Montana is a big state. It's the fourth largest state in America. Every year, people from all over the country make the trek to Montana to experience all the wonders of the place we call home.

Over the weekend, I was camping down at Hebgen Lake. My parents and I do an annual camping trip at Hedgen every year. They live in Boise, so the trip is a bit longer for them. We spent most of the time exploring different places we had never seen before.

On Sunday, we decided to drive through the Gallatin River canyon and check out the Red Cliff cave. If you're driving from Bozeman, it's a few miles south of Big Sky on the left. After hiking up to the cave, my parents and I decided to drive in Big Sky for lunch. They had never seen Lone Mountain, so we decided to drive all the way up to the resort.

There were a lot of mountain bikers riding on Sunday, and at first, we didn't think anything of it.

We ate at Yeti Dogs, which is the most affordable place to eat if you're on a budget. After we got our dogs, we sat out on the patio to eat. As we were eating, a mountain  biker walked by us in a jersey. Here's the crazy thing. Across the top of the back of the jersey was my last name, Ropelato.

I asked;

Is your last name, Ropelato?

It turns out that Ropelato was, in fact, his last name. His name is Mitch Ropelato and he's a professional mountain biker. He was at Big Sky for the Big Mountain Enduro on Sunday.

He had just got done racing before we randomly ran into each other. He was in a pretty good mood considering he had just placed 1st in the pro category. He is from Utah, where much of my family lives.

Jesse Ropelato

A little history. Due to a family disagreement in the late 60s, my father left Utah and returned to Idaho. As a result, I have never met any of my family that lives in Utah. I'd never met Mitch, or any of my other relatives that live there.

During our conversation on Sunday, my father began talking about his history in Utah and some of the people he remembered from the time that he lived there. We came to the conclusion that Mitch and I had the same Great Grandfather. It was one of those moments that I'll never forget. It's crazy how small the world can be sometimes. It was awesome to have a conversation with Mitch, and learn about some of my family that I have never met before.