A few days of warm weather and hope springs eternal! It’s been one year since things shut down here, in fact one year exactly as I start this post my job went away. What I hoped would be a few weeks took nearly the entire year to get back to a few days per month instead of three days per week. It’s been a year of adjustments for everyone, whether it was work or dealing with health problems or the fear of health problems. It’s been a year of realizing everyone handles stress differently and knowing when to let go of the old and embrace the new, whether it’s a new lifestyle, friendships, new ways to celebrate or to mourn. For our community March 23rd will mark a full year that the bridge that connects us to the city, the highway, the world (!) has been closed after being deemed unsafe. The timing was brutal, combing it with Covid fears and our local businesses took an even harder hit. It’s been…. a year!

Looking forward I am counting the days until we depart for Yellowstone. The map of the park is hung on the wall and my hiking book is on my end table with a few post-it’s nearby. I realized this morning that while I’ve been picking up dried and canned food items for the rv – it’s a hodgepodge. There are random items but no plan to bring them together. This morning I sat with 3×5 cards and wrote down what I know I have tucked away and built a few meal ideas around them. I bought cans of shredded chicken and it took me a bit to remember why. It sounded horrible – canned chicken – until I thought of how we made keto pizza crust and from there I thought about stir fry and then enchiladas. I have boil in a bag rice…. so can add frozen (or fresh) veggies to stir fry with soy sauce to season. The small can of sliced olives just needs jalapenos and cheese and the low carb tortilla shells to make nachos. Thank goodness it’s all coming together with just a little thinking. Am I going too far if I take my quart and pint containers, and the collapsible ones too, down to the rv freezer, move the baking soda we keep in there to keep fresh, and practice loading it so I know how to Jenga the containers together ahead of time?? I would love to take my chicken stock and make matzah ball soup for a dinner and prepare chili ahead. Well, I’m guessing we won’t starve and no doubt we will stop and get lunches as we travel, but it’s good to know we will have things that fit within the low carb, diabetes friendly meal plan.

I’m looking forward to a few specific hikes at Yellowstone. I have to admit when the description says there are good chances for wildlife sightings I get excited and then I read further on what type of wildlife and, gotta say, not a fan of having to be BEAR AWARE while I’m exploring! I’m happy to be able to visit their home and I respect they were there before me so I want to give them a wide berth – really, seeing them from the window of the rv on the side of the road with a pair on binoculars will be very gratifying. I don’t need to see a bear on a trail or wandering through my campsite. I’d be disappointed if I didn’t see any wildlife but I am very happy to look for spring blossoming and the early signs of summer in nature – not finding myself crossing between a newborn bison and her mama! I need to dig my camera out and start practicing again so I can get good photos from Artist’s Point when looking at the falls.

The virtual walk to the peak of Mt Kilimanjaro is keeping me motivated to walk each weekday, it pushes me up the stairs that I would rather avoid! I’m at 33% with 39 miles to go. I’ve enjoyed watching a few videos of people climbing the mountain in a ‘real’ walk. The climbers really support the community, as they must hire a chef and staff from the local area to accompany them up the mountain. In some videos it looks like the wait for a Disney attraction, so many people in a straight line waiting for the person ahead of them to take a step so they can take a step. Other hikers appear to be having a more organic hike, just them and their guides/crew. I am counting the steps, miles and days to complete this challenge.

#yellowstone #GMCMotorhome #homeiswhereyouparkit #vintagecamper #preparingforretirement #livinglarge #minimalism #virtualwalkingchallenge #rvmeals #rvstorage #collapsibleconainers #alltrailsapp

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