A Mirror of Reflections

I don’t know about you, but I can’t believe it’s September already.  Our summer flew by, and although our travels didn’t exactly go as planned, we are not complaining.  Actually, we couldn’t have planned our summer any better.  Sometimes winging it can turn into an amazing adventure.

Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park

The travel God’s smiled on us regularly as we changed directions on a whim.  I mean literally from one second to another we were changing our minds on where we should go and pulling into campgrounds without reservations…. not ideal in the peak of tourist season.  One minute we were in crisis mode pointing the RV in an easterly direction, and the next, with the crisis averted, we found ourselves turning around and heading north; traveling with no real rhyme or reason other than some impending obligations.

Jackson Lake, Wyoming

Jackson Lake, Wyoming

The flexibility and freedom of traveling in a RV can be liberating, exciting, stressful, wonderful, scary, perplexing, and of course, relaxing …… it’s kind of like a rollercoaster of emotions, but minus the word relaxing.  As much as I love a good rollercoaster ride, I’ve never found one to be relaxing – exhilarating yes, relaxing no!  And RVing can be an exhilarating journey.

Jackson Lake, Wyoming

Jackson Lake, Wyoming

Along with seeing spectacular scenery this summer, we met some wonderful people.  More than once we were referred to as “seasoned”.  On July 1st, we entered our fourth year of full-time RV living.  Our one to two year intention of living in the RV full-time has since turned into year four.  I’m not sure when we progressed from “newbie” RV’er to “seasoned” RV’er, but here we are,  still enjoying the journey, and willing to share our school of hard knocks knowledge with any “RV newbie” who asks.

Grand Junction, Colorado

Grand Junction, Colorado

I’ll admit, three years ago as a relative ‘newbie’, I would never have handled the winging it style of travel we embarked on this summer.  I’ve always been a planner and usually have a game plan laid out weeks in advance, and most times, months in advance.  I think, over time, we’ve developed a level of RVing confidence. We have confidence in knowing we’ll always manage to find a place to overnight, even if it’s just a parking lot.

Loved visiting the ducks at Schbacher Landing, Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Loved visiting the ducks at Schwabacher Landing, Grand Tetons, Wyoming

There are days I do miss a home base.  A place to go back to and regroup, but I still haven’t found that spot I’d like to call home.  So the search shall continue.  I do know it won’t be Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  Although amazingly beautiful, and I look forward to returning, my blood is too thin to tackle that weather.  More than once we awoke to temperatures in the 30 degree Fahrenheit range along with a fresh dusting of snow on the peaks and this was in mid July …. beautiful BUT brrrr!

I don't think I'd ever tire of this view, but I couldn't live here - too cold...brrrr!

I don’t think I’d ever tire of this view, but I couldn’t live here – too cold…brrrr!

The moment I realized this weeks photo challenge was mirror, I knew I had to share some images from our summer excursion ….. photographs depicting reflections.  I’m still struggling with my computer issues, thus my lack of blogosphere presence may continue, but now that we’ve decided to slow our travels down a tad and spend the next two months hanging in Prescott, Arizona, I’m hoping to finally upgrade this dinosaur of a laptop.

Yellowstone Bear World, Idaho

Yellowstone Bear World, Idaho

Once I bring home that new laptop, I’ll start writing about our interesting travel stops.  Not only do these photographs depict reflections, as I review them, I reflect on our memories, on our journey, on the adventure.

Grand Junction, Colorado

Grand Junction, Colorado

Slate River Road, Crested Butte, Colorado

Slate River Road, Crested Butte, Colorado

My biggest dilemma was narrowing down the photographs to just a few, which was not an easy task for me.  We managed to visit some stunningly beautiful places during the past few months.  We started in Arizona last April then ventured into Utah, Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and now, five months later, have returned to Arizona.

I was excited to see a Pelican fly by - Pelicans in Wyoming?

I was excited to see a Pelican fly by – Pelicans in Wyoming?

Lots of ducks

Lots of ducks

Mountains and Wildlife - love it!

Mountains and Wildlife – love it!

Yep, we had one heck of a rollercoaster ride this summer ….. wouldn’t change a moment….. not the highs, the lows, or the upside downs.  Stay tuned for all the stories!

