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Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Brian & Deya met in Vancouver Canada. After a few years together we were married and made choices. One was not to have children the other was not to take life for granted. The rest is yet to come.

July 28, 2010

Grover reunion to Edmonton

Grover’s a little blue guy from Sesame Street but he’s also a group of laughing, joking and fun to be around, family members at the Clearwater reunion. We arrived at the campsite mid day after about 11 hours of riding through the beautiful Jasper National Park. After rolling into Clearwater and asking the RV site attendant where my parents were we headed down to site number 17. We sat there for several hours as no one had showed up yet. The location was nice but didn’t seem like a good spot for a family reunion. The folks that were there, like in every other spot we’ve been were German, this is a bit of a running joke by now and both Deya and I are impressed with how many Germans are touring around Canada.

It was getting onto 6 pm when we decided to go and ask the RV attendant about the reservations again. We discovered that he had given us the wrong name and the campsite our parents were at was across the lake at another place with the same name. We packed up our stuff, waved goodbye to the people there and headed over to the new campsite. We got there just as the family was setting up their RV’s so we helped out.

The next few days were good, relaxing and fun, and we enjoyed the people and family. I was happy to see some family that I hadn’t seen in a long time and wished that were closer over the years. There were typical amounts of drama and story telling, family tree stuff and who’s who from where and when all added to the mystery. It’s funny that way, I can never figure out why people ramble on about uncle this from cousin that and expect anyone to remember, but at the end of the day it’s a good group of people all the same… except Tom, as I’m told, but some of the stories are funny.

After the reunion we headed out, Deya and I were planning on going to Kelowna to get a 20,000 km service for my bike at the BMW dealer. We had emailed the dealer a couple weeks in advance but got no response and called them when we got to Clearwater. It turned out that they wouldn’t help us; this wasn’t the first time a BMW dealer wasn’t interested in our business. The folks a Blackfoot BMW in Calgary didn’t seem to have a problem so we had to schedule the work there. What strikes me as odd is that BMW markets these bikes for the adventure rider, yet with limited access to email and no telephone, getting service seems to be spotty at best.

So far I can’t fairly recommend the BMW dealers in Anchorage, or Kelowna. Calgary and Edmonton seem okay but John Volk BMW/Ducati in Vancouver is AWESOME. We have a relationship with these guys but they also understand customer service and rider satisfaction, we’re happy to have them on our team. Deya also had success with the BMW service network, it’s a card used to contact BMW international and they have a more specific interest in the BMW rider who’s on the road, so thanks to them and their good will.

We didn’t stay long in Kelowna but our stay was nice and Shirley and Bruce are excellent hosts. One thing that Shirley did that I thought was grand was to have a very recent picture of Deya and I framed and near the entrance of the door when we first came in. I was surprised and impressed at the creativity and joked that we need to leave before the next guests show up so she can reuse the frame.

While in Kelowna we were able to visit a new and award winning winery called Camelot Vineyards. The owners are very nice folks and gave us some good thoughts about their business and some great wine. I hope they continue to do very well!

Once we left Kelowna we headed for Calgary and arrived at our good friends Brad and Kat’s place. We spent several days with the family and visited some cool places; we also got to go the Calgary Stampede. Of all the cool things to do and the shows we saw my favourite sights were the cowboys eating corn dogs, unfortunately Deya wasn’t able to capture a good picture of this event. L.O.L….it’s an inside joke and has to do with the filming of Brokeback Mountain near Calgary. I find it funny anyways.

We left our friends, sadly, and headed for Edmonton. It was time to go and Deya and I agree that about 4 nights is the maximum we should spend with people as a general rule. This will help not to wear out our welcome, simply because people have their lives to live and need their space and we are no exception. I just wish, and I think Deya does too, that the people who we enjoy and care about lived just a block away and that we had the time to share with them and somehow be helpful. That’s a big pipe dream but it’s a nice one to have.

On the way to my parents place near Edmonton we stopped at Drumheller to check out the scene and shortly afterwards for a nap on the side of the road. It was a good run and rolling plains of the Albertan prairie were beautiful. We had at least three large storms brewing around us, one on the left, one on the right and one moving quickly in behind us. We adjusted our path to avoid one big cloud that was laying down rain and lightning and arrived dry and safe at my parents place. Here we’ll stay and get a handle on our equipment for a couple of weeks. Help out in the yard, clean our gear, change our tent and update our kitchen. Time spent wisely here will make the rest of the trip more enjoyable.

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