Homeward bound

Posted on September 9, 2014


I have survived two weeks of primitive camping (no showers just wet wipes) in what I’d describe as a challenging environment with tough conditions. Non stop rain; icy temperatures; full of the cold and “totally” out of my element. I know my mother will be experiencing a huge sigh of relief now that I’m out of the wilderness and potential danger. I don’t think she will ever understand why I give myself these challenges.

I think Mae West said it best: “You only live once, and if you do it right, once is enough.”

I’ve picked up some really good survival skills and actually surprised myself how deep I can dig when I need to step it up.

Bozeman is quite a remarkable place. A real gem. If you haven’t been and love the great outdoors put it on your list. But don’t all come at once. They only really get two months of decent weather the rest of the year it is snow and freezing.

All of the people I have met have a forte either: hiking, climbing, mountain-bike riding, kayaking all of the above. But they also know how to party. There is also a really cool hip 30-something scene here too. After scrubbing up from my trips away I have managed to invite myself to two birthday parties; a dinner on a farm and B and I have hosted two dinner parties – burritos and margaritas last week and last night I cooked Thai curry with wine and prosecco flowing.

Just before I turned in I logged on to check-in for my flight. I am never flying with United Airlines ever again and never going via Chicago. The Itinerary Gods have been plotting once more.

My flight from Bozeman was supposed to leave at 12.40pm today (Tues) arriving around 4.35pm into Chicago. That would give me 2 hours to negotiate that enormous airport and all the hurdles thrown at me before my flight back to the UK.

But nothing is straight forward is it?! My flight time had changed with no email or explanation. It was an hour later meaning that I had, at a stretch, an hour to get to my international flight. In other words another heart-thumping sprint ahead of me. I was livid. If I missed the second flight there was the potential of sleeping on the floor on Chicago airport. No, No, No!! (stamping my feet like an angry child).

B’s girlie friends all told me they had spent many nights curled up on the floor in the foetal position after flying with United. It is to be expected. Well not if I can help it.

This morning I got up early and asked B to ring the airline to see if there was a later flight to book me on. After a lot of messing around by the world’s thickest person on the other end of the phone, B was finally transferred to someone more competent.

I’m now booked on a 9pm flight to heathrow which means even if I’m delayed in Bozeman, the pilot decides to taxi for an hour and security holds me up for being the wrong shade of white, I’ll have plenty of time to make my flight without a cardio workout!!

I’m about to board the first plane and no adventure would be complete without fantastic photos, great stories and cheesy memorabilia. This one is called Brian.