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113 thoughts on “A Mirror of Reflections

  1. There is a good bit of insanity involved in this life isn’t there? We’re taking the plunge in April and moving into our conversion van full time and whew, it’s scary. Exciting but scary. So scary! Thanks for the post- helps to realize we’re not the only ones out there making plans and then changing plans, and then making plans, lol! Looking forward to following your adventures!
    http://www.venturewild.net

  2. Wonderful post and photos, Ingrid! The reflections you captured are amazing. And I am amazed and thrilled with your pelican sighting in Wyoming, so cool. We found out too that the altitudes of the beautiful west mountains produced chilly nights and sometimes we had to turn on our heater in the morning to take the chill out. It was awesome, knowing how extreme the heat and humidity was back on the East Coast. 🙂 You’ve been an inspiration in our journey this summer, thanks for all your support and advice! xo

    • Thank you Donna. I love the diversity of the landscape in the west. Isn’t it amazing how just a one hour drive in any given direction can change the weather as much as 20 degrees? Hope we bump into each other one of these days. I’d love to go bird shooting with you 🙂

      • The west landscape is spectacular! I still feel like I’ve been in a dream on all the beauty we’ve seen. We will be back out west for sure, and I hope we can bump into each other, what fun we’d have! 🙂

  3. I’m so glad to see you post again! Been wondering about you and what’s going on. Looking forward to catching up on your summer activities, and hope you are able to get the internet/laptop issues worked out soon. I know that must be very frustrating. Loved all you fabulous photos! We haven’t been to Wyoming and the Jackson Hole area in a very long time, but I remember how breathtakingly beautiful it was. Makes me want to go back again. Welcome back! 🙂

    • Thank you D. I’ve missed the blogosphere and hope to get back into regular posting and commenting soon. We fell in love with WY but boy oh boy does it stay cold even in July.

  4. BEAUTIFUL!! You have the most beautiful photos I have ever seen! I have been trying to post here and there this past summer. Hard to get on a computer when there is so much to be done and so much fun to be had outdoors. Instagram makes it a bit easier for me because of the quickness of it.
    I will be headed to AZ end of September… let me know when you are in Phoenix. Hugs to YOU! Miss YOU!

    • Absolutely! We’re reconsidering staying in TX all of Feb. The weather will definitely make the decision for us, but will surely be back in Phx in early March.

  5. Definitely looking forward to those stories, you’re promising Ingrid.
    As always your photos are so wonderful – this time – Wyoming and the Tetons, I’ve been to; quite some time ago. Your photos make me yearn to get back there!

    • It’s hard not wanting to return the minute we leave. We stayed at some great places this summer, many of which I’m already anticipating returning to 🙂

  6. Beautiful collection of photographs. I love when you can see the reflexion in the water, it’s always very artistic. I hope you use a big zoom for the bear, it looks scary 🙂
    Can’t wait to hear all your stories 🙂

    • Capturing images reflected in water is one of my favorite subjects. That Bear was at a wildlife park and thus not too far away.
      I’m working on those stories 🙂

  7. Welcome back, Ingrid! I have missed you this summer and was so glad to see your post. What a beautiful collection of Teton photos! I admit that we have not ventured out in our RV at all of late. We are enjoying relaxing in our new home. We have almost been here a year already! I am hoping we make it to the Smokies this fall, in between grandkid birthdays and Halloween.

    Good luck with your Best Buy trip. Better luck this time with your new laptop!

    Holly

  8. Your photos and words always reflect so much beauty – the beauty of this world and of your soul! Keep on winging it and sharing your journey. You’ve been a great guide and inspiration for us! We breezed through Wyoming and got caught up in the ‘practical of life’ so this post is more than appreciated, it was a great reminder of what an exhilarating journey we have had — and of what more we can experience. Thank you! Hoping that the travel gods continue to bless and guide you to amazing places and spaces! 🙂

    • Awe, thank you. As you well know, it isn’t all rainbows and unicorns out here, but it is quite the adventure – one I’m not ready to give up anytime soon. After two months of moving around a lot, it is relaxing to sit for a spell. I’m hoping to take advantage of the down time and get caught up with ‘life’ 🙂

  9. Great reflection photos of some amazing places. Hope you get your computer woes taken care of soon, miss seeing your posts. We’ll be doing our first winging as we leave the caravan and head across Canada to the midwest. The provincial parks don’t accept reservations after this weekend so we have no choice since we’re really ready for a different type of park.

    • I’ve missed blogging so hope to return to regular posts soon. We’ve had a great time “winging it” and don’t think you’ll run into any problems considering it’s September. Is Dave liking the new camera?

