Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Best Camping Ever

Succumbing to the ever-present need to leave town, we seized the good weather and headed to Old Faithful in Yellowstone. Long-time friend (and YNP resident) Louise held an inverse agenda and was in Bozeman for the weekend. This meant that her cabin, The Shady Rest, was ours for the weekend. On the banks of the Firehole river, and steps from Old Faithful Geyser, I proclaimed that this was the best camping trip ever! Was it?

On our drive to Old Faithful we lunched in Lamar Valley enjoying the pate forestier, Mt. Tam triple cream, baguette, and feta-stuffed olives. For dinner we cooked up a ridiculously thick Ribeye from Montana's Alderspring Ranch, which produces lovely grass-fed beef; had a salad of golden beets, goat cheese, and pine nuts - all washed down with a 2004 Gary's Vineyard Novy Syrah.

Drinking wine from one of my favorite places - Big Sur - Monterrey - Santa Lucia Highlands - in one of my favorite places - Yellowstone - made it a great camping trip indeed. Oh, did I mention that we saw six wolves (three of which were actively hunting and cornering a cow elk in front of our eyes), two grizzly bears, one black bear and numerous birds, ungulates and curious summer visitors? On Sunday, we drifted effortlessly between summer and winter by skiing in the morning on the continental divide and capturing a view of the very frozen Shoshone lake, to short sleeves and A/C on the return trip to Bozeman, where the temperature had climbed to almost 80 degrees by days end.

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