I had been advocating for a “one-night getaway,” to a place we’d not stayed.
The friend was less enamored of the plan.
My suggestions were the new hotel and steakhouse in Wright, or a hotel and dinner in Hulett. We’ve been through each town a bunch, but have never spent the night.
One of my wine peeps says I should start writing a “Travelin’ Wyo with Sal” column. I think that would be a dandy idea.
So the week after my anticlimatic “birthday week,” I mentioned that I had thought of a different place for a one-night getaway.
And, as has often happened in the past 17 years, we said at the same time, “the Wolf.”
So that made it a done deal.
A phone call the following morning — Thursday — revealed that there was just one room of the 10 total remaining for Saturday. Booked and less than $100.
“We’ve been told we have to tell you there’s no air conditioning and it’s on the third floor,” said the friendly soon-to-be known as Tim check-in clerk/bartender.
It’s not as if we’d be in the room much, so I said it would be fine. And it was beyond fine. It was fabulous.
Getting there took me on my second favorite road in the state, Wyoming Highway 77. I like it for many reasons, among them the always poor road surface condition, the total lack of shoulders and the huge chance that any hill might produce something big and mooey standing in the middle of the road.
There was no such luck this time, and I bemoaned that there was more “traffic” than usual. Often, we see not a car in the 22 miles, and that’s how I prefer it.
Saratoga was overcast and showery when we arrived, but the hospitality at the Wolf completely made it up for it.
The accommodations, the staff, the bar and the restaurant were all superbly above and beyond.
After checking in and marveling at our spacious attic “apartment,” we headed in the rain to the Snowy Mountain Brewery, which I have always known as the Saratoga Inn.
The friend has played golf there previously and I accompanied, but there was no overnight and no meal eating then. The friend mourned that he had not brought his sticks, and I told him that I would have loved that, because it would have let us stay there another half-day.
The bar stools are adorable, and the seasonal cocktail menu caught my eye far more than the beer. A friendly bartender made it a pleasant stop.
Dinner back at the rustic dining room in the Wolf was fabulous, and so was the after-dinner socializing that included a porch visit with owners Doug and Kathleen Campbell. The friend ordered prime rib and pronounced it among the best he’s ever had. My steak was cooked to perfection, which nearly never happens for me, and the salad bar and soup from scratch were delicious.
Do make a point of going if you haven’t already. Do make a dinner reservation at the same time you reserve your room. There is no restaurant or bar service on Sunday, but the restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Monday through Saturday.
Do pack lightly, because there is no elevator and all rooms are on the second or third floor.
And if you happen to want a Sunday morning mass, it’s just a two-block walk to St. Ann’s.
On the way home, the friend surprised me one more time by taking me “over the top” on Highway 130. It’s my “home road,” and takes us through my favorite mountains. I never tire of it.
And with two favorite stretches of road, a night at a 125-year old hotel, a splendid meal and plenty of liquid refreshment, the respite given by 29 hours away was one to be remembered.
Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS