RV Trip Update Week 18: Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake

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On Monday we crossed the border, leaving Canada and entering back into the USA. But not before we did one last Canadian candy run–we stocked up on Canadian Smarties, Mars bars, Coffee Crisps, Scotch Mints, and my favorite candy bar.

We spent our first night back in the States in the small town of Shelby, Montana. The next morning we drove to a KOA just outside of Glacier National Park.

RV Trip Update Week 18 of 22: Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald.

Since we arrived at lunchtime we thought we would go into the park that day, get a map and talk to a park ranger so that we could make a decision as to what we wanted to explore during our two full days in the area.

Once we were done we decided to drive down the portion of the Going To The Sun Road that is currently open to vehicles. This portion goes the length of Lake McDonald.

Lake McDonald was so beautiful. The water was a deep shade of blue and was so clear that it acted like a mirror reflecting the images of the many snow-capped mountains that line its shores.

RV Trip Update Week 18 of 22: Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald.

When we reached the lodge we parked and walk down to the lake. There we found a dock where I couldn’t resist sitting down and letting my feet dangle in the water. It sure was cold, but it felt so good.

RV Trip Update Week 18 of 22: Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald.

Although the portion of the Going To The Sun Road after the lodge was currently closed to vehicles, you were allowed to either hike along it or bike it. We chose to bike it. We have been dragging along five bikes for this entire trip and have barely used them so it was great to finally put them to good use.

I bought a rear detachable wire basket for my bike back in Florida that is very similar to this one and it worked great for holding our lunch, extra water and our camera.

We ended up eating our lunch by the river’s edge about two thirds of the way into our bike ride.

RV Trip Update Week 18 of 22: Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald.

In total I think we biked about 20 miles that day. It was beautiful weather and the views were amazing. We made it all the way to where they had the road closed even to bikes. I asked another biker there if they would snap a picture of us. They were kind enough to oblige. Oh, how I wish my husband wasn’t wearing his hat! Even after lightening up the picture you can’t see his face. OH WELL. We do have other better family photos at other locations along the way.

RV Trip Update Week 18 of 22: Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald.

Thursday we decided to try a trail that was much longer than any other trail we have attempted on this trip.

We went to Lincoln Lake Trail in hopes of making it all 8 miles to the lake to have lunch and then come home.

RV Trip Update Week 18 of 22: Glacier National Park, Lake McDonald.

However the trail turned out to be a bit steeper than we thought and one family member in particular was not happy about going up hill for so long.

We made it in about four miles when the trail was about to take a very steep downhill for another mile or so. I looked at my husband and we both shared the same thought in our facial expressions. There was no way the child who complained so much about the first two miles of uphill was going to make it up these two miles of uphill on the way back.

So we sat down right there and ate our lunch while enjoying the mountain views between the trees. I must admit at the end of the day a part of me was glad we only went eight miles round trip as my thighs were hurting me, but part of me really wished we had seen Lincoln Lake with our own eyes.

I must admit though the child that had a rough start finished the hike with a good attitude and that made my mom heart gush.

RV Trip Update Week 18: Glacier National Park, Flathead Lake

Most nights this week have been warm and light. Many nights my husband and I have spent an hour or two outside reading side by side. I finished At Home In The World that I had started the week before.

I so agree with Tsh’s thoughts at the end of her nine month long travel with her family of five. She basically says that she knows the trip has changed her, but she feels like she won’t know how until she returns to everyday life in the States. I feel exactly the same now that we only have four weeks left of our 5 1/2 month trip. I know this trip has changed me but right now I can’t pinpoint it. I read the quote to my husband and he said, “Man, that is how I feel right now too.”

If you have a wanderlust growing within you to get out there and see the world I am pretty sure you will really like At Home In The World.

I have now started on The Nesting Place: It Doesn’t Have To Be Beautiful To Be Perfect and it is helping me think about exactly what I want to do to our home in Indiana when we get there. It once seemed quiet and cozy, but in the last few years I have felt like it has gotten cluttered and chaotic and I am ready for that to change.

 

RV Trip Update Week 18: Restaurants we tried in Polson, Montana.

Friday we left the West Glacier area for Polson, Montana on the shores of Flathead Lake.