  10. That is really unique virtual tour! You have talent and I like all beautiful photos, my best is the bear, so natural and cute 🙂 Thanks for sharing. Bye. Kamila

    • Thank you. It’s been a fun summer, but hectic. I’m looking forward to slowing things down and getting caught up on the blog. Always nice hearing from you 🙂

  11. The Tetons are one of my favorite parks. Much more so than Yellowstone. I love those rugged peaks! Boy you sure captured them! I rarely see them without lots of cloud cover. I love the dusting and the really crisp views. Great reflection pictures!

  12. Beautiful “mirror images” Ingrid. Looks like you’ve had a spectacular summer! And congratulations on year four—we just started our fourth year of full timing mid-June, as well. Amazing how quickly the time passes. Enjoy fall in Prescott (what a lovely place to be!) and hope you get those computer issues resolved soon. 🙂

    • Thank you Laurel. Sometimes things pan out better than we plan and we really lucked out this summer on so many fronts. I can’t believe we’ve entered year four when our plans were to do this only a year or two. It seems, the more we travel, the list of sights we want to see keeps getting longer. How can that be?
      I hope your family in FL is ok and the winds and water haven’t effected their property. I thought of you when I saw Apalachicola on the storm map. Fingers crossed, all is well!

  13. Gorgeous reflections! I get my new computer next week! 😀 😀 I’ll need some time to learn my way around Windows 10 but I’m certainly looking forward to it. In the meantime, I am organizing my photos and storing them on my external drive.

    Looking forward to new stories!

    • I would recommend TWO externals…. just to be on the safe side 😉 When I got the new computer last April (crashed after 10 days and returned), I had to Google “how to” a lot regarding Windows 10. It took a little getting used to, but I adjusted just fine. I really liked the new computer and set it all up and downloaded a bunch of stuff only to be greeted with the “blue screen of death” one morning. Must be pretty bad when HP customer service recommends I return the computer for a refund 😆 Thus, I recommend back up and a back up to the back up!!! I’m heading off to Best Buy today to take a look around. Still don’t know what I want…
      Keep me posted on the new laptop and how you like it. I’ll be cleaning this old one up today to see if I can make it run a little better so I can start posting again.

  14. Very lovely photos! It is hard to just pick a few for a post.
    I’m a planner also and the husband is a winger. We let the other one be in charge whenever the situation changes. I’m sure we’ll be great when full time.

    • Sounds like you guys will be pros at full-timing and since you’re already part-timing, I think you fall into the ‘seasoned’ category easily 🙂 We’ve visited some really fun spots this summer that I’m sure would be right up your alley.

  15. Ingrid wonderful to see you here! Your collection of reflections from the summer are stunning. Hoping the highs of the previous months far outweighed those lows and upside downs.

  16. Love hearing from you and seeing your gorgeous photos again:) So much of what you said sums up our thoughts exactly after six years on the road. I have always been a planner, so when we embarked on this new lifestyle, I was surprised how relaxed I was without planning ahead with reservations. I love having the freedom to read an interesting blog post and change directions to go visit that place:) This isn’t for everyone, but works for us. Of course, we do have a few reservations a year ahead because we know we want to be there and won’t be able to get in. We can always change our mind and cancel later.

    Where are you staying in Prescott? I wish they had a better selection of parks. This is a town on our list of potential places to settle. But we haven’t found that “this is it” place yet either:)

    Enjoy your long visit:) We do enjoy month+ visits. Your first photo is my favorite, however, I enjoyed all of them:)

    • The first couple of years of full-timing, I was always nervous about finding that ‘right spot’ to camp… no more. In this lifestyle, everything is temporary and we always seem to find some place to park. We’re camped at the Fairgrounds RV Park in Prescott so I can take time and look at Real Estate. We won’t be buying anything for at least a couple of years, but I want to get the lay of the land to see IF this is an area we’d want to settle down. I wanted to stay at Orchard Ranch RV Park but that place was all booked up. We lucked out snagging a site at the Fairgrounds and surprisingly pleased with our site. The place at Granite Dells doesn’t offer monthly rates but does offer location. Always a trade off, isn’t it?
      Like you, I do have some reservations set up far in advance which is a necessity for those peak times and favorite places. We’ll be in Phoenix Nov, Dec, Mar, and Apr. Let me know if you’ll be passing through 🙂

      • We stayed at Point of Rocks RV Park during our visit. The first thing that comes to mind whenever I think of returning there is the dust. We’ve never been to a park where the dirt roads were SO bad. It seemed the park was in a cloud of dirt all the time. Share a few photos of your site if you would:) We need to spend at least a month at some point to really immerse ourselves in the community for a better feel. But we did like all the hiking available, the selection of stores, and the community size. We’ll have to discuss what you found this winter. We will be at White Tank for four days the second week in March as of right now. So we will have to try to connect:)

        • We should be back from TX by the second week in Mar. I can’t remember when our Phx res starts (think the 7th). We’ll definitely get together… look forward to it 🙂

  17. Your photos are just beautiful! I have been wondering how you are doing and am so glad to find you enjoyed your summer in such spectacular places. I’m with you – no snowy winters for me!

