Yesterday I arrived in Calgary in the early afternoon after braving the howling winds across the Montana on Tuesday evening. Yesterday's drive was not windy, just snowy and slushy. All the way from Shelby to Calgary.
After an pleasant afternoon at my host Brain Elder's house I gave a talk about Montana birds and a bit of Antarctica and South America to a joint meeting of the Calgary Field Naturalist Society and the Bird Study Group. I really enjoyed the evening with a nice group of people. I hope they enjoyed it as well.
I had planned for it to be a quick trip. I have another talk on Saturday for The Nature Conservancy at their Matador Ranch, another on Monday for the Sacajawea Audubon Society in Bozeman, and then back again to the Matador the following Saturday.
I ventured outside this morning to clean the ice off the windows of the car and warm it up. I fired it up and headed back to the house to grab my bag. I was about half way up the driveway when the car stopped running. And wouldn't start again.
After a call to CAA and a tow the the local Canadian Tire (thanks again Brian), I waited for the mechanic to fix something simple like a frozen gas line. But that was not to be. After tracing the problem back to what now appears to be a faulty fuel pump (on a 2006 car with less than 70,000 miles on it) I found out just how much a fuel pump for a 2006 Toyota Corolla costs. Take your best guess and quadruple it and it will probably be close. Oh yeah, and the part is in Vancouver to add insult to injury. So hopefully tomorrow a new fuel pump will arrive in Calgary and hopefully that will fix the problem and I will get on the road for the 10 hour drive home. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
At least in the mean time Brian has opened up his home for me for an extra night which has made the situation much more bearable. Thanks again Brian (and Barbara and Diane).