Idyllic best describes our days of camping in Yellowstone Park. Our campsite had room for at least four tents. Lots of space lay between us and our tent-only neighbors from Germany, France and Minnesota. My outdoor kitchen sat on a picnic table in a towering pine forest with the Madison River only yards away. With everything from vegetables to noodles prepped before we left home, our Miso Vegetable Soup and Garden Vegetable Stir-Fry came together in a few colorful and very fragrant minutes.
We had gorgeous weather with a gentle breeze clearing the air of smoke. We had neither a watch nor a computer and the cell phone remained off. We spent our days outside hiking, driving and eating. At night we slept on heavily padded cots in our 6-person tent with a vestibule. Pretty comfy camping.
This easy 5 mile loop through lush green meadows and healthy pine forests has become our favorite hike as well. We traveled the whole way alongside the Firehole River leading to a solitary geyser known as the Lone Star Geyser.
Fortunately, Maggie told us where to access the trailhead. We saw only one barely readable sign half-way to the geyser. (FYI, when you’re next in Yellowstone Park the trailhead is east of the Kepler Cascades pullout, 3 ½ miles southeast of the Old Faithful overpass.)
The Lone Star Geyser
The monolithic geyser appeared totally quiet. Instead of the massive numbers of people as at Old Faithful, we saw only 6 people sitting on a fallen tree acting as their bench. They excitedly told us all about the last eruption a half hour earlier. One man eagerly showed us the video he filmed of it. Someone else told us that a Park Ranger at Old Faithful said the next eruption would be at 12:30 p.m.—another 90 minutes away.
. . . puts on a show
We agreed to one last glimpse of the geyser before departing. But I started hearing an unidentified hissing and crackling sound. Suddenly steam spouted out the top of the geyser. Then a burst of water shot a few feet into the air. Within a couple of minutes there was a full-on eruption of the Lone Star Geyser 30-plus feet into the air and lasting about 10 minutes. What a spectacular show for the dozen of us gathered there.
. . . and sends us off with a smile
Viewing my photos yesterday, I saw something I hadn’t noticed while at the geyser. This Lone Star Geyser has a very sweet and smiling face. Obviously happy to be of service to those of us who make the trek.
On the hike back to our car we passed a number of people hurrying to make the 12:30 time-table. We’ll never know if they too enjoyed a show performed by the smiling Lone Star Geyser.
Yellowstone Park has it all
What would a Yellowstone adventure be without bison? This he-man stopped and slowed traffic for a rather long time. He walked down the yellow line seemingly indifferent to people and cars. In awe, Paul took this photo from our car window as we very slowly drove by. I love the graceful way he points his foot before stepping on it.
Miso Vegetable Soup when camping and at home
Add these two other recipes for Miso Soup to your repertoire. Rich with vegetables and soba noodles they make a satisfying and healthy meal any time of day.
- Creamy Miso Soup w/ Veggies, Greens & Sobas
- Miso Soup w/ Vegetables and Soba Noodles—Camping Version
Plenty of colorful and nutrient-rich vegetables, shiitake and soba noodles transform miso soup from a light accompaniment into a healthy and substantial vegan breakfast, lunch or dinner. Similar to last year’s camping recipe, I again rely on Trader Joe’s instant miso soup packets. Shiitake mushrooms, broccoli florets and kale leaves and diced stems round out this recipe for Miso Vegetable Soup. The shiitake add Asian flair and rich taste along with B vitamins, minerals and protein.
Active time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30-45 minutes*
Yield: 2-4 servings as an entrée
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ onion, thinly sliced pole-to-pole
2 large carrots, halved and thinly sliced on the diagonal
1 medium-sized broccoli crown cut into small florets, the stem thinly sliced
1 large clove garlic, minced
½ inch piece fresh ginger, minced
½ teaspoon sea salt
6 cups water
¼-inch diced stems from ½ bunch kale
6-9 shiitake, caps sliced, stems discarded or reserved for preparing stock
½ bunch kale leaves cut into 2-3 inch pieces
4 ounces soba noodles, pre-cooked
2 individual packets Trader Joe’s Instant Miso Soup
Heat the oil in your pan over medium-high heat. Stir in the sliced onion. Place a lid on the pan and cook until the onion becomes transparent, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the carrots, broccoli, minced garlic and ginger. Sprinkle the vegetables with the salt and stir in the kale stems. Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are just tender, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the sliced shiitake and kale leaves.
Add the water. Cover the pan and raise the heat to high. When the water boils reduce the heat so the soup simmers. Once the kale is tender stir in the soba noodles. When the noodles are hot, add the contents of the Miso Soup packets and stir gently to dissolve in the soup.
*The total time will depend upon the efficiency of your stove, most especially if it is cold outside.
Click for a printable version of this recipe without images