So this is the big holiday of the year … 3 weeks in Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, or as far as me and Dad could get in the Rockies. One week on a ranch doing a horse drive, followed by two weeks hiring a car.

Didn’t get off to a great start. We had a 3-part flight over to the US, and when we reached Salt Lake City, our luggage didn’t. We had one night there, then back to the airport in the morning for two more flights over to Idaho Falls. We looked in the airport shops for socks, underwear, cheap clothes. In Boise we each got a t-shirt for $7, and a pair of socks (but the fluffy kind you wear to bed in winter, not practical ones).

While we were putting these items into our carry on luggage, Dad realised that the security who searched his luggage on the way out of Salt Lake had neglected to put his walking boots and phone charger back in. At this point my stress levels were not coping well. The poor security guy in Boise who we collared looked quite uncomfortable with the crying girl he was faced with!

While we were waiting in Boise, I called the United Airlines bag track to see if our suitcases had been found. Someone had the great idea to use voice-recognition. Unfortunately the machine couldn’t understand my accent. Several times he said “I’m sorry, I couldn’t tell if you said ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Please repeat your answer”. Until the point when I was yelling down the phone in the middle of the airport.

But anyway, our bags had been found. He told me what flight they were on and what time. But he neglected to say what time they would arrive in Salt Lake, or possibly when they might catch up with us.

We got to Idaho Falls and waited around in the airport for a couple of hours until LT picked us up to go to the ranch. He lent me his phone to call Salt Lake Lost & Found, so we knew the boots and charger were there and claimed.

The ranch is about 1 1/2 hours drive from Idaho Falls. Dubois is the nearest town and thats about 40 mins away. We just kept driving, further and further into the middle of nowhere. It’s a very rustic ranch. There are several bunk rooms and a cabin with a lounge area and the dining table. There’s no electric: all the lights are gas lamps. The shower is outdoors, and the water is propane-heated. The toilets are long-drops. There is no mobile phone reception, and the landline and internet are at the winter home, 20 mins back down the road.

We met the guests who had already arrived, and waited for the others who where coming from Jackson. We had dinner once everyone was there, and I went to bed quite early.

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