One of our favorite things about travelling is having our own food when playing outside. When we arrived in Bozeman, MT and left the airport, we drove straight to Walmart, picked up a cooler and proceeded to The Co-op (an organic grocery store). We had already planned out our 10 day menu before leaving Florida. Armed with our detailed grocery list, we made great time in the store. What we couldn’t find at The Co-op, we were able to pick up at Albertsons. It’s great to see how many of the large grocery chains are adding more organic and whole food options for their customers.
Pete, our fantastic tour guide from Paradise Gateway B&B, had told us about the best spot for lunch near Yellowstone Falls and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. The Otter Creek Picnic Area is located between the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Hayden Valley. It’s right on the Yellowstone river and you couldn’t find a more picturesque spot. There is a large pull out with plenty of parking for a short picnic like we had or for a longer stay to try your hand at fishing along the banks. Like almost all of the designated picnic areas in the park there are no restrooms or cooking grills and you always have to be on the look out for bears. Way to go Pete another bullseye!
There are 7 picnic tables at this wonderful spot and we had the best one. It was right on the river and so scenic we could have stayed there all day. On the menu today were local grass fed organic beef hot dogs we bought at the co-op with a fresh salad. Frank sauteed the organic weenies in butter using our MSR Pocket Rocket burner, while I set the table and got out the condiments. They were absolutely delicious. Frank cooked an extra hot dog that we shared with a biker sitting at another table alone. He had been eating freeze dried food on his journey and said “This is the best hot dog I’ve ever had”. We agreed! Of course, the beauty and wonder of our amazing atmosphere didn’t hurt the tasting experience.
The view of the Yellowstone River at the Otter Creek Picnic Area was breathtaking. With the sun shining brightly and a light wind, there were no flying insects to partake in our picnic while we enjoyed the scenery.
The Yellowstone River was flowing nicely here and as the wind changed direction, the river almost became glassy at one point with the trees and mountain side reflecting in the water. As we were enjoying this wonderful moment, 2 common mergansers fished for their lunch. I guess we weren’t the only ones that thought this was a perfect spot.
As we were finishing up our delicious lunch, a small bird flew down onto the riverbed for a drink. I freaked out as I looked into the binoculars because this was a red bird I had never seen before. I grabbed my camera and started clicking at what I wasn’t sure, but knew it was a life bird for us. As I was shooting, another flew down next to the first one that was drinking from the cool water. Because of the shadows, I still didn’t know what I was looking at. It wasn’t until I got back to the B&B that night that I realized I had photographed a male (red) and a female (yellow) Red Crossbill. They must have been a pair.
Living in the Moment is what we do while enjoying our time in nature. If you missed any of the other Living in the Moment Series, you can click on them here. Just After Take Off, Day 1, Day 2 Mammoth Hot Spring, Day 2 Traffic Jam, Day 2 Undine Falls and Lava Creek, Lamar Valley – Slough Creek, Day 2 Trout Lake