Yes, I am still raving about our Montana Family Adventure with Austin Lehman. It is difficult to put into words what made the trip so magical, but I’m trying my hardest to convey a rainbow feelings into black and white type.
I was able to share a few things our guides taught us over at the Austin Lehman blog. I would be so honored if you would pop over and read Don’t Run From a Griz & 9 Other Things Our ALA Guides Taught Us. It’s a fun look at what we learned during our week… from snakes to mountain goat poo… and a few things in between.
But today I want to tell you about the guys who made our trip so amazing… Our ALA guides, Patrick, James and John.
The Guides Make Austin Lehman Vacations Amazing
Our guides were so diverse, but they melded together like brothers, each adding strength to the whole. But these guys were more than guides. They were our caterers, our luggage handlers, our dinner companions, our pack mules and, by the end of the week, our friends.
Patrick was our youngest guide, the one the kids naturally gravitated to. He was the one who got dragged into games of tag after a long day of hiking (where do kids get all that energy?) and who played jokes on us (mountain goat poo, anyone?). But Patrick was also incredibly knowledgeable about nature. As the first guide we met and rode with, Patrick was our source of knowledge and fun facts about the area.
James was our ‘mountain man’. A soft-spoken guy, you knew to listen when James was talking because he didn’t waste words. As this was James’ third year as a guide in Montana with Austin Lehman, he had plenty of tales to share; many were cautionary, about the animals and the wilderness. As we watched a herd of bison cross the road- and people scramble to get out of the way- James said, ““People can do really stupid things here. It’s like they think the animals are tame and the rangers let them out every day for the tourists to see.”
John was our introspective guide. He not only wanted us to take in the beauty and incredible surroundings, but he wanted us to be awakened and changed by it. As he led our final hike, a “Montana flat” 3/4 mile trek to a breathtaking waterfall, John asked us all to, “Just be and reflect on the hike and this week.” A constant positive force, John was always there when my girls needed encouragement or just a little reinforcement.
These three guys, each with their separate strengths, were our “three musketeers” and made what would have been a merely fabulous trip absolutely incredible.
If you’re thinking about a guided tour, or adventure vacation, I highly recommend Austin Lehman Adventures. From the first inquiry, to trip follow up, the staff at Austin Lehman work hard to make sure your trip is perfect. As a special bonus for Family Rambling readers: mention “Family Rambling” when you book and you’ll get your pre-night hotel free (usually that is an out-of-pocket expense, not included in your trip price).
Disclosure: I won a trip for 2 with ALA last year. I paid full price for the girls to join us on this trip. I was not required to write about my trip, or share our adventure in any way.