Wednesday, October 16, 2019

If you plan it they will come... day nineteen

Tuesday October 15th

Frosty morning in Buffalo WY
It was quite chilly when we woke up this morning, chilly enough that I had to scrape the windows before we left the campground. Noticed on the way into town for breakfast that it was only 35ºF/+2ºC! Our dining choice for this last day of the road trip was the Busy Bee Diner attached to the Occidental Hotel on Main Street. The Busy Bee has a long history in the town as does the hotel.

Heading in to the Busy Bee.
Sharon and me checking out the art on the wall.

After breakfast we decided to take a walk up main street and find the post office as Phyllis wanted to mail some postcards and letters before we got home. Buffalo has maintained its architectural heritage over the years, it's lovely to see these older buildings maintaining the character with which they were built.
We found the Post Office!
Stepping into the lobby of the Occidental Hotel is like stepping back in time! There is period furniture throughout and what appears to be the original tin ceilings!

Hotel lobby entrance.

Occidental Hotel lobby
Andrew and Phyllis enjoying a game of chess...
Parked in front of the Occidental Hotel. Busy Bee is on the far left.
We picked up some goodies at Lolly's Sugar Shack for the next leg of the drive, returned to our vehicles and headed northward again. Our planned route will take us through Billings which brought back some memories! Fortunately we didn't have to stop this time passing through without incident to Lavina where we filled up with gas. The highway turns westward at Lavina as we headed toward our lunch stop at the Harlowton MT rest area

Westward bound towards Billings MT.

At a quiet Harlowton Rest Area.
Somewhere on this stretch of highway the inside tires on the back of the RV lost all their air! Andrew and I tried to pump them up but it turned out that the valve stems had broken which meant the tires wouldn't hold air! We decided to make our lunch and then see if we could find a place to fix the problems. We were directed to Wheatland Services just a couple of minutes further west. We were pleasantly surprised to find that they could take the RV in right away. Andrew stayed at the shop and I drove Sharon and Phyllis to see if we could find a coffee shop. We had no luck as most of the stores on Central Avenue were either empty or closed for the day... and it was only three o'clock! One hour later the tires were repaired and we were back on the road. 

Almost done!
Our plan for the rest of the trip was to head home fairly directly. We filled up with gas in Great Falls which gave us plenty to cross the border at Sweetgrass. The crossing wasn't busy and went smoothly with the customs agent saying welcome home! After many days of 129kph / 80mph speed limits it was almost relaxing to be driving at Alberta's lower 110kph / 68mph limits!

On the road to Great Falls
Next stop was Tim Horton's in Lethbridge where we stopped for a coffee and a snack. After one last stop for gas in Fort MacLeod and we headed north on Highway 2 for Calgary. 
Tim Horton's we missed you!

We arrived home quite late but we were looking forward to sleeping in our own beds for the first time in almost three weeks! Tomorrow I'll have a look at the car and see if I can figure out what's causing the miss.

Here's a few numbers for for the statistically minded:
  • Distance travelled: 11,118km / 6908 miles
  • Highest elevation reached: 2388m / 7834 ft at Raton Pass
  • Lowest elevation: 32m / 107ft below sea level in the Baltimore tunnel
  • Highest temperature: 38ºC/100ºF between New Orleans and San Antonio
  • Lowest temperature: below 0ºC / 32ºF in Moose Jaw SK on the first night and Buffalo WY on the last night
  • States visited: 21 (plus DC) 11 of which we hadn't been to before. We have now driven a Festiva in 36 of the lower 48 states! 
  • Provinces visited: 2, one we live in and one we've been to before 
  • Festivas seen other than at the North Carolina meet: ZERO!!!

The drive home from Buffalo WY!
What's next you may ask? We did talk about future road trips over the past couple of days and we would love to hear your recommendations and suggestions. Let us know by leaving a comment below.

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