    • Thanks Beth…. my computer saga is so frustrating. Sometimes, I can’t even access my blog, grrrr. And commenting is a whole other issue – double grrr. Our quest for a home base continues. Hurricanes and snowstorms will not be a consideration 😆

    • You would love the Grand Tetons, Judy….. no white knuckle roads for you to traverse and some lovely National Forest to enjoy. We look forward to exploring more of Wyoming.

  18. I love your photos, and it is giving me a broad view of the US. So enjoy your travels and hope your computer problems can be overcome, and you can keep on blogging!

    • Thank you! The U.S. has so much vast and beautiful landscapes to explore and hubby and I have barely touched the surface. I’ve got a plan to deal with my computer issues and hope to be back to regular blogging soon 🙂

  19. What an upbeat, positive reflection of life on the road!!! 😉 So happy you’re happy!! What I’d give for a new camera and of course, such “rooms with a view!” Some real beauties Ingrid! Happy Fall in AZ!

    • We’ve been fortunate to have enjoyed some amazing views this summer, but remember with every up there’s at least one down 😉 I always have my eye on some sort of new piece of equipment, whether it be a new laptop or new camera. A gal can dream, huh!

  20. Oh, wow! Your summer looked spectacular. Love those mountain views. The reflections you caught are incredible. Enjoy your break in Prescott. Glad to read about your travels. I missed you.

    • Thanks Char. The break is needed after all the moving around we did in July and August. We’ve enjoyed our views, but I must admit, your new home sure has a nice backyard. I’d love to find a home base with amazing views.

      • I am quite in love with my views. Funny thing was that wasn’t really what I even noticed when I looked at this house. I was focused on the inside…but now I think outside even better.

        • A pond, birds, and mountain views… pretty great! And I know, in a couple of summers, you’ll have that yard looking spectacular filled with all kinds of flowers. Since I don’t have my own yard, I’m counting on you to cyber share yours 🙂

    • Thanks Sandra. I enjoyed following your summer excursion with your grandson, but was unable to comment. We’re enjoying the weather here in Prescott thus far 🙂

  21. You have a beautiful grouping of photos representing ‘mirror’ Ingrid. We too love both Montana and Wyoming. Sitting here in So Cal these past few days where the temps have been above normal, I would welcome cooler weather. Having lived in Yellowstone NP for two years, however, I remember how long the winters seemed. Look forward to hearing more about your summer adventures.

    • We have traveled to and from extremes this summer…. scenery AND weather. We were in Flagstaff last week and when I came down with a cold, I wanted to move to warmer weather. So we headed south and boondocked in Cottonwood where outside temps were 95 and inside the RV 103. Talk about having my own personal sauna LOL. Now that we’re in Prescott, Goldilocks may have found her ‘just right’ – at least until fall/winter season arrives.
      I could never live in the high country. The winters are way too long and summers way too short. We enjoyed our southern Colorado climate which is why we are intrigued with Prescott.
      Javelina’s Mexican Res in Sedona was just what the doctor ordered for my cold symptoms. Wish I had felt better to get in some Red Rock hiking ;-(

      • Hope your cold has moved on now Ingrid. I am keeping my fingers crossed that nothing attacks me before we hop on a plane to Paris. We really like Prescott as well. We thought Sedona was the ticket but it is still hot in the summer, although it does tend to cool off more at night. Not many idyllic places (weather-wise) in the country for all 4 seasons, is there?

        • As you know, my health has been compromised the past few years, thus it takes me a little longer to recover, but I’m on my way. The trails will have to wait a tad for my presence 🙂
          You’re so right about finding an idyllic place. As long as I can still travel during the ‘bad’ time of year, I’ll be happy with pleasant weather 75% of the time. I loved my climate in southern CO and Prescott is very similar. All that rock in Sedona I’m sure radiated heat during the summer peak…. hot!
          Wishing you a fantastic journey across the pond. I know this has been a bucket list adventure for you and I look forward to your posts sharing the excursion. Just remember, enjoy every moment and the blog can wait for your return 🙂

          • Let the trails wait. Take care of yourself. As for blogging while I am gone, I will just be doing short posts, when the internet is available, then provide more information when we return.

