Antelope Butte wraps up season 

Lisa Kunkel

Blanketed in fresh snow, the Big Horn Mountains welcomed outdoor enthusiasts to celebrate the closing weekend of the 23/24 winter season at the Antelope Butte Mountain Recreation Area.
Two days of events and live music entertained those who journeyed up the mountain. The lodge and hill was a flurry of activity — one thought they walked into the 1980s with the panorama of clothing sported by guests and employees. Hulk Hogan made an appearance. Dangling neon earrings, wigs, vintage T-shirts, and big big hair. Complete with a costume contest. 
A highlight of the weekend was Saturday’s pond skim. Contenders were challenged to ski or snowboard down the hill and successfully make it across a man-made pond, carved out of the snow and filled with the water from Granite Creek. A thrilling event to watch and even more to compete.
The chilling knee-deep water did indeed swallow a handful of competitors and their gear. Quickly fished out by Ski Patrol who took on the additional role of lifeguard.
Both days were packed with diverse styles of live music by artists representing numerous communities from across Wyoming. Acoustic and electric guitars, drums, piano, mandolin, viola, harmonica, and vocals filled the lofted space.
Chad Lore, of Casper, was the headliner each night. Aptly named Wyoming’s One Man Band. Performing mostly well-known cover songs, he surprised with unexpected elements like tap shoes and squawking horns. Lore’s observational humor peppered between songs, like a stand-up comedian, delighted the crowd. “I don’t tell jokes. I just tell the truth and people can’t believe it,” he said.
Saturday featured Adrian Melin, of Worland, JD Kunkel, of Shell, and Joel Saur, of Sheridan. Along with other special guests. Sunday featured April June, of Story, and John Kirlin, of Sheridan.
Lift lines were short. Untracked terrain ample.
Spring snow conditions blanketed visitors as the flakes mounted like shoulder pads. Beards were flocked in fresh powder. A rare yeti sighting was caught on photo to the delight of the children.
The season has ended. The lifts stopped. A chapter closed on a successful winter season at the local beloved ski hill in Greybull’s backyard.