A Serendipitous Breakfast in Yellowstone

Yellowstone, Credit- R fleck

Yellowstone, Credit- R fleck

We had taken the trail to Cascade Lake north of Canyon Village the day before. The trail
wound its way through lodgepole pine forests and open meadows laced with light green sagebrush and bright blue larkspur flowers. We even saw some mule deer grazing in the distance as we approached the shoreline of Cascade Lake with Observation Peak rising to the north. Chickadees chirped in the shoreline trees.

On our way back to the car, we paused briefly at a picnic area that we thought would make a grand place for following morning’s breakfast. Before we returned to our cabins at Canyon Village, we drove on up to Dunraven Pass to take a short hike and to be surprised to witness an early evening total eclipse of the moon that shined so brightly over high Mount Washburn (10,243 feet). We, along with dozens of others, watched that bright moon gradually darken to a slightly reddish ball in the nighttime sky. As coyotes yelped in the distance, we returned to our car to drive back to Canyon Village for a nice dinner at the lodge.

Our friends from Connecticut suggested, after dinner, that we really should plan on cooking a nice breakfast outside at that Cascade Lake trailhead the next morning away from the crowds. Agreed! Maura and I suggested blueberry pancakes and bacon along with hot coffee.

We turned in early to our cabins under the stars of Yellowstone, and every now and then we thought we heard the distant roar of upper and lower Yellowstone Falls about a mile and a half away from the village. My friend Gordon and I got up early as our wives slept a bit later, and we brewed up some coffee on my campstove. It was quite chilly as we could see our breaths in the frosty air of late August.

nAt last my wife Maura came to the cabin porch and said she, too, wanted a cup of coffee. Our talking awakened Jean and we soon packed some blueberry pancake mix, a package of bacon and my campstove into the car. Shortly thereafter we arrived at an empty picnic area. I lit up the stove and Maura mixed the batter to pour round circles onto the griddle. I couldn’t help thinking of John Denver’s song “Thank God I’m a Country Boy.

No sooner had the bacon started to sizzle than some people drove up to take another table. As we ate our pancakes and bacon and swilled some more coffee, about ten more cars pulled up. “Boy, I’m glad we came when we did,” said I. Then a busload of people pulled up and crowded into the meadow below our table. “What’s going on here?” Gordon asked. Jean suddenly shouted, “Oh, Look!” And there in the meadow stood a small herd of moose, one bull, five cows and several calves all grazing on the lush grasses of the meadow graced with morning mist. We had a prime viewing spot to sit and enjoy one of many delightful surprises of Yellowstone National Park. Who knows what we would see during our breakfast the next day!

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