I am sitting at Lake Hotel in Yellowstone National Park, and I’m just so pleased to be here.
I’ve already consumed a cinnamon scone and a 12 oz shot in the dark with half and half, because today is a special day, and I’m treating myself.
The weather is terribly gloomy, and I’m in a big comfy chair looking at rain through a massive window. The mountains in the distance are completely obscured by flat, shapeless clouds. It is Saturday and Rafal is home with Lydia. Since March (when we returned to the park), this was my first chance to drive off on my own and carve out some time to write. Many roads–and this hotel–have just opened their gates for the spring season. Outside, I’d hardly call this spring weather. Just last Sunday the snow finally thawed enough to expose the sidewalk in front of our house for the first time since November. But this week brought a steady drizzle of snowfall that covered it right back up.
I’ve got to say that this weather’s been getting to me.
Usually, I pride myself on a sturdy ability to weather all weather with a smile. But this is my first time spending most of the year at 8,000 feet. Snow began accumulating here in September and it’s still here. We left from November through February for a gloomy few months in Chicago, and we returned in March to a record-breaking seven feet of snow. (And with that statement, the rain outside transforms into thick flakes). March and April were great fun, filled with cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, and reveling in the adventure. But May–with it’s propensity for spring fever–has been a little bit tough.
For a long time, Rafal and I have claimed “making the most of it” as our motto. So that is what we do. We drive down to lower elevations every weekend, and find adventure wherever we can. A few weeks ago, we biked 18 miles through the Tetons.
After that we spent the weekend in Missoula: hiking, drinking Butterfly coffee, riding the carousel, and visiting with friends.
Last weekend we camped at Buffalo Bill State Park (just outside of Cody, WY) where the temperature climbed to 85 degrees!
And just yesterday we drove down to Grand Teton National Park and hiked the 3.5 mile loop around String Lake. We saw numerous marmots, trudged through dense snow, lost the trail, and then found it again,
But most days are passed with Rafal at work and Lydia and I at home. I work out, write wikiHow articles, cook, clean, and mess around on the internet. Lydia and I play in the snow, visit with people in the village, eat snacks, enjoy naps, and take a lot of selfies.
(And with that, the clouds clear and the sun come out across the lake. The mountains are still invisible, but the warmth and glisten is magnificent).
The gates are open and the people have arrived. Grant Village is lined with fresh faces–both new and old, tourist and employee. It was nice to have Yellowstone all to ourselves for a while, but I welcome the company along with the sun.