I have talked often and voraciously about the benefits derived from a nature-inspired family vacation. Thus I decided it was time to do a post on a 'typical' Elk Lake family vacation. So, with their permission - and omitting names to protect their privacy - I have the privilege of introducing you to a 'typical' American family enjoying a 'not-so-typical' family vacation.
Nature-based activities abound at Elk Lake Resort. Some like to hike (I've done numerous posts about the Centennial Valley's hiking opportunities). Some like to mountain bike. Some like to ATV ride. Some like to relax and rejuvenate and maybe just sit around and catch up without all the distractions. Some like to swim. Some like to kayak, canoe, or boat around on the lake. Some like to watch and photograph wildlife (I recently posted on this as well). This family had two MAJOR desires: FISH and HORSEBACK RIDE. Elk Lake and Montana's Centennial Valley are a great place to enjoy these activities.
Most days found a happy mother-daughter duo off on another exploration of our back country. Day after day they probbed into some new and rarely visited mountain treasure trove.
Each day they learned some area history from their learned guide. One day they even visited an old mining cabin.
Perhaps the 'highlight' of the girls' trip was participating in a local cattle drive. While this is not a typical experience all guests can hope to enjoy, at times the opportunity presents itself. These gals chose not to let the chance slip by.
Of course all this 'horse time' meant they grew quite attached to their mounts. The youngest often spent break times decorating her horse's bridle with the profuse wildflowers.
One day they even had the opportunity to explore an old cave. While both did not choose to participate (can't say I blame the non-participant. I'm not sure I have the nerve to crawl into a dark hole in the ground!), the one who did came back with stories to tell.
While the adventures were great fun and left them with memories to last until their next trip to the Centennial, I think they'd both agree the mother-daughter time was the icing on the cake!
Nonetheless, the best vacations include some time spent relaxing and just hanging out. While they spent a LOT of time actively enjoying Elk Lake's rich natural setting, they also set aside time to chill out and soak in some peace and quiet.
Each morning the guys wished the gals a great day, then picked up their poles and headed for the water. You see this family had a distinct division of interest. The girls enjoyed the horses. The guys the fishing. The Centennial provided them with the best of both worlds!
So while the girls explored new country and awed at new sights, the guys stalked their prey - and with great success!
In fact, they had such good success, some fishing buddies who had flown out to fish the Madison became so jealous they had to drive over and join them on their last day fishing. That is quite a feat! The Centennial Valley beat out the Madison! (Not that we were the least bit surprised :-)
And, of course, one fish you will never catch in the Madison is a fairly common sight in the Centennial. How about hauling in a Grayling like that?! From the reports I heard, this was just one of many they enjoyed catching during their daily excursions.
All in all, a good time was definitely had by each one. And, as far as we're concerned, the best news: They had so much fun they were already planning their 2013 trip before they left! Now, that is what I call a memory-making, family-bonding, plain-ole'-good-times family vacation!
Lady of the Lake