I think because it has been so hot lately, we started talking about what we could do, where we could go next Summer. And because we have planned a *lot* of flying on our upcoming trip to Italy, we immediately started with "where can we drive?"
Well, we let our imaginations loose, and plotted a route through the USA and Canadian Rockies, then back down along the Pacific coast - oh, that looked great! However... A quick run at an itinerary showed us we would be on the road for almost THREE months!
We quickly cut out the Western leg, and plotted a return through Denver. That dropped it to less than two months, but none of it had us stopping for even as much as a week. That didn't sound very relaxing... The kicker though was when I took a quick survey of places to stay in Yellowstone - the park is so huge, there is simply nowhere near enough to stay and make short day trips into the park. Everywhere I looked, lodgings were booked up even through next Summer (yes, over a year away). No, I'm not really surprised...
So, while we're still thinking about a way to visit Yellowstone, what we really feel we need is a trip that can be a little looser, and still include the Rockies. Since housing seemed to be an issue, I checked on hostels in Banff and Jasper - no problem! I could even have reserved a room for next week! This is more like it! Of course, this smaller, shorter jaunt will mean flying to Canada and renting a car, but even that will be less stressful than a meandering drive with a Yellowstone headache in the middle.
But, this one?
And, as Rick said - instead of one big vacation, this short trip means we can take another one somewhere else!