Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Back in the USA

We are once again back in the USA.  We really like Canada and plan to make many more trips there to visit, but there’s no place like home.  We’re glad to be back in the United States.

We were prepared for the border crossing.  We had our passports handy and we took off our sunglasses so they could see the whites of our eyes.  Gene even pulled his side mirror in against the truck so he could get up close to the window.  Didn’t want to make the guard come out of his little space. We knew how long we’d been in Canada, what we’d bought, where our car registration was, and we had pretty much cleaned out the refrigerator and freezer.  We would have had any citrus confiscated and probably any fresh meat.  The border guard asked about wild fish and we told him about our salmon in the freezer.  Thankfully, it had come from Alaska.

All was well, but they wanted to search anyway and directed us to the search lane.  As Gene was pulling forward away from the guard’s window he pushed out his side mirror.  That little bit of bending to the left caused him to turn the steering wheel to the left and he accidentally drove up onto the curb with one back tire.  We had to unhitch the car before we could move out of the lane.  Everybody was watching; even the guards came out to help.

After that, the rest of our trip was uneventful.  The 70 miles from Winnipeg to the border (Manitoba 75) was awful.  First, we had 12 miles of construction then the rest was desperately in need of construction.  I-29 south of the border was very nice as was US 2 from Grand Forks to Crookston.

GAS REPORT: Our last fill up in Canada was in Portage la Prairie and we paid $4.43 for a gallon of gasoline.  Today, we filled up in Grand Forks, North Dakota and only paid $3.64 (diesel was 3.79).  “God Bless America, land that I love”.

Here is a border crossing story for you.  We have heard some pretty fantastic tales, but I think this one takes the cake.  One of our neighbors we spoke with while parked at Traveler’s RV Resort in Winnipeg related his border crossing story to us.  He and his wife are from California and had traveled across the US this summer.  They had had significant problems with their motor home so finally just got fed up and bought a new one in Minnesota.

When this gentleman tried to cross into Canada, the border guard immediately notice there was no license plate on this obviously new, and, I might add, pretty expensive motor home.  One of the standard questions everyone gets asked is “do you have any fire arms or weapons”.  The gentleman had to say “yes” because he had a hand gun and a rifle.  He was promptly asked to move his motor home into the inspection lane.  The gentleman told the inspectors what kind of weapons he had and where to find them.  According to the gentleman, they searched everything, everywhere even taking the covers off the decorative pillows.  Then they informed him that he could not bring weapons of any kind into Canada.  He had a couple choices.  He could leave and not come back or he could go back across the border to a gunsmith and have the gunsmith mail his guns to another gunsmith in his home town in California.  The gentleman opted to have his guns mailed home so the border guard supplied him with the name and address of a nearby US gunsmith.

Our gentleman friend turns his motor home around and heads south to the US border patrol station.  Of course, he gets the same question and again the answer has to be “yes, I have guns” and he explains to the border guard what had just happened at the Canadian border.  When the border guard heard he had guns and had been turned away at the Canadian border, he invites him to move his motor home into the inspection lane.  Once again his motor home is gone through with a fine-toothed comb.

After the second inspection, he makes his way to the gunsmith and fills out all the paperwork and hands over the money to have his guns mailed to California.  With his receipt in hand, he proceeds to the Canadian border.  The border guard recognizes him from his earlier visit and since he had guns the first time he tried to get into Canada, he is invited to move his motor home into the inspection lane.  This time, however, since he had been denied entry into Canada once, he had to file for a visa.  It all worked out alright because we were talking to him in Winnipeg, but, boy, what an experience.

We’re at the Wal-Mart in Crookston, Minnesota tonight.  We’ve already done our shopping and replenished our food stores.  It’s fun having food again.

That’s all for now.  Thanks for tagging along.

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