Over our Christmas break to Wyoming, my dad, my brother-in-law and I took a snowmobiling trip to Burgess Junction, WY. My sister and her husband are friends with the owners of Bear Lodge, where we stayed and ate for two wonderful days in the high country. I have to admit, when my parents told us on Christmas Day that we would be snowmobiling in the Big Horn Mountains, I was a little uneasy about it. Having grown up in Wyoming, I'm still a sucker for vigorous outdoor winter activities. I always tell Gina that "the cold" doesn't feel cold anymore when you get out and move around. She's not buying it, but that's a topic for another time (I love you, Gina!). However, when I think of snowmobiling in Wyoming, I think of Rulon Gardner, and frankly, that scares me a little bit. But this was my Christmas present and I wanted to be open to the possibility of a new adventure. So, with a little nervousness and a bag full of cold weather gear, we embarked on the snowy Wyoming roads for a two-day getaway in the mountains.
We arrived at Bear Lodge in the evening just as it was getting dark. We checked into our room, put our stuff down and headed to the dining room for dinner. It was delicious, and we spent a little while longer just sitting around watching a bowl game. The next morning we awoke to the news that it was -15 degrees F. Yes, you read that right. We decided to wait until the temperature had risen a little bit before venturing off into the wilderness, so we went down to get some breakfast. By 9:30 or so, we were ready to get started. I mean, who wouldn't? By this time the temp was up to -5 degrees! After getting dressed and filling out the snowmobile rental paperwork, we were off.
I won't give you every detail (and thankfully there are no really scary stories to share), but I will tell you that I am a new fan of snowmobiling. Now, I'm not about to go out and buy one, but I will definitely go again. It was cold, but driving the sled (this is snowmobiler lingo for a snowmobile) kept me just active enough to stay warm. The scenery was amazing, and it was a lot of fun being able to share this with Joe and my dad. We talked about going again and bringing the wives and kids. We'll see how that goes. For the record, we stayed on the groomed paths and didn't do anything risky or daring. Looking back, I can't think of a better Christmas present: I was able to share it with others, it represented everything I love about Wyoming, it was a great adventure, and I didn't have to find a place in the car to put it for the drive back to Illinois!