We didn’t do much Friday except for grabbing lunch from Burgerville (very good) and groceries for the next few days from Walmart.

By the time we had all our groceries put away it started to rain and didn’t stop until sometime early Saturday.

We headed out to explore a few areas Saturday including the pictured Lake City Bakery where we all grabbed doughnuts and some rolls to use for lunch.

I really like trying out locally owned restaurants, bakeries and cafes as we travel. The prices are usually really good and so is the food. We have only had one or two places where the food was okay, not spectacular, but none where we truly disliked all that we were served. Trip Advisor and Yelp really help us choose ones we know we will like.

RV Trip Update Week 18: Flathead Lake, Kerr Dam.

After feasting on doughnuts we headed out to the Kerr Dam, about a five minute drive from downtown Polson. The icy blue waters were so beautiful against the rocky sides of the waterway.

RV Trip Update Week 18: Flathead Lake near Polson, Montana.

After lunch we went for a brief walk around the shores of Flathead Lake in the Polson area.

And now I am back in the RV typing this because Sunday is going to be a very long travel day. Yep, I am spending Mother’s Day driving 8 plus hours to our new campsite near Craters of the Moon. From there we will head to Yellowstone–so be sure to come back next week to see the photos.

Come back next Monday to see what we got up to this week.

Join me on Instagram for daily updates. I am doing my best to post one photo update a day on Facebook too.

First time hearing about our trip? You can catch up on our all our trip updates on the RV trip page.

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RV Trip Update Week 17: Canadian Rockies, Drumheller

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I just realized with week 17 behind us we are starting week 18 and that means we have just 5 weeks left of our 22 week RV road trip.

The realization fills me with all sorts of emotions. Part of me can’t wait to get home to enjoy real defined rooms with doors instead of curtains, but a larger part of me doesn’t want the journey to end so quick.

I feel as though we have just scraped the surface of all the beauty North America has to offer. I am also loving living with less stuff. I can feel a major need to purge what we left behind during the trip growing within me. I don’t really miss a single possession I left behind. I miss friends and as I said rooms, but little else.  Well, there is one item I do miss: my couch. The one in the RV just isn’t as comfy.

Now let’s dig in to what my family explored this week.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Canadian Rockies, Canmore, Alberta

We spent Sunday afternoon through Wednesday morning exploring the Canadian Rockies. We stayed in the town of Canmore Alberta. The views of the mountains from our camping trailer were amazing. White snow-capped mountains everywhere you looked.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Canadian Rockies, Yoho National Park

We took the kids to the Natural Land Bridge at Yoho National Park. The land bridge is now in two pieces due to erosion, but the view of the falls and the aqua blue water in the river below is such a beautiful site.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Canadian Rockies, Lake Louise

The same day we went to the land bridge we also took the kids to two nearby mountain lakes that Jack and I have enjoyed in trips past. We thought we would be able to show our children the brilliant blue waters contained in the lakes. Instead we ended up allowing them to walk on the still frozen waters of Lake Louise.

The other lake, Lake Emerald, was also frozen. So we ended up telling the kids to simply imagine the blue waters they saw at the falls in the lake they were now walking on. Not exactly the site we were hoping for, but still it is pretty cool to get to walk on water.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Canadian Rockies--Elk everywhere!

While in the Rockies we saw numerous elk. One night I was sitting outside reading my book and when I looked up one was  approximately 8 feet away from me and staring. The whole experience seemed so surreal. They didn’t seemed bothered by my presence at all.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Calagary Sunset

Wednesday we left the Rockies for the city of Airdrie, which is just outside Calgary, Alberta. The first thing I noticed here is that their sunsets and sunrises are just as pretty as the ones in Indiana.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Drumheller, Horseshoe Canyon

We spent our first day in the area taking care of a trailer issue (you can view more details about that here on Facebook)

Friday, however, we got out to explore the area. We took a road trip to nearby Drumheller where the environment differs quite a bit from the rest of Alberta.

Our first stop was Horseshoe Canyon, which reminded me of the Painted Dessert in Arizona that we saw during week 7 of our trip, but on a much smaller scale.