  22. Can’t wait for the next installment! I can see why you had trouble choosing your photos…they’re all fantastic.

    • Thanks Susan. When surrounded by extremely beautiful scenery, I think it would be difficult to take a bad photograph. I love the diverse landscape this lifestyle allows.

  23. I agree: sumer has gone by very fast. As to Wyoming: that’s on our bucket list still. Just now we’re planning a trip up to Nebraska, taking our bicycles with us for some rail trails.
    Have a great Labour Day weekend,
    Pit

    • The freedom is wonderful and every time I think I’m ready to settle down, I realize I’m not. I’m only good in one location for about 30-60 days and then I’m ready to move on in search of greener pastures. Will this ever get boring? I hope not. I have a camera to wear out LOL!

    • There’s so much more of Wyoming we wanted to explore but we were so enamored with the Tetons, we had trouble moving on. Perhaps next summer!

    • Hahah…. love the comment. Life on the road is always eventful and we’re grateful when there’s more ups than downs, and rarely boring 🙂

  24. Your photos here, Ingrid, are truly incredible. All of the beautiful places you have visited, just from this post alone it is evident how seasoned you and your husband have become. I can see how you would get skilled at changing up the schedule after this many years and venues. You have much beauty to reflect upon, congratulations.

  25. Great to hear from you Ingrid – I’d about decided you sold the trailer, bought a house, gave up blogging, and went back to work. You shots are awesome as usual and we were at a couple of those places this summer.

    • Sell the trailer and give up blogging? Never! Well maybe, one day, but not soon. Please note, I may not be able to comment, but I’ve been lurking about following your travels. You’ve hit some fun stops this summer yourself and I’ve enjoyed tagging along. Although, you always make me hungry 😆

  26. Great shots! I think I have this photo prompt covered too. How fun to spend a couple months in Prescott. Love it there. I like the winging it part of this life. I too was Mrs. Trip Planner, back in the day. Not so much anymore.

    • It’s probably like anything in life, the more we do, the more comfortable we get. Al and I still can’t believe how frequently we changed directions this summer and did so with ease…. rather fun. Just like you guys are looking at land in WY we too are looking for a parcel with maybe a barn, not interested in a house. Just have to find the right elevation and views. Ah, what I wouldn’t give for one of those Mormon barns 😉

  27. Your pictures are beautiful!! I love the way you write and the way you tell a story! We just left Wy as a fire was starting to really get going!! It was very hazy on all the mountains! In the Dubois area there had been a pretty big fire just before we arrived and the town still had numerous firefighters and trucks everywhere!! Such a shame!!

    • Awe, thank you. We wanted to visit Dubois but had obligations requiring a return to Colorado. We were fortunate to be in Idaho and Wyoming before the fires broke out. Last year during our Badlands visit, the skies were all hazed over from the fires. It’s always scary and sad. You’ve been hitting up some beautiful places this summer yourself.

  28. Beautiful photos, Ingrid! We just celebrated our 1 year anniversary at our Colorado home and we couldn’t be happier. We love it here so, so much! While you are living that “exhilarating” lifestyle, we are relishing a “relaxing” one. Enjoy Prescott!

    • There will come a point and time when I’ll be ready for that “relaxing” lifestyle. I just have to find the right spot to do so. I’m so happy for you guys that you found ‘that spot’ and look forward to visiting. Vallecito Campground was recently recommended to us as a great place to camp and I think it’s just north of you. Miss you guys and your blog posts. Be sure and let us know if you’ll be passing through AZ.

  29. Lucky you! It’s nice to be able to just go on a whim and not have a plan sometimes. I plan and plan and plan and sometimes those plans don’t pan out. Oh well…

    Wyoming looks divine! I’d love to be able to go there someday.

    • For those of us that have worked in the airline industry, we all know plans don’t always work out and flexibility is key. As a former pilot and flight attendant, Al and I always keep our schedule fluid and allow for bad weather. We’ve encountered plenty of disappointment during our travels, but the good seems to outweigh the bad. Wyoming is definitely a state worth visiting. The extreme scenery is breathtaking.

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