Isaac Taylor planted his backside on a lime green saucer and flew down the hill at Blue Mountain on Sunday, turning slowly in a circle on his way down to his mother and cousin at the bottom.
Unfortunately, his left boot didn’t have such a smooth ride after 9-year-old Taylor caught his heel on the snow on one of his rotations, popping the boot off as he sailed on down the slope.
The shoe’s recovery fell to Taylor’s mother Jodi, who brought her son and his cousin Alex to the hill.
“We’ve been visiting family in Lolo since Christmas and going home after New Year’s,” said Taylor, who had made the trip to the area from Idaho. “The kids have been inside a bunch and needed to get out.”
“And sledding is the best,” her son added.
The hill at Blue Mountain hosted more than a dozen people with a similar idea Sunday afternoon, after a brief flurry brought a dusting of new snow to Missoula earlier in the day.
Caleb Michels brought a snowboard he got for Christmas but wasn’t having much luck finding a spot that was steep and clear enough to try it out.
“I guess it’s a good thing I brought a sled as a backup,” he said, throwing the board onto one shoulder and heading back toward his car.
More snow is forecasted to be on the way, as the National Weather Service has much of western Montana remaining under a winter weather advisory. The agency is predicting a cold front moving into the region in advance of New Year’s Day, with the Missoula and Bitterroot valleys likely to see two inches of new snow by Monday morning. Winds have the potential of creating blowing and drifting snow, with drivers encouraged to plan for slippery road conditions and reduced visibility at the start of the work week.
Monday is expected to see a high of around 18 degrees down to a low of 3 degrees by Monday night, although the National Weather Service says the wind chill could make it feel as cold as 15 below zero around Missoula.
But Monday also brings Missoula’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration, First Night, which begins at noon with the Hat Parade at Southgate Mall and runs until the clock strikes midnight with music from the Drum Brothers or the Ed Norton Big Band at the University Center.
Taylor said her family’s plan was to head to a few hours of First Night activities around downtown before going back to Lolo for a dinner and party.