On the Bus

I’ve always rather enjoyed taking Greyhound, but I have to say that Red Arrow is the way to travel in Alberta! It reminds me of flying in the good old days. The coaches are spacious (I have a single seat) and there are complimentary beverages and snacks. I also like that they have power outlets and wish I’d known that before I put my iPad charger in my big suitcase under the coach.


The wifi is pretty good, but it blocks some sites, including Google Maps (huh?!). I used the less helpful Map app on my iPad to get the answers I needed, mainly how long it would take to drive to Stettler tonight.

I’m thinking about the negotiations for the truck, knowing that I do not have strong position to negotiate a better price. But I do have a couple of ideas, including mentioning that I have luggage with me since I wanted to keep open the idea of spending the night in Edmonton to look at a few more trucks tomorrow.

But the fact is that the listed price is already an awesome deal for that truck so even if I end up paying that, I’m still going to be a winner. That said, I can only put through $3,000 on my debit card per day, so if the price won’t budge, I’ll tell them it has to include GST otherwise we’ll have to wait for tomorrow to conclude the deal and at that point, I might as well go somewhere else. But I really think this is going to work!

Getting Around Without a Car in Alberta Isn’t Easy!

After searching the car rentals, I decided that I was best off to take the bus to Edmonton. The Greyhound fare was $30, but the hotel here warned me that the only way to get there without walking in unsavoury neighbourhoods is by cab for about $40.

I decided to check out Via Rail and discovered Red Arrow, a charter bus service. It’ll wind up being pricier than doing the Greyhound plus taxi thing, but it sounds like a much nicer experience. I’ll take a taxi to their location and then again in Edmonton from the arrival point to the dealership. This trip is costing me an arm and a leg and I’m kicking myself for making reservations ahead of time. Live and learn.

My insurance company says that if my registration had still been valid on the car, I would have had two weeks to get everything transferred over. But since it’s not, I have till 6PM to make a deal on the car and get to the registry in Edmonton before it closes. If I succeed, and there’s no reason I can’t because I am ready to pay the full $3,0o0 for the truck (although I’m hoping they’ll settled for $2,000…), then I will be spending the night at Donna and Ken’s in Stettler, tomorrow at my property in Saskatchewan, and Wednesday I will be well on the road back to Quebec a full day earlier than my best case scenario.

Because I’ll be gaining a day, I am considering ordering my towing system parts for me to pick up somewhere along the way in the States, provided I can find a safe place to have them delivered. If I order tonight or first thing in the morning, and have them delivered in the vicinity of Duluth or even Minneapolis, there is a chance we’d arrive at the same time. Any suggestions? Would a post office hold big metal parts sent General Delivery?

Off to Edmonton to Buy My Toad!!!

I just got hold of the dealership in Edmonton. The truck is available and they are expecting me late this afternoon to close the deal! The reason for the low price became evident when the guy told me “It’s available, but it’s a manual.” This truck is perfect for me! Four door, 2WD (easier to tow than 4WD), less than 200K, recent enough to not need the insurance inspection, has a topper, and it’s dark green. I know, I know, colour isn’t important, but it is. 🙂

The warranty wouldn’t do me much good since I’m not from the Edmonton area, but it is surprisingly comprehensive for a used, 12-year-old vehicle, so that tells me they stand by their inspections. I therefore feel good about going ahead with this. I will of course do a test drive first.

Now, do I pay $30 and get on the noon bus to Edmonton or do I try to find a car rental place that will let me drop the car off there? Budget is out because they were impossible to deal with and Enterprise has no availability today and only works airport to airport. I have a couple of hours to figure that out. But first, I need to call the insurance company to get the ball rolling at their end. And I need to figure out how late I can get a car registered in Edmonton.


I’m not sure who screwed up, me, Orbitz, or Budget, but my car rental was for yesterday, not today. Thankfully, I found that out through calling rather than after navigating the bus or taking a cab. So that’s $50 down the drain, but I would have probably lost it anyway.

The dealership in Edmonton is unreachable. 🙁 The phone number on their site goes to a fax machine. I am hoping that is the night phone service and they are simply not open right now. I’ll keep trying on the half hour. I’m really tempted to just get on a bus to Edmonton since I’m not seeing anything at all in Calgary, but that would be way too rash.

There’s a used truck dealership right around the corner from the hotel, so I will pop in when they open and see if they have anything suitable.

Bumpy Landing in Calgary

It only hit me as I tried not to lose my dinner landing in Calgary with a thump thump, thump, BANG that, while I’d landed a number of times at the airport, I’d never stepped outside it. I therefore had no clue how to leave it beyond the general knowledge that there was a free shuttle to my hotel.

First order of business, then, was to find an information kiosk. The first one was closed, but the folks at the second one knew exactly what I needed to do. They told me which exit to take and which pillar to find with a bright yellow phone next to it from which to call the hotel shuttle service. That was easy and the shuttle was already on its way. Not quite as luxurious as taking a stretch limo to McCarran and back, but it was nice not to have to wrestle with my luggage or find a bus.

The hotel is the Travelodge on Sunridge and all I can say is that my room is lovely and bedbug free. Looks like I scored another winner with Priceline!

It’s 8:00 here, but my body doesn’t know that, so I’ll be heading to bed shortly. First order of business tomorrow is to call the dealership in Edmonton. That will determine if I need to pick up my rental car or not. I am going to check Kijiji tonight, but I’m fairly confident that Moya is patiently waiting for me in Edmonton.