Weekend Warriors

I’ve got a serious case of the Mondays.

I have a long to-do list, a pressing deadline, and a cup of coffee that doesn’t ever seem full enough. I slept an hour later than I wanted to, and I just can’t seem to pull myself together.

During the week I keep a pretty strict routine. On the weekends, I let it all fly out the window. Sometimes by Monday morning I am craving structure, and I catapult into my schedule with zeal.

This is not one of those days.

So now that I’ve got the laptop open, Lydia is occupied with markers and stickers, and I’ve just made myself another strong pour-over, I thought I’d do something fun before getting to the nitty-gritty workflow.


Our summer got off to a pretty slow start. The record snowfall this winter kept us off the trails for much of the spring and early summer. Then we had the surprise move, which took multiple weekends to pack, clean, move, unpack, and furnish a new place. But we are comfortable in Mammoth now. And summer is finally in full swing! Here’s how we spent the weekend:


Rafal works four ten-hour days each week, meaning we get excellent three-day weekends. That also means Thursday night is our Friday. Even though I’d been cooking dinner in the crockpot all day, when Rafal walked in the door, I just said, “Can we go somewhere?” And he replied, “Hell yeah!”

Living in Grant there was never the opportunity to just go out and grab dinner, so we were delighted by this novelty! We went to Yellowstone Pizza Company, which Rafal proclaimed to be “the best pizza [he’s] ever had in the West.” (I’m still partial to Pinky G’s in Jackson, but this pizza was damn good.) We followed this up with scoops of Montana-made Wilcoxen’s ice cream at Yellowstone Perk, right next door. It was a great way to kick off the weekend!



Friday was meant to be a grocery day, but since we didn’t eat the dinner I’d prepared the day before, we decided to stretch it.

We live just a stone’s throw away from the famous bathing spot known as the Boiling River, where thermal hot spring water pours into the Gardner River. Due to the heavy snowfall this winter (creating higher-than-average water levels), this location was closed until about a week ago. Despite all the time we’d spent in Yellowstone, we had never dipped into this beloved pool.

Rather than get into the car and drive to the parking lot, we thought we’d try walking to boiling river! So we suited up, popped Lydia into the backpack, and set out. We took the Lava Creek trail down to the river and continued along the bank. In 30 minutes, we traveled from the threshold of our door to the glorious, steaming hot river!


Some places were too hot to handle, and other spots were freezing cold. I found a spot with both extremes on either side of me–Lydia relaxing on my lap–and settled in. It had been way too long since I’d been hot-spring soaking (or “hotpotting” as they call it here), and I was in heaven. I can’t wait to return in fall, winter, and spring!


On the way back, we took a different route, and I nearly shed tears climbing up the steepest hill with Lydia on my back. But we saw this beautiful young bull elk, so it was OK.



Saturday we had to go to Bozeman for groceries. We shopped, had brunch at Nova Cafe, and sipped tea and Townsend’s Teahouse.

I bought a new outfit that was so cute that I went into the bathroom and changed, and Lydia got some new shirts, too. It was a lovely day, and now we’re stocked for two weeks.



Sunday was slated for a hike, and since we’d had such success with the Boiling River, we decided not to get cars involved. We geared up, put Lydia in the backpack, and walked right out our front door. We took the steep social trail about one-mile uphill to the historic district of Mammoth. Here we met up with the Sepulcher Mt. trailhead. We took this trail up past the Beaver Ponds, climbing to Clagget Butte. We made our way across the lush alpine meadow, overflowing with wild flowers, and then turned to back down toward the hot spring terraces. Lydia even hiked on her own for a while.


Finally, we made it back to the same trailhead, walked out through Mammoth, and made our way back home. The whole trek added up to 7.3 miles (over 3 hours and 50 minutes). It was steep and challenging and gorgeous.

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching a movie in bed. Then we drank decaf coffee to rally our spirits and forced ourselves to clean the house.     


That bring us up to Monday morning. I’ve already been awake for hours and I’ve crossed nothing off of my list.

Maybe now that I’ve taken a few minutes to catalog this restful/eventful weekend, I can put my shoulder to the grind. Only four long days until we can do it again!

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