 

RV Trip Update Week 17: Drumheller, Royal Tyrrell Museum

After a brief stop at the World’s Largest Dinosaur (here is a picture of it on Facebook) we went to the Royal Tyrrell Museum which is filled with dinosaur fossils found throughout Alberta.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Drumheller, Star Mine Suspension Bridge

With a good chunk of the day still available for exploring we went to the nearby Star Mine Suspension Bridge. This suspension bridge swayed a lot more than the one we went to in the Lynn Valley. It was longer too. And the bottom was a wire mesh. Yes, it was sturdy, but it was a bit disconcerting seeing the water below my feet as the kids hopped and skipped across making the bridge sway.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Drumheller, Hoodoos

Our last stop of the day was the Hoodoos. For some reason I thought they would be larger than they were. They stood just a few feet taller than me and there were only half a dozen or so. It was still neat to see them and explore the surrounding hills.

RV Trip Update Week 17: Breaking bread with family along the way

With the end of this week comes the end of breaking bread with family and friends. Since arriving in Victoria during week 12 we have spent a good portion of our time reconnecting with family and friends.

What we discovered is that time and miles do not end true relationships. Pretty much every time we visited a new family we left feeling like there was only days between our last visit with them instead of 10 to as much as 15 YEARS.

Starting this week when we cross the border into the USA it will be just our family of 5 at the dinner table each night for the duration of the trip. The people we caught up with will be missed, but we hope to see them again, with much less time between visits than we allowed last time.

Thank goodness for Facebook updates and messages to bridge the gap miles create! Sure, social media has its downfalls, but it is also so good at keeping us connected with those we love from afar.

Come back next Monday to see what we got up to this week.

Join me on Instagram for daily updates. I am doing my best to post one photo update a day on Facebook too.

First time hearing about our trip? You can catch up on our all our trip updates on the RV trip page.

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RV Trip Update Week 16: Okanagan

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I know–“Weren’t you in the Okanagan last week?” Yes, we were. When we were planning our  trip we decided to spend two weeks on Vancouver Island (where I grew up) and two weeks in the Okanagan (where my husband grew up). Then we allowed each other to come up with the game plan for their own childhood hometown area.

I decided to wander up and down Vancouver Island, moving the RV to four different spots since my parents are gone and my remaining family lives scattered throughout the island. My husband decided to stay in one place since his family is still all in the same town–Vernon, B.C.

Once we made our plan known to Jack’s family, his sister blessed us with a huge sacrifice on her part–she gave up her entire home for two weeks. She has been living in her RV over at her parents’ home while we have been enjoying having bedrooms with real doors and showers without shower shoes.

By the time this travel update is posted, however, we will be back in our RV traveling further eastward.

But that is next week so for now let’s dig into what we got up to this week.

Emmanuel Baptist Church, Vernon, B.C.

Sunday we started our day with church service at Emmanuel Baptist Church. This was our church home when we lived in Vernon 15 years ago.

We didn’t recognize the majority of the congregation, but we did see a few familiar faces in the crowd and enjoyed catching up with them .

BX Falls--a trail explored during week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

 

After a quick bite of lunch, we picked up Jack’s sister and headed to BX Falls. The trail up to the falls was fairly muddy due to all the spring rain, but that same spring rain did make for a beautiful, foamy white water fall.

 

Shuswap Pie Company. A restaurant we enjoyed during week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

Monday we headed to the nearby town of Salmon Arm. We stopped first at a local flower & gift shop owned by a friend in the area. If you live in the Salmon Arm area, be sure to check out Wildwood Flower Emporium. It is full of beautiful flowers and local arts and crafts items.

After catching up with Ellen (the flower shop owner), we asked her where she thought we should go for lunch. She suggested the Shuswap Pie Company as well as a few other places. We went with the Pie Company because it sounded so good–and it was.

My husband and I had the Shepherds pie. Yep, they sell a wide variety of meat pies! One of our sons had chicken pot pie and the other two had sandwiches. All five of us loved our meals.

 

Sunnybrae Community Park. A stop during week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

 

After lunch we headed out to Sunnybrae Bible Camp where friends of ours work. When we were just several minutes away we noticed we were over a half hour early. Apparently the camp was not as far away from Salmon Arm as we remembered (oh, how 15 years can fog up your memories).

