I was sad to leave the Yellowstone area. I toyed briefly with the idea of staying longer, but I knew we had a schedule to keep. I had already made a lot of reservations – I didn’t want to cancel them and re-think our itinerary. The idea of returning next year for three and a half months made the departure less painful.

As we drove to Livingston, Montana I realized it was our six-month anniversary of RV life. It was a cold and rainy February 11 when we picked up the RV from the RV mechanic bozos who had been attempting (and failing) to repair the heater. Our first night’s stop was only 34 miles after retrieving the RV. And it was 34 miles in the wrong direction! We had our reasons, but I wondered if traveling 34 miles in the wrong direction was a bad omen for our travels. Now six months later, I know we are very much smarter than we were on February 11. There have been some difficult moments, but we’ve had a lot of fun too. So how would we celebrate this anniversary? With food of course! We had a very nice dinner in Livingston Montana, more upscale than our usual restaurant choices.

Realizing that six months have passed, I thought about how reality has affected our original ideas of RV full-timing. Thanks to my friend Linda for planting the seed of this question. We have drastically changed our minds about RV life. Before we even drove one RV mile, we thought we would really like the travelling and seeing different places. Originally, we thought staying in one place for a week was a long time.The idea of staying someplace for a month was an extravagance – desirable, but still an extravagance. After all, the USA is really BIG and we’ve got to get moving to see all the parts we haven’t seen yet. The first itinerary was supposed to be a quick tour of some Western spots in the winter and then a summer in Labrador, Newfoundland, and all of eastern Canada. Dear reader, you know that didn’t happen. The reality of travel time and diesel dollars have changed our view. Next year, we’ll avoid Winter by spending two months near Phoenix and  two months in Las Vegas. For Spring, we’ll spend about 3 weeks near San Francisco and one month in Oregon. Summer  and early Fall will be three and a half months in Idaho near Yellowstone. Late Fall will be a month in Santa Fe. Of course there will  be some traveling time to get from point A to point B. Next year, our mantra will be fully realized – “More ‘R’, less ‘V’ makes us happy.” We’re going West and staying West. I don’t know when the RV will get East of the Mississippi, but it certainly won’t be in 2014.

After our delicious anniversary meal and a good night’s sleep, we drove on to Garryowen, Montana. What’s in Garryowen? Stay tuned.