When we arrived we tried on our cold weather gear and were ready for our first adventure...
...which was snowmobiling! It was a really pretty day and our guides were really friendly. They helped those of us who didn't know much about riding snowmobiles feel comfortable on them and we were off on a ride through some pretty trails.
It started snowing and was so pretty!
Then we spent some time exploring the ranch. It's made up of really old town buildings that have been converted into guest rooms, the lodge, banquet eating areas, the saloon, etc. Each building was really unique.
On another day we were scheduled to go to Yellowstone, but we decided we'd rather do something a little more active instead of sitting on a tour bus and it was the perfect decision for us. The food was wonderful and we'd been eating so much! It was fun to get outdoors and go exploring. We decided on snowshoeing for our morning activity and man was it a workout. Our guide was really adventurous and told us about a peak we could hike to with great views of the mountains and the ranch. It was really cold so we were bundled up, but as we started heading up to the peak we were so hot and taking off layers.
First though, he took us to a little snow fort they had built and we climbed inside for a picture.
Then we were on our way headed up to the peak.
We made it up there huffing and puffing and it was really worth it though for the view!
That afternoon we gave archery a try. This was the first time I'd ever even held a bow and arrow and I hate to brag, but I was surprisingly really good at it! The instructors gave us some one-on-one lessons while we practiced at the targets. Then we moved on through the path in the woods to try 3D, life-sized animal targets and had a little competition. The whole time I just kept thinking, "my friends back home would not believe I am doing this." I was channeling my inner Katniss Everdeen (for all you Hunger Game fans). It was a big joke among the instructors and the other archery participants that I kept beating Robby at all of the games and competitions and at dinner the last night the instructors give out a "golden arrow" to someone they thought really did well. I was so surprised and excited when they called my name and I got the little statue! :-) I'll have to find somewhere to display that in the new house.
There was a big viewing party for the Super Bowl complete with ice sculptures and all sorts of other neat displays and amazing hospitality.
On our last day we got to try dog sledding at it was really interesting learning about the sport, the sweet dogs, and how they are trained. I kept worrying about them being too cold and felt bad for them having to pull us around. The trainers explained that these particular breeds were made for cold weather and certain things about their fur and their paws kept them from getting cold. As they were hooking up the dogs to the harnesses, they knew it was time to run and they were all barking, jumping and ready to go. It was the neatest thing to see how excited they were to be getting ready take off. The trainer stopped to give them breaks a long the way and when we got back after our little run the dogs all enjoyed lots of pets.
We rounded out our day by zip-lining, which was another first for us. I was so nervous and I'm not really afraid of heights, but something about swinging from a wire for 2,000 feet (which was the longest one we did) was a little nerve racking for me. Plus, we were frozen by the end of the time so it was hard to enjoy it too much, but still we got to see some great sights and try something totally new and different.
We were gone for 5 days and that is the longest I've ever been away from the kids. They did awesome though and our trip wouldn't have been possible if it weren't for a fantastic Gigi and Papa who held down the fort and kept everyone busy, spoiled, and super happy while we were gone. They went to the zoo, Chuck E Cheese, the park, the mall, watched movies, ate popsicles in the bathtub and just about every other fun thing you could think to do with three little ones. And now it's back to reality for me... doing homework duty, driving carpool, lots of laundry and lots of errands to catch up on. It is totally worth it for the incredible trip we had though and of course I was so happy to be back home with my kids!