Notes from the Road: Yellowstone Country Attitudes When It’s Too Dang Cold Out

I read somewhere that spring is 30-something days away, which is somewhat depressing, seeing as how I feel like I’ve only gotten 20 ski days in. The good news is that my ski pass doesn’t freeze up for another 3 months (yay for epic winters).

But the truth is, sometimes, it’s too dang cold out to do anything. Yes, even us residents of Yellowstone Country have thresholds about acceptable thermometer readings for outdoor fun (for me, it hovers somewhere around zero, but I can tell you that’s on the conservative end of the spectrum, as you’ll read below).

With that in mind, I asked a few Yellowstone Country natives (and been-here-so-long-they’re-almost-native) what they do when the temperatures fall a little too low for even the most hearty Montanans among us. Here’s what they had to say:

"One word: Netflix. You can even watch Yellowstone Country movies like ‘A River Runs Through It’ and secretly pine for summer (but don’t tell anyone I do that).

– A fly fisherman

"Maybe it’s an inversion … just go up and you’ll get warmer.

– A climber … of course

"Tell yourself the cold will be over in a few days. Plus, it’s not even that bad. (Editor’s note: it was -12.) I went for a walk downtown and the sun was shining and people were everywhere. Give yourself a 10 minute outdoor limit and it’ll change your whole perspective."

– A former Canadian

"When it’s too cold to do anything, do nothing. I tell myself that I’m active the other 364 days a year; negative temps are a perfect time for me to regroup and spend some indoor time … on my bike trainer."

-- A cyclist

"Eat extra spicy food and put on every layer you’ve got. In fact, come over right now and I’ll make you some tacos."

(Editor’s note: Thanks, Mom.)


"Put on snow boots and gloves and DEAL WITH IT. We’re Montanans for Pete’s sake.


– A true Montanan


"Make homemade granola and find some kids to built blanket forts with."


– A dad


"As long as it isn’t windy, go skiing. If you’ve got a pass, who cares if you only take two runs … just make sure you’ve got the proper gear." (Editor’s note: you’re a brave one, my friend.)


– A diehard skier


And this, from a former-Yellowstone Country resident:


"Meanwhile, somewhere in the south, area man jealous of arctic conditions."


– A North Carolinian


I guess they’re right when they say the grass is always greener …


What do you do when it’s too cold to play outside?