It seems like most people talk of going to Hawaii, Mexico, Costa Rica etc. for vacation where it is warm and has beaches. While there is nothing wrong with beaches and warmth, our family prefers to break tradition and do other things for vacation - like stay in Montana! ; ) Since Levi's back hasn't been doing well and we are working to find a resolution, which is somewhat dictating our schedule this summer, we decided to bump up our vacation to early June. We found a quaint home or lodge via VRBO in the middle of a 500 acre cattle ranch in Montana to stay at that is just off the Big Hole river. This equates to 2.5 miles of private fishing for me! There were also horses roaming all over the property which was a nice surprise especially for a Leah who dreams of owning a ranch some day.
On the way to Montana we traveled through Star Valley Wyoming where I could find myself someday - flat out gorgeous with rolling green hills and homes being spread out across the land. It reminds me a little bit of Odell and Pinegrove of Oregon in terms of terrain. The LDS temple is getting close to completion which is just off of main street in Afton and should be dedicated about the same time as the Fort Collins temple in Colorado.
We spent the following day in Jackson (FKA Jackson Hole - I guess they had the change the name a while back - didn't have a clue), Wyoming. Most of the day was consumed getting up to and on spending time on top of the Teton mountain range after taking the gondola up. It rises 4 thousand feet in 2.5 miles and only takes about 11 minutes - cool stuff! The weather on top was close to perfect - 70 degrees with absolutely no wind. I must admit a breeze would have been nice. The next day we traveled through the Teton national forest and Yellowstone stopping at Old Faithful to watch her blow. It's just as I remember it, except with a gagillion more people. We also had some pretty timely ice cream cones - the Huckleberry flavor was unreal.
Most of our trip was spent on the cattle ranch and we absolutely loved it. One of pictures below shows how we spent most of our time or what we enjoyed doing the most. Sadly I was probably about 3 to 4 weeks early for fishing as the spring runoff was still in full force and the Big Hole river was moving too quickly to get in the middle of. I did manage to find one spot that I could traverse out to, but it was pretty sketchy at times. The current pulled me under once, but luckily I had my belt cinched up pretty tight on my waders so I didn't balloon up. I still had a blast casting my line and shutting out the world each day that I went.
Our trip home included an 11 1/2 hour drive through the rolling hills of Montana and Crow Country, which is beautiful until just south of Sheridan, WY where the hills stop rolling and the terrain doesn't see much rain.
Two of these pictures were taken by Levi - Walking the Plank and Leader of the Pack (horses). If you hover over the pictures it should provide details of each where applicable.
Walking the PlankLevi took this photo in Teton National Park TetonTaken from on top of the Teton mountain range looking down at the Snake River. TetonPano of the Teton mountains with the Snake River below TetonFamily photo - Noah : ( on top of the Tetons Liars LodgeEnjoying the early morning sunshine in Montana. Liars Lodge Big HoleThe Big Hole river in Montana Leading the PackLevi took this photo the first night in Montana on the cattle ranch. MontanaThe things we enjoyed the most on our vacation - fishing, reading, photo shooting and playing games together.