DISCLAIMER….This post documents our vacation from September, 2019. We continue to write while being at home because of social distancing due to the coronavirus. This post takes us into Grand Teton National Park where we saw the only moose on our entire trip. The date is September 18th and it is still my birthday. I encourage you and yours to visit all the beautiful places that the USA has to offer once our great nation overcomes this terrible obstacle in front of us. If you missed any of the Living in the Moment posts from this series, the links are listed at the bottom of this blog. Stay safe and God bless, we will get through this!

When we arrived at Colter Bay the scene was as beautiful as anything we could have hoped for. The mountains, the crystal clear lake, the clouds hanging in a beautiful blue sky and all the amazing washed stone on the beach, made for the perfect atmosphere for my birthday hot chocolate.

We hurriedly got our camera equipment and bag of groceries out of the van and found a picnic table exactly where we wanted to watch the sunset. It was chilly and we knew as soon as the sun dipped behind those mountains, it would the perfect temperature for our delicious hot treat. My birthday wish was to be right here at this moment with my sweet husband watching the sun set over the mountains and drinking hot chocolate. I like cake, but this was going to be a non-traditional birthday to remember. So many times we imagine how things will turn out when we experience them for the first time. This was one of those times and this moment was better than I imagined and was truly surrealistic.

Frank started preparing my birthday treat, delicious hot chocolate. The ingredients are simple. Milk, Claude’s Hot Chocolate Mix, sugar and marshmallows (option or not). My preferred milk is Organic Valley 2% Lactose Free. I started drinking lactose free when I was sick several years ago and never went back to regular milk after I had my surgery. We brought our favorite mix with us from Florida, Claude’s Chocolate in St. Augustine, FL. They make some of the best homemade chocolate you’ll ever taste and this is the best hot chocolate mix we have ever had, period. Nothing else comes close to the luscious sweet chocolate bomb this hot chocolate sets off in your mouth! If you’re ever lucky enough to get your hands on some, we recommend altering the package directions. For us, we found if you take three heaping teaspoons of the mix combined with three regular teaspoons of organic cane sugar and 16 oz of milk, you get the perfect large cup. Claude’s is closed right now due to Covid-19 but hopefully will be opening soon. If you ever get to St. Augustine, it is worth going to their store which is a little outside of town. Once they are back in the shop, you can order online as well.

With everything out and ready, Frank hooked up the MSR Pocket Rocket stove and we were off to the races. While the hot chocolate was heating up, I stirred it and made sure it didn’t boil over. The cameras needed to be set up.

Frank set up the GoPro to time lapse video the sunset. The GoPro was new to us for this vacation and we didn’t have much experience with it. What the hell…we decided to just go for it. Worst thing that would happen is it wasn’t any good and it would get deleted.

We thought the time lapse was pretty good. Watching the clouds move and the sky get darker while staying warm was like an out of body experience. I just couldn’t believe we were right there at the moment that I envisioned before we started this journey. If you watch all the way through, the blue and orange jackets are Frank and me experiencing a truly perfect moment in time.

The photos here have not been altered and they capture the blueness of what we experienced that evening. The calmness of the water allowed for shadowing that can only be expressed as mystic. The temperature started dipping fast as the sun magically disappeared behind the mountain.

To say my birthday was perfect is an understatement. I shared my special day with the man I love on an amazing adventure in Grand Tetons National Park. It started with a ride down Mormon’s Row, followed by a grand picnic on String Lake, then a quick hike on the String Lake Trail and a yummy hot chocolate sunset over the mountains at Colter Bay that completed the glorious day that God provided us. This is what we call “Living in the Moment”.

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, Lunch at Otter Creek, Mount Washburn, Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Paddling the Yellowstone River, The Tiny House, Old Yellowstone Trail, Gibbon Falls – Drive to Old Faithful, Old Faithful, The Lakes, Jackson Hole, String Lake. Please look forward to our next post as the adventure continues.


  1. Absolutely beautiful and peaceful. I can only imagine seeing that sunset first hand. Oh wait, it’s like I did 😊

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    • It was in the 60’s during the day and in the 30’s at night. There was snow on the peaks at higher elevation. A storm hit the whole area on the 24th of September so it is the time of year that can be a bit unpredictable. We were fortunate that we flew out on the 23rd. So there is more to come. 😊

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