like to bring to the potluck. When you RSVP, please consider volunteering to help clean up. The clean-up is usually over by 9:30 pm and more hands make it faster. After all, we all want to be on the trails early Friday morning. Thanks! -Donna Stice


west yellowstone ski festival

West Yellowstone Ski Festival — A Family Affair

It starts in early October. First, it’s just one quick glance. By mid-October it becomes more regular, and by November, it’s a morning ritual. Checking the West Yellowstone Webcam. Laying eyes on the arch. maybe that’s not a patch of sunlight, but instead a hint of frost. In the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving, the “refresh” button on the computer becomes worn, as if each click is worth another snowflake.

Nordic is a Lifelong Sport

Because we have kids, we bring a grandparent to West every year. Our family knows that if we’re celebrating Thanksgiving it’s going to have to be a week early or late, unless you’re coming with us. My father-in-law has learned to wear a puffy and walk everywhere, and last year we convinced my mother to come skiing with the family on the Boundary Trail. She was blown away by the beauty.
We aren’t the only three-generation family celebrating the best fall holiday in Montana. The Swansons are the most experienced of the bunch, with all three generations racing.
This year there will be a fresh crew of U8 and U10 kids making a whole bunch of noise in the Grey Wolf pool. Cover your ears if you must enter.

West Yellowstone Ski Festival
Nancy Dial, Finn Santoro, and Jonathan Santoro testing the Boundary Trails

Home Away from Home

This year will be number ten for us. I haven’t done much for ten years in my life — and for my kids, it’s the only Thanksgiving they’ve ever known. We keep it simple: I pre-make chicken pot pies with stuffing on top and we heat those up and dine on cylinders of cranberry jelly. As they get older, we’ll attend our official dinner with TUNA, but for now, they need to be contained, and a big space with hot food is a disaster waiting to happen for them.

Fall Camp is one of the few places we can let our kids run free, where we know all of our neighbors, and where we all share one common goal: gliding along on an inch and-a-half of expertly maintained p-tex for a week.

You can’t choose your family, and we’re lucky to have a great one. But for Thanksgiving, we’re spending it with our Nordic “family” in West Yellowstone. Now pardon me while I go check the webcam…

Jen Santoro
Jen Santoro is the editor of the print TUNA News. She used to race bikes of all kinds and was on the first team of women to race cyclocross in Europe in the World Cup. The mom of two changed sports in 2010, and was the 2018 World Master’s Champion in 15k and 30k Skate in the 40-44 division.