YNP : Cook Out

Here at Yellowstone we have something called the Old West Country Cookout. It takes place on the Western Side of Pleasant Valley in Northern Yellowstone and the only way to get there is by the back of a horse or in a wagon. And they serve you all you can eat RibEye Steak, Cole Slaw, Corn Bread, Potato Salad, Roosevelt Baked Beans, Corn and Fruit Crisp. THis is an option for me five nights a week. I do have a tendency to skip the steak every night, though I do highly recommend it.

whatever the case, it is one of the most popular events in Yellowstone.

As mentioned, there are two ways to get to cookout, via a trail ride or by wagon.

Depending on the day, I generally do both, where one day I will shotgun on a wagon (basically talk your ear off on the way to cookout) and the next day I'll help wrangle one of the trail rides. Whichever one I do I am generally happy with. I've come to really enjoy shotgunning because I like to run my mouth. And I don't have stagefright (though I used to have it pretty bad). Plus, it kind of adds a nice variety to your day, as I usually am found wrangling trail rides during the day.

However, most of the time they have me shotgun wagons. Some people don't like to do it at all. If need be, I could drive a wagon too, but I doubt I'll be doing much of that this year.

This is the cookout site on a nice sunny day. We do this rain or shine, in fact they've only canceled it twice in the last thirty years, once on account of grizzly bear in the area and the second time because it snowed 11 inches in July. Honestly, they didn't cancel it on account of the snow, they canceled it because only two people showed up.

Its a really popular event regardless. We generally have a full house each night, people only cancel on account of weather (where if the weather is to bad, they'll cancel the trail rides out (you have to reserve a slot on a trail ride to cookout by February, they're booked solid throughout the rest of the season) but they always have a wagon available.

Skip is one of our Dappled Gray Percherons. Our horses are tied up at the cookout site, a lot of kids ask to pet them, which we are happy to oblige. They can pet the draft horses, but we can't go up to the saddle horses. For one, their rear ends are facing out, and for the average guest, that is not the most optimum place to be.

Curly's nose is pretty dang soft, the horses like to have their noses petted. Most people are surprised by how soft they are.

Sometimes kids are terrified however. But most people come up and thank me for the stories and mostly people just have a good time (even when drenched by rain!)

I might be a little sick of steak by the end of the season (though they do offer the wranglers an alternative meal) but overall, I think Cookout is one of my favorite activities of the day. meeting people from all over the world and just having a good time.

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