Nice sunset view as we pass over London, England, on our way to Albania.
Where are Kevin and Ruth now? Shkodra, Albania.

Where are Kevin and Ruth going next? Hiking the Peaks of the Balkans, June 13-24!

Monday, June 29, 2020

Bought some more flight tickets!

Back in April, we were scheduled to fly with Delta Airlines from Kansas City to Ottawa. Of course that flight was cancelled by Delta, and eventually Delta gave us a total refund when the U.S. Department of Transportation Aviation Consumer Protection Division mandated that they had no choice in the matter.

Unfortunately, not the same story here in Canada where the government stands behind big business instead of the consumer.

We also had purchased Westjet tickets for our daughter and grandchildren to come visit us at Cabri Park at the beginning of June.

Of course we never made it to the park, and eventually Westjet cancelled that flight as well.

But Westjet and Air Canada have fought tooth and nail not to give people their money back. And the government here in Canada has so far sided with the airlines. Not at all fair, and thousands of people are not at all happy.

Instead of a refund, Westjet offered a two year Travel Bank Credit (voucher) for the entire $1,031 CAD amount. I decided (for the time being) to accept the voucher as it was offered because I figured that we would use it in it's entirety at some point over the next two years.

Then, the other day I was looking at flights to Europe for this fall. Wouldn't you know, Westjet had a deal too good to pass up. $262 CAD ($192 USD) one way per person from Ottawa to London Gatwick, connecting in Halifax.

Ottawa to Halifax to London.

Rare to get a deal out of Ottawa. Usually you have to leave from either Montreal or Toronto to get a deal that good, so we are happy it leaves from Ottawa. We depart Ottawa October 12th and arrive Gatwick the morning of the 13th.

We figure we will spend a couple of weeks visiting friends and family in England (Ruth's parents are originally from England so she has a lot of relatives there) and then head to Germany to buy a motorhome. We may not use the motorhome right away, but at least we will have one set aside for spring 2021. We'll see. If we decide not to use the motorhome right away, we will carry on to somewhere different for the winter. Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka... somewhere along those lines.

This is all of course contingent on whether or not the world is ready for us yet. Worse case scenario is that we have to cancel the flight. There is no penalty, so the money would go right back into the Westjet Travel Bank.

In the meantime, back to our current situation...

Yesterday, we drove from Townsend to Gardiner, Montana. Back to the northern entrance to Yellowstone Park.

It was an overcast and wet day... with road construction! Not nice, but we decided to do it all in one day. 

The farmers will be happy with the rain.

Road construction!

And it went like that for about 12 miles (20 kms). The speed limit is normally 70 mph (112 km/h) on this stretch, so the people behind me were not happy to be stuck at 35 mph. There were also a lot of "No Passing" signs, so I ended up with about a dozen vehicles behind me.



Somebody has far too much time on their hands making these metal horse statues.

Scenery along the way.

We had no choice but to get on the Interstate heading to Bozeman.
Typical Interstate accident scene, Fortunately there wasn't much traffic.

We stopped in Bozeman for lunch and used the fast free Lowe's WiFi. Had showers in the rig and then headed over to fill the gas tank at $2.08 USD per gallon ($0.75 per liter CAD) and then use the free dump station at the service center.
Then, back on the Interstate for another 20 miles or so.

No wonder there are accidents. People are in such a rush. Yes, the speed limit in this section is 75 mph (120 km/h) which is fine on a clear dry day. But it's pouring buckets, the road is wet enough for hydroplaning, and 90% of the people want to do the speed limit or more. Including trucks pulling big fifth wheel trailers! I was doing 60 mph and did not pass one person the entire time. I hate driving on the Interstate.

Happy to get on the 89 heading south to Gardiner.

Scenery along the way.

The Yellowstone River.

We like this area!

Pulled into Gardiner and our spot by the Gardiner Library was there waiting for us. It's also right beside the Sheriff's Office, so we're pretty safe here! Gardiner is one of those towns where they don't seem to care where you park. There is one motorhome parked on the main drag that has been there since we were here at the beginning of the month!

Yesterday's drive 142 miles (227 kms).

It rained heavy through the night, and is cloudy with showers today. But, we are still going out for a hike! 

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And in Canada...


  1. Well the good news for you is that Canada is on the safe list of 14 countries allowed to fly to Europe. The possible fly int he ointment is you are going into the UK which means 14 days of quarantine on arrival right now. You need to have a hotel booked ahead of time to quarantine in. If you were going to heathrow I would recommend the Heathrow inn hotel in Hayes, but Gatwick I don't know. US residents are banned from Europe.

    1. Right. But hopefully the UK quarantine will be over by October. Time will tell.

    2. On edit I see you have relatives to sponge off, that works.

    3. Also that Westjet deal is pretty good, I booked flights on that basis as well, you can actually extend to 3 years for $21. I am covered on my credit card if they go under. I collected once before on that when an airline I had booked in Spain went belly up. Plus you can also transfer the money to someone else which makes booking on Westjet before end of June pretty low risk.

  2. I agree 100% about traffic on Interstates. We avoid them if we can. When we can't, we are like you and go our own (safe) speed - not theirs.

    1. Exactly! It is nice to see that we aren't the only ones that think this way. :-)

    2. We are the exact same, in a car. Its not worth it.

    3. Yep, even in a car we are the same too. :-)

  3. Backroads for David & "Lucy" here!

    1. Good to hear, we like the back roads the best too! :-)

  4. We used to spend a month in summer parked in Livingston and loved the area. Lots of hiking opportunities there. Beautiful area.

    1. I seems like there are just too many places in the western part or Montana to enjoy. We easily could have spent more time here. Nice that you were able to spend a month in the Livingston area.


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