Thursday, September 8, 2011
We knew that leaving Yellowstone, the Tetons, and our whole Montana experience would be difficult, but we didn't know how difficult. It seems that the place did not want us to leave any more than we wanted to go for our path through the Teton National Forest was delayed a few hours by road construction. With no other way to get from here to there, we simply waited. At midnight, WYDOT led those of us who had accumulated through the pass and sent us on our way. The next group would not be allowed through until 4:00am. I hope they had comfy car seats.
With the delay, we once again rolled into Dubois, Wyoming in the wee hours, looking for a hotel room. The Super 8 accommodated and we spent another fall into bed late and hit the road early cat nap. We had to keep going.
I had a plane to catch in Denver.
The drive back was as fascinating as the drive out, but our focus was narrowed, fixed more tightly on getting back after a long absence. The trip had been unforgettable and we were disappointed to see it come to an end, but it was time to be home. Sanders dropped me at the airport with a hearty handshake and an agreement to do it again, then headed back to Fort Collins. I wandered through security, fly rods still firmly in hand, and settled in at gate C49 - destination Raleigh.
And, with that look to the east, my Montana narrative comes to an end. My thanks to Trout Unlimited for this wonderful opportunity, to the Outdoor Blogger Network for helping to make it happen, to the fine folks at Elk Lake Resort for their wonderful hospitality, and to my fellow traveling bloggers for their warm camaraderie and friendship. A very special thanks goes out to my traveling buddy Sanders for allowing me to tag along through the western swing. I can't imagine having done this trip any other way.
Finally, I thank those of you who have been reading along. I hope that somewhere in my recount you have found something of interest or amusement. Thank you, too, for your patience as I've certainly taken my sweet time in the telling. It's been a blast reliving the trip through these posts.
So, with Montana in the rear view mirror, we now return you to your regularly scheduled Mike's Gone Fishin' programming.
Whatever the hell that means.