De-activated the home place, and spent the last night in the rig to make sure everything was up to speed. Then, there was nothing left to do but pull out, and set up the high security gate to guard the place for the winter!
Still had a few days to kill, so we headed down highway 22 to Pincher Creek to check in on friends down there. The highest winds were avoided, and a few world problems were solved. Then we headed westbound, through the Crowsnest Pass, for the Rocky Mountains and British Columbia.
We pulled in to a provincial rec site for a night, so Hailey could get out for a bit - all while watching the snow line march ever lower on the nearby mountains.
The final night on Canadian soil was to be spent with friends near Cranbrook, BC, with a run for the border at some uncivilized hour in the morning - to hopefully beat the rumoured hordes of RV's and RV'ers who were reportedly massing along the whole southern border in eager anticipation of heading to warmer climes. Guesses were that getting across the border could take hours or days, while negotiating the Covid restrictions, etc. But I got a quick message from Wandering Willy, out further BC way that the border might actually open at 9PM BC time, instead of at midnight as expected! I had already attempted due diligence, and phoned the US customs border station a week ago where I wanted to cross, but of course, it is impossible to get an actual person to answer the phone. So, with best guess in mind, Ms Hailey and I said so long and headed for the border. It was a pleasant hours drive, much of it through blowing snow and poor visibility, just to let us know what we would be missing while basking in the warmth of a Yuma and area winter!
She had already gotten back into the travel routine and re-established her preferred lounging areas in the trailer.
There were no signs at the actual border, so we sat there and contemplated for a few minutes, wondering whether we should attempt the crossing and be turned back, or just go for it. Another attempted phone call to the customs office we could now see - went unanswered. So, with passport in hand and trepidation we went for broke. Much to our pleasure, we were not turned back, and after a few of the usual questions on booze, vegetables and plans, "Oh, you're a snowbird", we were waved on through, and there was no one behind us! We're off!
Because it was now about 10:30 at night (depending on time zone, daylight savings time, etc), and the periodic blizzards, we just drove about 5 miles into the US to the first roadside spot we could find and hit the sack.
It was a bit unnerving in the morning to see a speed plow go by on the highway, but a quick chat with the driver said that the roads were just wet, no snow. So we carried on south through Bonners Ferry, Sandpoint, and Couer d'Alene, Idaho, then Spokane and southward to the Columbia River on the border of Washington and Oregon. Looking forward to our 'usual' campspot on the river bank right by one of the locks, but was greeted by a new no camping sign as a welcome. :-(