We catch some fish and ride UTVs in Childress' backyard
Getting a call to do anything outdoors with an outdoor-focused company like Kawasaki usually ends up in a fascinating trip to a place I would normally only dream of visiting. A couple of years ago I had the chance to visit with Kawasaki on a beautiful Montana Ranch owned by NASCAR team owner Richard Childress. As a true fan of the race series I was excited to be invited along and rumors had spread that we would be able to do some trout fishing on the Yellowstone River.
After a two-hour ride from the airport we finally arrived at the Childress home. As we pulled into the covered entry we were met by Richard and his ranch caretaker, Jack. Without hesitation we were loading back into the truck and heading down to the local store to purchase our trout stamps and permits to fish the Yellowstone. Richard has had a longstanding relationship with Kawasaki and his ranch vehicle is a Kawasaki Teryx NRA Edition. Although we would take the trucks down to the river the plan was to roll out later for an adventure on the Childress ranch aboard the Teryx.
As I mentioned above, we were on an adventure and sometimes you have to deal with the unexpected. As we pulled up to our spot along the river to fish the guys in the truck behind ours had noticed that we had a flat tire. It was the reaction of the RCR team owner that reinforced the fact that we need to take time to enjoy life and we were focused on fishing for the moment. As Richard, Jack and I headed down to the river several of the Kawasaki guys were kind enough to fix our flat tire.
Richard and Jack love to fly fish and if you have never witnessed anyone doing this in person it is an art that requires plenty of practice. I used the typical rod and reel and it wasn’t all that bad. I happened to catch the first rainbow trout of the day and it was very exciting. Standing on the banks of the Yellowstone River I stopped for just a minute to take in the majestic views. Off to our left was an incredible mountain range and having never experienced this type of scenery it was just breathtaking. We fished for a while longer and then headed back to the ranch for dinner.
It amazes me how the weather changes so fast in the mountains of Montana and going to sleep after a beautiful spring day and waking up to almost eight inches of snow was just an awesome experience. I had a difficult time sleeping each night due to the sheer anticipation of what I was experiencing that week so as the sun started to peak over the hills and into the window of my room at the ranch I rushed out of bed. Watching the skies light up over the mountains was incredible. As the rest of the crew began coming alive we planned a fun day in the Teryx.
Heading out across the acreage we found ourselves up near the border of the Yellowstone National Park. The snowdrifts were massive and with a race driver and team owner behind the wheel is wasn’t long before the Teryx drifting began. As we found out, Richard has plenty of racing left in him – he left no challenge unanswered. Richard took us across the hills to see another side of the property in the Teryx and as we rounded a corner we stopped to watch a herd of Elk cross in front of us. The feeling that we were in their house and seeing true nature right before us was something I will never forget.
Starting out as a fishing trip, this adventure began to take on a true transformation for me to an appreciation of what the wild outdoors has to offer. This is a big, beautiful country with more to offer than anybody will ever take full advantage of. Do yourself a favor and get out and experience as much of it as you can.