August 3, 2008
Why is it camp food tastes so wonderful and grounds in the coffee are just an accepted fact when you’re “out in the wild”? While we certainly aren’t out in the wild with our one-bedroom cabin costing upwards of $150 a night, pull out the camp stove and it’s camping no matter where you sleep.
My husband, oldest son, and I sneak out of the cabin to give the rest of the family a few more minutes of sleep. We enjoy a quiet morning walk along Lake Yellowstone’s shore. Of course, the two guys had to prove who was the best rock skipper. I’m not sure who won, but we enjoyed our walk just the same. After scrambled eggs with sausage and camp toast with raspberry fruit spread – and Starbucks coffee in our French Press, we do up the dishes and get ready for the day.
We decide to do the tourist thing and get it over with. Our eight-year-old has never seen Old Faithful, so we put up with the crowds to share this experience with him. He decides to sign the Junior Ranger program, so we all listen to a ranger talk about the geysers before taking a short hike while waiting for Old Faithful to blow. It is fun to watch our young son ready his disposable camera and get off a few shots before the water’s eruption finally subsides.
I never know whether to be annoyed or thankful that all the people who flock to this part of the park never wander to the more remote areas where wildlife abound.
We hike the lower basin, viewing the geysers and hot springs. When my feet start to hurt, I realize we’ve been hiking for several hours. An hour on a treadmill seems so long; how can a few hours in the wilderness seem so short? For our last hike of the day, we decide to view the
Artist Paintpots. The closer features are closed, so we hike up to the top of the hill to see the bubbling mud pots. My daughter takes my photo to prove I dragged myself this far uphill and can still smile. I take my own photo of the parking lot far below just to prove to myself how far I can hike uphill without whining. Ok – a little whining. I am embarrassed to admit that while I was puffing up the hill, my daughter managed to lug her younger brothers up on her shoulders. She’s like a regular packhorse! I love seeing her so healthy and strong – something I never was at her age.
Dad lets our teenaged son try out the
professional camera; he likes the process more than he thought he would. The disposable camera is finished off with a family photo. I ask the nice stranger to take one on my camera as well. It’s not great, but it’s all of us.
After a campstove supper, we spend another night viewing a grizzly and her cubs in Hayden