This weekend was a glorious one, and I’m going about it backwards, because I can. WOO.
Saturday night Chris brought over spices and vegetables and all the ingredients to make pizza. I knew I’d be taking a backseat- my culinary skills are nothing at all compared to his- and relegated myself to documenting and ooohing and ahhhing as well as pouring the wine. Which we all know is quite important. It was a delicious pinot noir, and I am proud to say I picked a good one.
Proscuitto, marscapone, mozzarella, mushrooms, red peppers, and green onions completed the kaleidoscopic creation. All of my oohing and ahhhing was legitimate- when it came out of the oven we both swooned.
Cue 4 am. Groaning and moaning and sleeping a bit more. Cue 4:21 am. It’s serious getting up time.
Around 5 am Chris drove us through the sunrise, giving me the luxury of seeing landscapes I hadn’t seen before. Paradise Valley opened before us as the sky blushed pink hues while classic rock played on the radio. I was in luck to have the chauffeur that I did- he pointed out all the peaks and places, knowing the area like the back of his hand. It was odd being the passenger in my own car, but in a good way.
Upon arriving at our destination, we bemoan that we are not the only souls there. Nonetheless, we put on our packs and walk down, excited for the morning to unveil itself. We slip and slide into the river with our water shoes and gasp at the varying temperatures. Steam billows and swirls in a surreal sort of dance. A giant river growler full of water is placed bravely by Chris on some rocks- he has to wade and swim through bone-chilling water to get it there, which he claims is the best thing ever. I am dubious. Later I do it, with shrieks and yelps and lots of splashing.
We spend the morning moving up and down the thermal spots, finding ourselves scalding and freezing simultaneously. We try and find perfect spots. A bald eagle appears from nowhere, incredibly gorgeous and regal. Eventually after spending so much time soaking, we crawl out and dry ourselves off. Out of the sage come elk- 2, then 6 or 7, then 10, and then 20, then more. We make our way down the trail, me feeling like a tourist snapping pictures. We are close, maybe too close, and leave after I snap a few frames.
Upon arriving in Gardiner, we park and I rush inside in my bathing suit and shorts to find a place for pie. The woman inside shows me and we drive literally a block- the map of Gardiner is foolishly out of perspective. The cafe was almost empty, and we order apple pie a la mode, which came with two scoops of ice cream (thank you kind waitress!). We eat the pie and I exclaim over it again and again, so happy to be eating something so good! Chris says we’ll be going somewhere just as good, if not better.
While leaving Gardiner, all of a sudden I hear “Check that out!” and Chris begins talking about some beautiful truck I don’t see. He does a U-turn in the street just so I can see it, and when I don’t see it again he does another one (I am blind, surely) and upon seeing it I understandd- the cherry red paint and perfect white are gorgeous!
We get the most amazing burgers and shake at Marks. By now I am a lobster, pink and burning and freckled. I had not applied sunscreen. Oops. A little girl in line stares at me, probably my incredibly pink cheeks and nose, and I laugh, knowing how ridiculous my pasty skin looks burned. We wolf down our food- it was incredible, really- and drive back to town. By we I mean he. I was a passenger again, lucky creature that I am.
We ride bikes and climb things and I panic and freak out and he nimbly scales a boulder. We point out neighborhood homes and I remember how much I used to bike and I love it again.
I drive away and make it home as the sunsets, full of adventure.