Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Othello, Washington to Kelowna, B.C.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We made it.  We rolled into Ian and Linda’s driveway and were parked by about 3:30 pm yesterday.  Really tired and ready to stop driving.

We started out early again yesterday morning at about 7:15 am and it was about 3C and sunny.  Sweet.  Our first stop was supposed to be Moses Lake for fuel but you know what, the route travelled looks different in reverse!   As we approached our usual fuel stop we couldn’t decide if it was the right one and missed it.  Crap!   Luckily we found another one at the far end of Moses Lake and it looked tight but in the end there was a small gravel lot behind it that we could turn around in after getting fuel to get back out onto the road.  This kind of problem used to be a really, really big deal but Eric is so much more relaxed about all of this and seems able to roll with it.  He has done a fantastic job of driving through some nasty conditions and we both seem a lot better at the end of the day than the last couple of trips.  He said it would all get easier but I didn’t really believe him!  He was right!

So a fairly quiet drive up highway 17 to Okanagan, Washington where we stopped for a Mexican breakfast.  Huevos Rancheros for me and Heuvos a la Mexicana for Eric.  A Spanish music video was on the TV and the cook was Mexican so we felt right at home.  Onward to the border. 

Eric stopped on the American side of the border and took the bike paperwork in where they stamped the official title and that was all.  They didn’t look at the motorcycle  or check any numbers.  Sweet. A non event.

At the Canadian border stop I declared some beer (not as much as I had), a bottle of tequila and not the wine in my cupboard.  I told him I had about $200 worth of purchases and a few vegetables.  Eric declared the motorcycle and we were told to park to the side and go inside to complete the paperwork.  I was told to put my vegetables in the customs freezer which I did except for the tomatoes that I hid under my bread.  What a big smuggler I am!  They really don’t want to check anything and as long as you give them something to put on the slip they are happy with that.  They want taxes for anything you buy and we just take off the labels and use or wear whatever we buy, which by the way isn’t much.  You are even supposed to give them tax if you have an oil change done on your vehicle.  How nuts is that! 

Eric filled out all the paperwork inside and then gave them about $1000.00 for tax and import fees.  He got to claim the $750. personal deduction for himself but couldn’t use the rest of mine even though the bike is in both of our names.  So, in the end I could have had another $500. worth of purchases for my deduction.  They gave Eric all his paperwork, told him to file with RIV and said bye, bye to us.  Again, no one checked the motorcycle, or looked at any numbers of any kind!  Couldn’t have cared less, just wanted our tax money.  We will still have to pay PST when we register and insure it after the other paperwork is received from RIV to our home address and also have our inspection done at Canadian Tire.  More dinero to be paid there as well.  Eric says it would have been a harder thing to deal with if we had bought the motorcycle privately. 

The drive from the border at Osoyoos to Kelowna was not a pleasant one either.  They seemed to be paving in every small town we went through (Oliver, Okanagan Falls etc.) and when we hit Westbank on the other side of the lake coming into Kelowna it really got crazy.  As we came over the crest of the hill into Westbank the traffic was stopped ahead of us going downhill and Eric had to make a really quick stop.  Nasty with that big heavy piece of iron attached to our butt!  We thought there was an accident or construction but it was just regular traffic.  Westbank has been hugely over developed in the past couple of years and is now just one mall or office building under construction from the top of the hill almost to the  bridge over the lake.  Much of the land is owned by a First Nations Band and they are doing a great job of “Pave paradise and put up a parking lot!”  Just like the white man has done.  Sad.  There is no paradise in the Kelowna area any more.  They do not have enough water for all of the people moving into the area and the level of Okanagan Lake is dropping from overuse.   It was actually a little quieter when we hit the downtown Kelowna area than it was up in Westbank. 

Eric parked the rig in Ian’s driveway in one smooth move and it was all easy as pie.  He is getting better and better at all of this!  A lot easier on me too!





Parked in the driveway.

We had a chat with Ian and found out that they had been robbed again since they got home.  Someone, he suspects the house kitty korner to them (dealing drugs?) was watching the house and when he and Linda were out at 1:30 in the afternoon they hit the house again.  A neighbor across the back yard on her deck saw they guys in the driveway but thought they were just doing some work for Ian.  Oh, they were doing some work alright!!!   They opened every drawer and stole everything they didn’t get the first time only this time they got all of Linda’s heirloom jewelry as well.  They took  Ian’s  power tools and all sorts of things that he hasn’t even missed yet.  He said every time he goes to look for something it is gone.   Luckily they  hadn’t replaced anything since he got home or they would have got a pile of new stuff as well.  The RCMP said that it is a usual plan to come back a few weeks following the initial break in  and hit you when they think you have replaced all your stuff with insurance money.  They found a car that they think was stolen and used in this robbery but haven’t confirmed that yet.  So a sad state of affairs.  Double deadbolts on the doors and new patio doors etc. to keep out the thieves.  Ian and Linda’s neighborhood has changed over the last few years and younger families with teenagers have now moved into the area.  He never even used lock his doors and now even locked doors don’t help.  Times they are a changing!  Makes you feel unsafe.

We had a nice visit with our great nephew Angeus who is Ian’s son Gordon’s son.  Grampa Ian was babysitting and running everyone here and there yesterday.   Angeus  is 4 1/2 and quite a clever little guy.  We showed him the motorcycles and took a picture of him.


He thought it was quite a nice bike.  A future Harley rider perhaps!  Probably not if his mother has anything to say about it. 

He enjoyed a tour of the trailer and was impressed that it was just like a little house.  He especially liked the automatic awning going in and out.  Fun!

So today is a quiet day and we will relax, visit and regroup before we think about our final two day journey home.  It is just barely spring her and Ian thinks it is about 3 weeks late.  Apparently the same at home so no huge hurry! 

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