Sunday, August 30, 2015

Chuck Wagon Dinner

Returning from the Chuck Wagon Dinner in Pleasant Valley in the northern part of Yellowstone.

Every year I tell myself I will go on the chuck wagon ride and dinner out of Roosevelt Lodge.  And somehow time runs away from me and the availability of seats is limited on this popular tour.  But this year I planned for the late August lull.  And I planned enough in advance that I was able to get a "transient room" at Roosevelt.  Transient rooms are used by employees who need to travel to villages other than their main base.  But, when available, they can also be used by other employees.  I had a cabin, designed for three employees.  Roosevelt is a more rustic location than the park's other villages.  Rooms are heated with wood stoves, there is no wi-fi or phone services, it is small and peaceful.  Some cabins for guests come with  private bathrooms.  Many cabins are just a bedroom and guest use a communal facility.  Employees use  communal facilities.  I knew to bring a flashlight and something warm I could easily slip over my sleeping clothes.  My cabin was conveniently close to the wash house.    And I took a sleeping bag, which when combined with the two blankets provided and the wood stove, pellets provided, was quite comfortable.

I had a three employee cabin to myself.  The building below is the main lodge which includes dining facility and small gift shop

Caitlin drove my wagon.  While she drove, Kate narrated.  Its fun for me to hear someone else's commentary since that is what I do on the historic yellow bus.  She did a great job.  And so did Caitlin who  made a presentation to the whole crowd (8 wagons plus those who arrived on horse back) after dinner.  

Guest have a choice of riding a wagon or a horse.   I opted for the wagon. If you think it was because a wagon is easier, that may be true.  I am not accustomed to horse back riding.  But there was a more important consideration.  You are not allowed to carry anything on the horses.  That meant no camera.  So my choice was easy.

We had a half hour wagon trip.  Once at our site, we enjoyed a full dinner of steak, Roosevelt style beans, corn muffins, potato salad, coleslaw, and apple crisp.  I don't eat steak often and this was a treat as it was tender and flavorful.   We were entertained by Vic, a cowboy troubadour who sang cowboy songs, whistled and yodeled.  Caitlin then told a few stories around the campfire where pots of cowboy coffee were available for those who can manage caffeine in the evening.  I am not one of them.

Vic entertained us with his guitar and singing.

This wagon has the water for washing up.  The water spigot is activated by pushing on the horse shoes on the ground with your foot.

The wagons head back to the Roosevelt Corral after dinner and entertainment

Teddy Roosevelt visited Yellowstone and camped close to where the Roosevelt Lodge stands today.

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