This is Day 5 of my Adventures by Disney – Wyoming, Quest for the West trip report for the adventure we took July 19-25, 2023. Our traveling family was Doobie, 52, Rebekah, 50 and Gideon, 14. If you missed prior installments, click here for the list.
Both Gideon and I arose pretty early on Day 5, so we took the chance to go walk around a bit and get some pictures of the grounds of Brooks Lake Lodge. As advertised, breakfast was at 8 a.m., so we headed there and met up with everyone else. Breakfast was a buffet each morning, though the choices always varied.
After breakfast, it was time for our first activity. There are several choices for activities – horseback riding, archery, fishing, fly fishing, canoeing, and various hikes. On Day 6, there is a big hike that goes to the top of Brooks Mountain, so a lot of people made room in their schedule for that. As a result, many people signed up for horseback riding for their first activity. My family, who did not plan to do that hike, opted for archery and another family was there as well.
I’ve never tried archery before so starting out was quite comical. But I did get a few tips from Taw and, before long, I could consistently hit the closest target and hit the middle target about 25% of the time. Firing the arrows was very satisfying. Walking to pick them up was not. But we did it for about an hour alternating with the other family, and had a really good time. Gideon even said he hoped to do it again before the trip was out.
The activities weren’t quite as rigid as I expected. Some of them definitely required showing up on time and committing the time like horseback riding. However, archery – you could join or leave at any point without issues. Canoeing and fishing didn’t even require a guide, you could just request the equipment and go do it at any time. However, fly fishing was on a schedule since you had to be transported to the location.
Once we’d had enough of archery we headed back into the lodge. The lodge and its staff had a family atmosphere. During the day, one of the workers has a very friendly toddler (Aspen) that can be found wandering around. And did I mention the dogs? There are several dogs to be found inside and outside the lodge. All of them were friendly and one loved to play fetch. I don’t currently own a dog but have in the past, so being able to play with these doggies made me very happy.
Back at the lodge, Gideon and I played our first game of tabletop shuffleboard. It would not be our last. We had so much fun fitting in a game or two here and there, it became our go-to down time activity. We also played with Rebekah and other Adventurers throughout the stay.
Before long, it was time for our first Brooks Lake Lodge lunch. Unlike breakfast and dinner, lunch was the same menu both days we had it. On day one I opted for the fancy grilled cheese sandwich and the tomato bisque. The sandwich was phenomenal. I made the mistake of dipping it in the bisque, because that’s what a normal person does, but the bisque was just OK so it brought down the sandwich. The rest of the sandwich was eaten without dipping. Gideon got a grilled chicken and fries and could not stop raving about the wavy fries. And Rebekah got a bao that she said was excellent.
Time for the afternoon activity! We chose canoeing and, as I previously mentioned, this was an “on your own” activity. We went to the tackle shop to get our life jackets and oars and made the long walk down the hill to the lake. There, we found a canoe, pushed it into the water, hopped in and started paddling.
It was at that point I realized that I do not like canoeing. As much as I like being on the water, the narrow canoe coupled with my large body wouldn’t let me get comfortable. After about 15 minutes I politely asked my family if I could go back in. I got out and headed back up the hill (the most strenuous part of my trip) while Rebekah and Gideon had the time of their lives out there.
Knowing that the hill was rough going down and would be only rougher going up, I asked if it might be possible for a vehicle to go down and pick up my family. No problem, of course! They were happy to help us out.
After canoeing, it was time for afternoon tea — which meant tea, lemonade, a charcuterie board with some yummy cheeses and some incredible red velvet cookies. The dining room desserts may have been average, but the afternoon tea cookies were amazing both days.
At 4:30 p.m. each day, during afternoon tea, it was time to go outside and watch the horses get released into the meadow. They go down the long hill and out of sight. We were told sometimes they run down which can be quite a sight. For us, they meandered but it was still interesting to watch.
After tea, Rebekah decided to go checkout the spa. Though spa treatments cost extra, there is a workout room, hot tub and sauna that are all included. Rebekah enjoyed some hot tub time and even got to watch a rain storm from there.
7 p.m. was dinner time and, on this second night, dining was family style. The plate had huge pork chops, a pumpkin enchilada (that, as always, was incredible) and ahi tuna. There was also a grits and cheese side dish I enjoyed. Dessert was a huckleberry crisp that I thought was the best of the three nights.
After dinner the sitting room/mooseum had all the moose designs put up for all to see.
But, we all knew what we were looking forward to: a poker tournament. Eight players, we all started with the same number of chips, who would be the last player standing??? Card shark Lou Mongello and Beci were the last two… And Lou won it all!
It was now 10:30 p.m., and this family was ready for bed. Unfortunately, tomorrow would be our last full day. But we were looking forward to whatever fun it would bring.