idaho, montana, wyoming sojourn…

For many months, we looked forward to our vacation “Out West.” Of course, we were so happy to get a break from our “regular lives,” but mostly, we were looking forward to getting a look at the area where Matt and Naomi make their home. If we ever wondered why they live so far away and why they’ve chosen to stay… all our wondering has been put to rest.

Idaho is a simply lovely place. The term “the great outdoors” has new meaning after our trip to Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. For the entire trip we had simply lovely weather. Cool at night, and first thing in the morning, which gave way to sunny skies and warm temps. No trace of humidity and no bugs to be found! Would we ever go back to Maryland? Sadly, we had to…

(Click on the title of this blog to see photos of our trip.)

The following is a recap of our journey before the wedding, for those who care to read it. Later this week, we’ll post about the wedding and add photos from our time at the ranch and from the wedding itself…

We began our journey on Sept. 15, waking up before the sun did, and driving to Washington Dulles Airport. Jackson was a super traveler through both flights that day, and through the long car ride from Idaho Falls to Hailey. That night we got to have dinner with Grandma and Grandpa and Uncle Matt and Aunt Naomi and meet their two cool dogs!

The next morning, we took a quick tour of Hailey, then we were on our way north!

Lunch and a quick shopping trip through Stanley, then on to Salmon, where we spent the night at the more-than-lovely Syringa Lodge, overlooking the mountains and the downtown. The accommodations were outstanding — a tasty breakfast included. While in Salmon we visited the Sacajawea Interpretive Center and then proceeded north.

On Friday the 17th, we arrived in Missoula and made a quick trip to the Smoke Jumper Center at the airport — apropos, considering the looming smoke in the air. The next morning we explored the University of Montana campus and checked out a Saturday market in the downtown.

For lunch, we stopped along the Little Blackfoot River. Here Dave had his first chance to fish. Then, on to the Grant-Kohrs Ranch National Historic Site to see all the pretty horses. We arrived late in Butte, a charming old-fashioned town. Our hotel – the historic Finlen – was a blast from the past. Once a bustling community, this town has calmed quite a bit and is a shadow of its former self. The next morning, we took a tour of the Berkley Pit, an abandoned mining operation, and headed out of town.

By Sunday night, we were in Jackson, Wyoming, a tourist trap of sorts. We stayed here two nights and made it home. Molly’s mom and dad joined us Monday and we were able to explore the truly grand Grand Teton mountains that night, having dinner with an awesome view of the peaks. The next day, we toured them again on our way into Yellowstone National Park.

Tuesday morning was spent gawking at geysers – not just the famous Old Faithful, but the dozens of others surrounding it. We got our fill of bison-sightings on our two days at Yellowstone.

Soon, we were on our way back west into Idaho. Our destination and home for the next four days was the Wild Horse Creek Ranch outside Sun Valley. There, we met and spent time with the lovely, entertaining extended family of Naomi. Rode horses, fished, baked pies, took walks and enjoyed the company.

The perfect vacation was capped by a truly amazing wedding. Matt and Naomi know how to put together a celebration! We were honored and blessed to be there on that lovely day when they said “I do.”

We returned home on Aug. 27, then back to our normal lives. But we’re already hoping and planning for a return trip sooner rather than later!

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