Opening day at Turner Mountain

Turner Mountain opened on Saturday, Dec 26.  With the resort’s single two-person  chairlift, the 255 skiers and snowboarders who ventured out had to wait in a lift line, an unusual site at Turner.  A snowfall on Christmas evening, winter break from school, and lots of people ready to get out of the house made for an opening day success.  Photo by Tracy McNew, The Montanian.

Shop with a cop launches 2020
outreach in South Lincoln County

Pictured Left to Right: Troy Police Chief Katie Davis, Lincoln County Resident Deputy Benjamin Fisher, Officer Travis Miller, Officer Michael Miller, Sargeant Henry Roy and Officer Cesar Huitron pause for a photo beside the Morrison Elementary School Christmas tree with students chosen to participate in this year’s Lincoln County Shop-With-A-Cop program. The Troy area law enforcement officials launched this year’s outreach with a special lunch and visit on Friday, December 11, which had been held at the school.

Photo by  Stacy Bender, The Montanian

Local Winter recreation in Lincoln County as the snow falls

By Brian Baxter


With the New Year come decisions. We all know this has been a particularly difficult year for most of us. We must move forward. It is the essence of the human spirit. The wildlife, from the small flock of Cedar waxwings harvesting Juniper berries along the watercourse, the Belted kingfishers catching little fish in ice cold waters, to the Golden eagles, now foraging small mammals both hidden by, and beneath the snow using their hover, glide and dive tactics know they must also adapt. Beaver know even tougher times are coming. All along the Kootenai, Yaak, Bull, and Fisher rivers, one can see the signs of their night-work. They’ve been chiseling cottonwood, aspen, and willows. The sign is there if you look closely, drag-marks of branches, their large, clawed hind feet almost covering the imprint of the front foot. The flattened tail, revealing their forays upon shorelines return slide-swim to their home waters. There, these engineers replant, so to speak, by caching the woody vegetation near shore, in a convenient current movement location. They are intelligent. They think about preparation.

The human spirit, is most undeterred when combined with thinking of the mind, and the magnificent capabilities of the human body. In personal combat, survival, and war like situations, it seems adrenaline influences this coordination. Our hearts have great power.

Fighting for our loved ones, or our brothers and sisters in arms awakens an ability within us to conquer fear or despair. Generally, other than that, we human beings need to relax, to think, to ponder how best to move forward. To give new life or freshness to ourselves. To re-create. Add to this a healthy measure of adrenaline, and our adventures in the mountains, forests, rivers, on frozen lakes, and in the air, during our Montana winters help us move forward with our lives. Whether alone, with human companions that we care about, with horses, dogs, or machines that are powered by engine or human energy, we recreate. Northwest Montana has limitless opportunities for winter recreation, and in the next few months we can explore together these options in a series of writings on the topic of local winter recreation.

There’s nothing like the rush and clarity of skiing or snowboarding down a Rocky Mountain face with beautiful scenery all around you. We are so lucky to have our own local ski area up at Turner Mountain. Turner reports 27 inches of snow at the summit, and a 15 inch base. The new groomer is in place and operates beautifully. It looks like the Dec. 26 back up opening date worked out just fine. Covid-19 precautions are being observed, and safety on the hill is always emphasized. Face coverings are required in the lift line and while loading and unloading the chair lift. To maintain social distancing, if you arrive together, ride together, but single skiers will be provided the opportunity to ride alone. Keep smiling even if your masked up. The Turner Ski Patrol’s and crew’s are some of the nicest folks around, and remember, they are avid skiers and snowboarders too. At this point in time, the Montucky Clear Cut event is a go for Feb. first through the fourth, 2021. To register please see the website at skiturner.com/events or montuckyclearcut.com. The number of entries will be restricted this year due to Covid-19, and spots are filling up quickly, so register soon. The snow phone number is 293-2468, their email is contact@skiturner.com, and the hill rental email is hillrental@skiturner.com. More Turner Mountain Ski Area news will be forthcoming.