Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vacation Part Two - Idaho

I can't believe it took me seven weeks to continue this but here goes.....

Monday morning, October 29, we get up super early, eat breakfast and head out on the road to get to Idaho. It's going to be a long day, not just getting to Idaho but actually getting the the lodge - aka our final destination. It was still dark when we crossed the Wyoming/Idaho boarder but if you think that's going to stop us from getting out to get a picture when it's pitch black outside, you're wrong, my friend! We stopped at the very small "Idaho" and took a picture until we got a decent one (above)

We were supposed to meet someone from the ranch at their office in town but couldn't get in touch with anyone so Allan decided to just go for it and drive to the ranch. Richard was taking the truck so he got to enjoy the ride along with us. Once we turned off the main, paved road, the drive was very slow and bumpy up the mountain. It had snowed so the ground was wet, frozen, bumpy and rough but the view was spectacular so it made the drive much more enjoyable. As we got closer to the lodge, I got more and more excited. This was the real big part of the trip and I was SO ready for it.

Knowing I would be completely, and I mean COM-PLETELY, out of touch with the world once we headed into the mountains until we came off the mountain on Friday, I text all my children and told them I loved them and to remember if they needed anything to call their dad because I was out of reach. For most people now, that would make them a complete nervous wreck. I, on the other hand, was extremely excited to see how I would handle not having cell or Internet access for five days. Let me just tell you, it's VERY freeing. If you've never done it you should try it. There were many times I wished I could Facebook or Instagram the beauty of what we were experiencing, but I knew that I would have the opportunity to do it in one big bunch once Friday afternoon got here. I didn't want to rush this experience. I wanted the week to last forever.

As we came around the final corner and saw the lodge, I gasp - literally. I mean, I had seen pictures online but that was nothing compared to the lodge in person. The sky was a perfect shade of blue with just enough clouds scattered around and snow on the ground....it was simiply beautiful. Richard was just a bit jealous, lol. We get to the lodge and back it up to unload all the stuff. We are greeted by the cook and a guide or two. As we walk in the door, there are other hunters, men, standing around or sitting at the table. The cook, Kevin, introduces us and I swear I see eyes a rollin' and thoughts going "GREAT! A woman! I came here to get away from them and now here's one on MY vacation!" And I just smiled, waved and thought to myself, "Give me an hour and you'll love me." 

After we got settled in, we just went out to the upstairs balcony and rested, cuddled and just enjoyed our surroundings. As you can see by the pictures, it was truly beautiful and amazing.

This picture is our room/bathroom....we were on the first floor right by the front door. Not the ideal place for privacy but as it turned out, the guys weren't there all that much so it was good.There weren't a lot of "extras", the shower was VERY small and there was no carpet but this is a hunting lodge, not the Waldorf. I was with the man I love, and I know that's all mushy gushy and whatever but it's the truth. I realized that it doesn't matter where you are if you are with someone you truly LIKE to be with. We had the rest of the day Monday to spend together. Hunting started early Tuesday morning and we didn't know how many days that would go on until he got his Elk.
The layout of the lodge was two bedrooms, small office, kitchen and eating area on the first floor. The majority of the bedrooms were in the basement. That's where the guides and a couple of hunters slept. There was also a TV that only played DVDs. Upstairs was a pool table and more bedrooms. Did I mention there really wasn't "electricity"? There was a generator that generated electricity. I found this out the hard way. Tuesday as I was getting ready, I realized my hairdryer wasn't exactly working correctly but I managed to get my hair dried and straightened. Wednesday, I managed to blow the generator with my hair dryer so Thursday and Friday were "air dry" days. Thank GOD I could still use my straightener.
Tuesday's hunting was beneficial to all the hunters....except Allan. He was the final hunter that still needed to get his Elk. Wednesday morning, as he walked out the door, I said a little prayer asking God to give him his Elk that morning so that we could have the rest of the day and Thursday to just be together and enjoy "us". About 10:00 am, as I was sitting outside on the balcony reading, I decided to go in and get out of the cold. Keith, the cook, asked me if I heard a shot. I hadn't but was very excited. One of the other hunters came in and said he had heard the shot. This was great news! I ran and got my boots on in anticipation that Allan had shot his Elk. As I waited down by the fire pit at "mutilation station" as I liked to call it, one of the guides came rolling by, looked at me and said, "He got his Elk and he wants you to come up here now". I can't say that I am an excitable person, but I jumped up so quick and ran to get the camera, got in the four wheeler and we headed up the mountain. Everyone went. As I got off the four wheeler, Allan came out of the trees, we embarrassed and kissed (yes I'm romanticizing it but this is how it happened) and smiled and I told him how proud and happy I was for him.

He took me into the trees and showed me "Hal, the Halloween Elk". I was truly so proud of him. This huge, 800-900 pound animal was down in a shot from about 360 yards away. That's not easy to do. As they gutted and split the animal so that they can get it back down the mountain, I was all up in there taking pictures. Of everything. And here we are. I love this picture.

 The rest of the day was spent talking about the hunt and just being together. Thursday, we got up and went to "mutilation station" to take the meat off the carcass and get it all packed up to take back home. That was definitely a bonding experience. I can't say I ever thought I would do that, but I did and I loved it. And it's been three months and I would do it again. In fact, I have.

We've talked about going there again and maybe just for vacation, no hunting. I don't care what we do there as long as we can go there again.
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