Posted by: George | July 10, 2010

George’s Happy Place

Breakfast at Dornan's

July 8, 2010 (morning)

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, and my favorite place in the world to eat breakfast is Dornan’s at Moose Junction in the Teton National Forest. The chuck wagon restaurant has been offering meals at the foot of the Tetons since 1948.

I broke camp early this morning, by 6:30, and was at Dornan’s about ten minutes before they opened. I ate sourdough pancakes, eggs, and sausage, drank coffee, all while gazing at the Tetons, sitting at a bench outside, wearing a sweater and a fleece against the morning chill.

I have eaten here before. On one trip, eating breakfast later in the day, I watched a rock climber ascending a sheer face of the Tetons. I could spot the climber with my naked eye, but just barely. That will give you some idea of how close Dornan’s tables are to the Tetons.

I was last here in 1996, at that time, with my entire family—Donna, Jay, and Jeff. We were on our way to a sea kayak float trip, three days and two nights, with guides, on the paddle arm of Yellowstone Lake. That was the last time we were able to take a vacation like that before Donna’s health worsened. Usually, breakfast at Dornan’s is pure joy. This time, it was tinged with a little sadness.

As I was about to leave, I took a picture for a couple, with the Tetons in the background. Jeremy and Wendy, from Santa Cruz, were well into their first trip to Yellowstone.  We spent a few minutes sharing stories about our favorite parts of Yellowstone.

Jeremy said, “You don’t have to plan the trip, you just drive, and it unfolds.” Steinbeck would love this guy. In Travels with Charley, he wrote, “We do not take a trip; a trip takes us.”

Wendy said that they were already talking about returning before they even arrived in Wyoming.

Between the three of us, we had maybe seen one percent of the amazing sights in Yellowstone. If ninety percent of the park disappeared tomorrow, I would still come back.

Of course, ninety percent of Yellowstone will disappear someday. The park sits over an enormous bed of lava that will one day explode. Not for a few thousand years, I hope.

The entire time we talked, some ten or fifteen minutes, we wore broad smiles. Yellowstone is that kind of place.



  1. As I understand it, most life on the North American continent will disappear when that happens.


    • Yea, it will be bad on many levels.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: