Day Fourteen – Calgary (0km)

Ow…getting up at 7.15am, really hurts. You know the kind of hurt I mean…the ‘I got three hours sleep’ kind. But, it has to be done. Harp has to work (and I use the term loosely considering he’s golfing most of the day) and Wendy and I have an eight o’clock appointment with the Midas man. So, up and at ’em sportsfans.

We drop Harpie close to work and then drive down MacLeod Trail SE to the Midas shop. Wendy and I believe the muffler is shot and quite possibly the suspension. Brad, the Midas Man, gets the car hoisted and Bob the mechanic takes a look (we’re calling him Bob because, inexcusably, both of us forgot to ask him his name).

While we wait, we notice that the owner of the shop is a fellow named Bob Cantelon. He isn’t related to Bob the mechanic (that we know of) but he looks a lot like a great guy we know, Jack Cantelon from Georgetown, ON. We ask Brad if Bob (the owner) has a brother in Ontario. He doesn’t know but he’ll check for us.

In a few short minutes Brad asks us to come and look at the car. What we are shown blows us away. The tires are mostly shot. Extreme wear on the outer edges, treads are low and there is a bald spot on the right rear (the tire that was flat and provoked us into taking the car to Oakville Acura before our trip)

Incredible. We were prepared to buy four tires from the Acura dealer. Their service manager guaranteed us that the tires were good and it was all malarkey…did I mention that it was ‘Oakvlle Acura’ (whose slogan is ‘Hey, we’re at least as good as The Bay).

We ask Bob how a reputable Acura dealership could allow someone to drive across Canada (over 4,000km) on such unsafe tires?

Bob says “We’re they busy?”

Wendy says, “Actually, they were.”

And then Bob says, “I used to work for a dealer, they do that all the time.” Unfreakinbelievable.

Oh well, we were going to buy tires anyway, now is as good a time as any…besides, we did get the last bit of rubber on those last four.

The muffler is also shot but just the tail piece. The suspension is good but the shocks are leaking just a bit…we’ll have to re-check them in BC.

So, four new tires, a tail pipe for the muffler and an alignment. Plus labour. All told…thirteen hundred bucks. Yikes! It’s a huge dent but we will have new tires for our mountain crossing, the car will go where we point it and…no one will hear us coming. Brad…Bob…”make it so” (a nod to Jean Luc Picard fans)

While we wait, we decide to go across the street to the Holiday Inn for breakfast. Brad keeps in constant touch. One call is to tell us that yes, Bob (the owner) does indeed have a brother Jack. What are the odds…we randomly pick a Midas shop because of it’s proximity to Harp’s place and the owner turns out to be a relation to a buddy of ours from back East. What a beautifully weird universe it is.

We eat breakfast, sit, blog, read the paper and fill up on coffee…and finally, around 12.30pm, we get the call…”She’s all ready to go.”

Bob (the mechanic) takes me for a test drive on the highway…everything sounds good to me…and to Bob (who actually knows what he’s listening for). While we drive, Bob talks about various routes leading into the mountains and the merits of each.

Everything is good and as we drive away we can instantly feel the difference that our new Yokahama Mamas are making. The car is riding smooth and true.

It’s Starbucks time. It has been reported that there is a Starbucks and a Source at The Chinook Centre. And there is..ha ha! First stop, Starbucks. Coffee in hand we head over to the Source only to be told that we have to go to an Apple store to get the power cord. Our luck holds…there’s one in this mall.

Now, I have never been in an Apple store…I know, I’m globally delayed…it’s really cool in there. High tech gadgetry is everywhere and the staff is so good. Efficient, courteous and very knowledgeable, just great service (are you listening The Bay?). We have a blast and leave, new power cord in hand. I have got to get out more. (And in her best Pee Wee Herman voice Wendy says, “THAT’S what I’ve been TRYING to tell you!”)

We are heading back to Harp’s for a nap (judge not…did you get just 3 hours sleep,last night?). We stop at a train crossing and witness the absolute longest train ever…in history. We time it. It’s over thirteen minutes before it has passed completely by. In fact, we take a photograph of a lonesome cowboy who just happens to be the first pedestrian to walk up to the crossing. Thirteen minutes later we take another and look at the size of the crowd that has accumulated behind him…and there’s that many again on the other side of the street (double that for the other side of the crossing and you get exactly one half of the population of Alberta. True fact)

Finally released from our internment by CP Rail, we head to Harp’s and have that nap.

After nap time we go to the Co-Op and buy dinner and a bottle of Shiraz for Harp, it’s called ‘Cockfighter’s Ghost’ (oh, for the love of Mike…how old are you?).

Harpie arrives home after nine and he looks like we feel. Pooped. He had a horrific round of golf, eight shots per hole (that sounds really bad) but he did come away with some cool schwag and he still feels absolutely amazing. “Feeling good is good enough” (‘Platoon’, check it out, it’s a great movie)

We chat for an hour or two and then Wendy reminds us that Harp works tomorrow and we are leaving early towards Head Smashed In Buffalo Jump near Lethbridge AB. It’s time to hit the hay. Speaking of which, isn’t it way past your bedtime? It must be because if it’s 12.30am here then it’s way late wherever you live (and I bet you, like Harp, have to work tomorrow)

Moose and Wendle

P.S. I know my grammar can be downright startling, Maya Angelou would roll over in her grave (too soon?), but I writes them as I feels them…besides…I’m a Rebel

Goodnight…don’t let the bedbugs bite (Toronto)

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