Good morning. Last night, our goal was to head towards Island Park/Big Springs area. Find a place to camp and “rough” it for a day, maybe two. On the way there, we decided that we should go to Yellowstone. Since I am a disabled Vet, I have a “Golden Access Pass” that lets my vehicle tour Yellowstone free.
We called ahead and found a KOA that had some spots open. Now, in my mind, I am thinking of the KOAs of my childhood. The bathrooms full of flying bugs but clean enough, a crotchety old man or woman at the front desk, maybe an old outdoor swimming pool and lots of grass and dirt for the babies to play. I remember so many different KOAs and they were all the same.
Not so. We get there and it’s a veritable theme park all by itself. They had over 300 different camping spots. Everything from a bare patch with no extras to a full-fledged spot for the biggest camper/RV you could buy. They had WiFi, cable television broadcasting, swimming pool (indoors) with a hot tub. They had vendors selling donuts, coffee, you name it. It was a theme park, not a campground.
We went through the process of trying to find a spot to camp. The ones they offered for tents (the ones they had left) were on a hill. You wouldn’t be able to put your tent without sleeping at an angle. They told me to look at another spot and another spot. Finally, we found a spot. Grass, fire pit, table, done. I went to pay and, because I picked a nice spot, it wasn’t $39, anymore. It was $74. Um. No. We’re on a budget. KOA is supposed to be great for those on a budget.
So, I decided to haul my little family up the road, closer to Yellowstone. Mind you, it was 7 o’clock, the boys were hungry and wanted to stay at that great place we stopped at. I trudged onward, asking Jen to feed them tuna and keep the peace. She did.
We stopped in Yellowstone. One guy had a campground but he was sold out. He told me, get your butt up past Yellowstone. There’s a national campground that is cheap and has some spots left. I did. We found a site that had 4 spots left and there were cars in front of me. Blessings on us, we got one of the last spots.
And it started raining. Thunderstorms, drenching rain, putting up tents. Boys were in the Rendy watching a movie. Yes, I love that movie player now and again (I refuse that for them unless on long trips). The neighbors got their tent up and came over to help us get our two tents up. They were so nice! We only had a minute or two left in the process, but that’s ok. They offered!
We got tents up, Jen started unpacking to the tents and mommy got a fire going with one of her magic fire packets. Very small, the size of a pack of cards but nearly as thin as a card, get the fire started quick and warm. I put a coffee pot on the fire to get warm for hot chocolate and then got out a soup pan and made tomato soup. Everyone loved me for hot soup and hot chocolate.
We made some marshmallows and cleaned up the boys. They were in bed at 10:30 p.m. and took nearly a half hour to settle. by then, I was whooped. Woke up several times, checking my phone, listening for the boys in their tent and completely missed when Caiden hollered for me at 3:30 a.m. Jen heard him. At 5:30 this morning, I got up and made a fire with just the materials I had. No magic packet. I only have one left.
Water is boiling for breakfast and the first child just got up. Today? I’m going to cook breakfast on the fire. Eggs and bacon. A lot that know me are giggling right now. However, I will persevere and win! My boys will eat!
I will post pictures later, when we have time to sit for a bit. I have a lot of them.
Thank you for listening,