We felt it rude to show up so early so when we noticed a nearby park we pulled in and took a walk along the beach and then sat down and soaked up the view for a while. The picture above was taken where we waited. Pretty nice view to enjoy!

We had such a good visit with our friends that the time flew by and before we knew it was past dinner time and they had meetings to get to and kids to pick up. We ended up picking up a quick dinner in town, but I felt bad for our friends who probably ended up making do on the snacks we had that afternoon until their errands were done.

 

Views from the top of Middleton Mountain Trail during week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

 

Tuesday we enjoyed a mostly at home day. Well, at least the kids and I did. My husband left mid-afternoon to go see a friend of his in Kelowna and didn’t get back until midnight.

I did go out in the morning for a run, though. That morning I chose the Middleton Mountain Trail. This is a very steep hill full of homes. When I was in my 20s I walked up this hill like it was “nothing”. Now that I am in my 40s  this hill kicked my behind!

I am going to blame it on the fact that I have lived in a very flat part of Indiana for the last 15 years and not my age. In fact, after I finished my run (slow jog) I texted my running partner back home in Indiana and said we needed to start doing one hill filled run a week.

Of course in Indiana we won’t find anything close to the size of this hill but we can find a few.

 

View of Rattlesnake Point during week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

 

Wednesday we took the kids out to Kalamalka Provincial Park. Jack and I went last week, but we wanted the kids to see it too.

We hiked a bit deeper into the park this time so that the kids could take in more views of the lake and see just how big the Rattlesnake Point of the park is.

Ellison Park view seen on week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

 

Thursday we let the kids enjoy sleeping in and then after lunch we took them to Ellison Park–a provincial park on Okanagan Lake.

Rock cliffs in Ellison Park that we explored during week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

 

When my husband was in his late teens and early twenties, he enjoyed climbing and  rappelling on the rock cliffs inside Ellison park. This rock he is standing in front of is one he had me climb and rappel when we were dating.

 

View of Okanagan Lake enjoyed during week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

 

Friday we were going to spend the day mostly doing errands, but I just couldn’t resist going out for another hike. Especially since the day ended up being one of the best ones we have had during the two weeks we have been in Vernon.

I hopped online in the morning and found Turtle Mountain listed as a place to hike. We first went down the Canal Trail where we enjoyed views of the entire town from Swan Lake to the hills above Kalamalka lake.

As we were heading back to the truck I said to my husband, “These are not the views I saw online.” He replied that he had seen another trail on the other side of the road from where we parked.

And that is how we found Rocky Ridge Park with its incredible views of the Okanagan Lake end of the Vernon area. It is what you see pictured above. That is my husband sitting with our eldest son, Thomas. I snapped the picture without them knowing–dad and son conversation moments on this trip warm my mom heart.  It is one major blessing of this trip. Normally Jack is gone 10 hours a day or more but these past 16 weeks he has been available to bond with his children pretty much 24/7 and I see them all getting closer in their relationships with him.

The Okanagan--Week 16 of our 22 week RV road trip.

Saturday we had a few errands to do before we left town on Sunday, but we still managed to fit in an afternoon hike with Jack’s sister to the Cosens Bay area in Kalamalka Provincial Park.

 

Thrifty & Thriving: More Life for Less Money

So this week’s 10th picture isn’t one of something we saw this week, but of something I did. My book Thrifty & Thriving: More Life For Less Money is finally done and ready to purchase in both paperback and Kindle format.

Here is the book description…

We all know that thrifty family—the one that manages to live on a cash budget with ease. They don’t worry about their credit card bill, because there isn’t one.
They seem to wear what you wear and eat what you eat, even though they may earn less than you do. Yet they are free of the financial worries that cause you hours of anxiety each month.
How do they do it?
This book is going to show you their secrets. This is not your typical “how to save money” book. It does not list 25 ways to save on food or 10 ways to decrease your electric bill. Instead, it shares more than 40 key practices and principles that thrifty families use every day.
Those practices and principles are broken down into manageable action steps that YOU can use to start changing your finances for the better—one small, snail-pacing step at a time.

 

Come back next Monday to see what we got up to this week.

Join me on Instagram for daily updates. I am doing my best to post one photo update a day on Facebook too.

First time hearing about our trip? You can catch up on our all our trip updates on the RV trip page.

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