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  • Wild in Wyoming - June 23 - 26, 2011

    It was due time to step well away from our own backyard and explore the great beyond. 5 cars and 9 people toured together through some of the most impressive roads, incredible scenery and enjoyed some of the best service at the establishments we visited.

    We left at 10:00 am on Thursday morning from High River and stopped in the “gruff” little town of Browning for lunch at Subway. I'm sure the town has seen better days. Needless to say we ate really fast! Continuing on, we drove through a wildly wicked thunderstorm about 1 ½ hours outside of Great Falls. It was like the sky opened up and a bucket of water was thrown on the road, lighting 360 degrees around us, it was absolutely wild! Thank God it didn’t hail, I honestly expected hail to start at anytime. Once we arrived to Great Falls, we met with a few people from the PCA big sky region for dinner at McKenzie pizza. After were invited to the cliff side acreage home of one of the members to watch the sunset over the city and enjoy some wine and cheesecake on the balcony. Luckily the hotel was literally beside his home! It was a nice evening to socialize in the sunshine.

    Friday was an easy going plan as the day's drive was only 5 hours so we decided to stop at many viewpoints along the way. We stopped at the peak of the pass in the Lewis and Clark National forest and alongside a few beautiful forested canyons as we traversed some thrilling twisty Porsche-loving roads. We stopped for lunch at a real authentic Mexican restaurant in Livingston, Montana.

    We reached Yellowstone National park at about 5 pm and then proceeded directly to Mammoth Hot Springs which was much larger then I expected, as we all explored the walkways we came across a bear walking on the calcium deposits far away, the bear passed within 15 feet of us as we were standing on the pathway, walked through some springs and jumped as the steaming water burned his feet. Everyone was so stunned with amazement, that was such a rare encounter!

    The final stop of the day was the Old Faithful geyser but by the time we arrived there, the sun was beginning to set. It was 8:30. Luckily we were only ½ hour away from the next eruption so we set up the club banner to take an “iconic” photo and waited and laughed as we waited... At the exact time that the sun set on the horizon, the geyser erupted which was 9:10 pm. It was incredible timing and oh so beautiful. After we ate dinner at the lodge as we watched out the window as it steamed awaiting the next eruption. We finally arrived to the hotel in West Yellowstone at 10:30 pm.

    On Saturday, the group split into 2, some people drove Beartooth pass and Brodie and myself along with another couple decided to tour the park and drive the grand loop stopping at many scenic points along the way. There were so many pools of thermal water that is colored green, red, orange and blue that create a complete alien landscape scattered everywhere. Bubbling mud reminds you of the per-historic times and there are geysers all over. I've seen more animals there then I expected including numerous roadside herds of bison.

    If you go sometime, you must stop at the canyon which was way more impressive then the brochures show, it's absolutely massive. We had lunch at a fancy but cheaply priced lakeside restaurant en route (this is a foreign concept to Calgarians!). The most interesting thing about the whole day is how the topography changes as you drive, one minute you're in a canyon, next minute it's a forest, then a flowery meadow and then it transitions to a lake. It's always something different to look at. Constantly changing scenery and wildlife abounds, it really does rival our own National Parks.

    That evening, we met at the hotel in Helena and it happened to be that both groups arrived within ½ hour of each other so we were able to enjoy a nice farewell dinner at this cute “down home cookin” diner next to the hotel. The decor was not what we originally had in mind, but the service was excellent, and the food was very good for being a little family owned diner. It was right next to the hotel also which meant we could enjoy a few beers to finish off the long day.

    Sunday morning we left at 9:30 am and stopped in St. Mary’s for a wonderful lunch. We stopped in Nanton for the final farewell and hugs good bye. It was a subtle mood of awe and astonishment at how much fun we had combined with an eagerness to get home after a long 4 days on the road, but still inside you could tell that everyone felt like they never wanted it to end. It was a legendary weekend that will remain in memory forever.