Idaho 2011, Day 11—Road Trip No. 1

Even though we’re here in Henry’s Lake, Idaho, for 6 weeks, there’s too much to do to fit within that time period—too much water to fish, too many trails to hike, too many scenic wonders to photograph, and too many small towns to visit.  Also, one has to be cognizant of changing water levels for fishing, build in some down days to recharge and rejuvenate, and realize that some days the weather will not be conducive to most outdoor activities.  Kay and I listed all the things we wanted to do out here, including day trips, national park visits, and fishing excursions to optimize our limited time visiting this region.

Madison River valley as viewed from west of Ennis, MTThere are some wonderful day trips departing from here if one is willing to drive a couple of hundred miles.  So, with a foot blister from too much hiking last week, today was set aside as a road trip via Hebgen Lake, Quake Lake, Lake, Ennis, Virginia City, Bozeman, Big Sky, and finally back to the RV park. From Quake Lake northward, the Madison River had way too many drift boats—at least 10 within eyesight at any stretch—and this went on for miles and miles all the way to Ennis.  Flyfisher statue in Ennis, MTI had a particular interest in Ennis in as much as the Madison River Fishing Company, a great fly shop, has been sending us a black and white catalog for at least 15 years.  Second, the head of our HR office at the Corps in Memphis, Chuck, had worked for the US Forest Service in Ennis.  Ennis was a nifty, small western fly fishing town with lots of fly shops, gift shops, and eating places.  We ate at an old drug store that had wonderful sandwiches.  A sheet metal statue of a fly fisher was located at a prominent junction just north of the town.

One of the old store fronts, Virginia City, MTVirginia City is considered the best preserved western town in the US, and true to reputation, it was—mainly because none of the buildings had undergone restoration, and remained much in their original condition; now they are shops and eating establishments.  We drove some of the side streets to view the old churches and other buildings. From Virginia City back towards Ennis, we continued north, then turned eastward towards Bozeman.  Rafters and tubers were fully enjoying the Madison River, with few fishers in sight. Bozeman has a Costco, so we took the opportunity to purchase some food and beverage products for the remainder of our time out west. As we turned south, we drove through Big Sky and were amazed at the extent of ski slopes.  The drive from Big Sky to West Yellowstone is one of the most scenic we’ve been on. We have friends that live in Big Sky and it easy to understand why they choose to live there, with great skiing and fly fishing.

We made what seems like a daily stop at the supermarket in West Yellowstone (small RV refrigerators and storage spaces require constant restocking if you eat in), then back to the RV park. Jack, our next door neighbor, brought over a cherry cheesecake that was scrumptious—in fact, it was the best I ever tasted.  We also got to know fellow RVers and new friends, Randy and Kathy from Denver, a bit better.  They too are fly fishers so we had a lot in common.  You meet the best cooks and nicest people RVing! 

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