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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The Room A Month Extreme Decluttering Challenge

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Are you ready to get serious about breaking up with your clutter piles for good? I know I am and I have hatched a plan that I think will help me and you both.

Now this is really going to help you toss that clutter!

 

The Room A Month Extreme Decluttering Challenge

If you are a regular reader here at Snail Pace Transformations you know that currently I am on a 22 week RV trip with my family. This RV trip has given me lots of time to think about what I really want my home to look like–and I want it to look a whole lot less cluttered than it does now.

The trip has also given me the opportunity to live with significantly fewer possessions for just over 5 months–and I don’t miss more than a handful of the items we left at home. I miss my couch, my bigger kitchen counters and oven, my toilet and shower and a real bedroom door (our RV just has curtains). Those are pretty basic things. Not one of them could be considered clutter.  There are a few other things I miss from time to time, like my bread machine, and during colder parts of the trip my warmer winter coat. Still my list of things I miss is significantly shorter than the list of things I left behind.

Yet I still can’t bring myself to just call a friend and say, “Hey, can you empty my house before I come home?” That seems just a bit too radical so here is what I plan to do instead.

I am going to box up one room each month and what items don’t come out of those boxes by the end of the month are either going to be sold or donated.

How The Room A Month Extreme Decluttering Challenge Works

Week One

Box up all items of the room for that month except for the basic needed furniture of the room. I am talking bare bones furniture. For example, if you are doing your living room then leave just the couch and TV and perhaps an end table or two.

Finding an area to store the items might be tough. I suggest thinking about where a week or so before you start this challenge and then use that time to make room in that area of your home to store things. Perhaps you have a guest bedroom? Room in the basement? A storage shed? A garage? Wherever you choose try your best to make sure it is some place out of sight so you don’t feel like you are living in chaos for months and so that you are not tempted to take things out of the boxes every time you pass them.

Week Two

Do nothing! Simply let the stuff sit in the box, bringing out only those things you truly need or miss. Example, perhaps you really do need that table lamp to read by at night, or perhaps you really miss seeing those cute pictures of your kids. Dig out those types of things, but nothing else.

Week Three

Repeat what you did week two.

Week Four

After two weeks of doing nothing now comes the bigger task. Go to the boxes you stashed and divide the piles up between those items you want to sell and those items you want to donate. You haven’t seen any of these items for almost a month now so your attachment to them should be significantly less than what it once was.

The hard part is going to be not getting reattached to those items. Here is what I plan to do to limit that and I suggest you do it too. Purchase a good sized tote like this one and make it your keep box–or you can use one you already own. You can keep only what fits in that box (you can decided if the lid has to shut or not) the rest has to be sold or donated.

Remember: you lived without those items for a full month now. How badly can you really need something you haven’t used in a month?

Repeat this one month challenge room by room until each and every room in your home is done.

Drastically reduce your household clutter with this extreme decluttering challenge!

 A Few More Rules To Keep You Honest & Successful

In order for this challenge to work you have to be truly honest with yourself and set rules that will keep yourself in check.

Reselling Rules

After the first month of the challenge is done you should find yourself with items to sell. What I want you to do with those items is place a date  on the outside of the box that is four weeks from the day that you decided you would sell them. So if April 1st was the day you did your sorting then write May 1st on the outside of the box.

Now sell, sell, sell and if items are left in that box after the date passes then it is time to donate, donate, donate.

Let’s face it, we all have good intentions about reselling our items, but often those items just become neglected, gather dust and clutter up our homes. We want a 100% decluttered home when we are done so the sell pile at the end of each month must go.

Need some help with reselling items? Check out my Reselling Tips page where I share everything I have learned about reselling items.

Can’t decide whether to resell an item or donate it? Check out this post that offers guidelines to follow that will help you answer that exact question.

Donation Rules

If you would rather donate items than sell them, that is 100% okay. However, you still need to give yourself a few rules so that you do have a clutter free home at the end of this challenge.

Here is the most important rule to follow when donating items: get the items for donation out of your home as fast as possible. I suggest putting the donation boxes into your car the day you pack them and then head straight to the thrift store when you are done. The longer donation boxes sit in the home the more temptation there is to grab something out of them. Plus, a stack of boxes in the corner becomes clutter really fast and again–the aim of this challenge is a clutter free home.

Drastically reduce your household clutter with this extreme decluttering challenge!

How To Stick To The Room A Month Extreme Decluttering Challenge

In order for this decluttering challenge to work you need to stick to it for as many months as you have rooms and if you have a garage, garden shed, or attic you need to add a few more months to the challenge.

Decide ahead of time what will help you stick to the challenge. Do you need accountability? Join my Snail Pace Decluttering Facebook group. Do you thrive on rewards? Then decide what you can give yourself each time you finish a room. It could be something simple like allowing yourself the time to just sit and enjoy the newly clutter free room for an afternoon without feeling guilty about sitting that long or it could be something bigger like a weekend away once every room in the house is completed.

Drastically reduce your household clutter with this extreme decluttering challenge!

When I Plan To Begin My Own Room A Month Decluttering Challenge

I plan on getting started with my own Room A Month Decluttering Challenge in July. I will blog about my progress on Mondays here on Snail Pace Transformations and would love to have you join me.

Who is in? Tell me your start date in the comments below. Together we can transform our homes!

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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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