Cooking dinner in a downpour
It had been raining all day our last day in Yellowstone. Instead of mobbing the trails and geyers, people were hunkered down in the campgrounds, and we weren’t able to get a spot on the west side of the park. So we left the park and found a great National Forest campground north of West Yellowstone, MT (great name: Baker’s Hole, referring to the fishing, of course). It finally stopped raining and we assembled our dinner gear, despite the threatening skies. Then I looked up and saw a cloud just dumping rain to the west of us. It was coming our way. I no sooner pointed it out when it started to downpour. I ran for the car for an umbrella to hold over the stove. Everything else on the table was instantly soaked. We considered giving up on dinner, but decided to press on. The one thing we wanted right then was a nice, warm dinner. It rained harder and harder, then the thunder and lighting started, then the wind. It was really cold. But we weren’t giving up; it was too late for that. I started stashing things back in the van, drying them off as I went while Paul hovered over the stove with an umbrella. Despite the umbrellas, we were soaked — pants, shoes, shoulders. As soon as our chili and rice finished cooking, we scrambled into the van to eat in the front seats. The windows steamed up and the air smelled good at first but would soon reek of stale chili, wet feet, and damp things. But we made it work. Two hours later it stopped raining and we were treated to a gorgeous sunset.