Anna Husted says that winter is for skiing and summer is for reading. PHOTO COURTESY OF ANNA HUSTED

The call of the city faded

The call of the mountains won for Anna Husted

Anna Husted is tough to pigeon hole. It actually could be deemed impossible. With a sweet grin almost always on her face, she can also be astoundingly – and refreshingly – direct.

“I am super conservative in some ways which surprises some people, but I am also very liberal both politically and socially. I think that’s a lot of people – we are very hard to pigeon hole, being both conservative and liberal on very different topics. It’s complex,” she said.

The Great Falls native lived in Minneapolis and New York City, chasing education, her nerdy drive to continue learning, but she also says she was following her big sister around the country.

Before she headed to Big Sky she almost went to seminary and nearly became a missionary. In some respects, her nerdiness saved her. Numerous conversations with professors at her religious university led her to understand missionary work was not for her. Instead she went to graduate school for cinema studies at New York University. After two years in the city, she realized she missed “the mountains, the horizons, the skiing.”

She grew up skiing in Big Sky and actually believes it is the first place she ever skied.

After settling in the community, she worked a variety of jobs at the resort and other places, including the movie theater, before becoming the human resources manager for Big Sky Landscaping. She loves it.

“The company has grown so much every year. It’s just a fun place to work. Good rewards for working hard – and fun people,” she said.

Big Sky’s growth helps put food on her table and allows for her to live here. She is grateful for that, but just like most all locals, she cannot help but find some aspects of the growth frustrating.

Still, perhaps a remnant of her religious upbringing, she naturally functions with a level of empathy – the ability to try to see things from others’ perspectives.

“Not everything is black and white. I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. A lot of times I haven’t – I can have a short fuse, but I do try to give people a little bit of grace. I’m working on it, although Spencer knows I can rant sometimes,” she said.

She met her husband Spencer Crider five years ago when she was working at the movie theater. He usually would come in and have a beer with other fly fishing guides, but one time he came in alone. Their conversation lasted and was pleasant. He told her they should go fishing sometime and she said, “Sure.” Their first date was on the Madison River.

He is a part of the reason she stayed in Big Sky, the other reason is the people, the community. The big thing she hopes Big Sky never loses is the appreciation of the outdoors. The heart of this area and its people is outside.

“I call winter skiing season and summer reading season, ‘cause I like to get my books and read in the sun,” she said.

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