Joined: Feb 2006
Location: Close to Cumming (GA that is)
I'd have beaten someone with the camera - so no photos here
Canadian Border Crossing - Just south of Regina (Day 2)
Damn! At around 100 miles south of our final destination in Regina and 1000 more since this morning's start in Rochelle, Joe and I wearily pulled into the Canadian border complex. It had certainly been a long and energy sapping first day together, with not only the actual distance to contend with, but also the intense heat of the North Dakota plains depleting our reserves. After dismounting from the bikes, we stumbled lethargically into the passport control offices nonetheless optimistic that an expedient transition would soon have us tucked up in our much anticipated hotel room beds for some long overdue rest. As we waited in line to present our documents, our listless body language no doubt betrayed the extreme exhaustion that we both felt and I sincerely hoped for some empathy on the part of the officials.
However, rather than simply checking our documents and waving us through like the travelers in front of us, after a cursory glance at our passports, we were both asked to take a seat outside an interview room on the other side of the building - which I have since learned is often referred to as 'secondary immigration'. As far as I can remember, Joe was ordered into the office before me and after a while emerged from the room, at which point my presence inside was requested. I answered the usual battery of questions concerning the nature of my travel, where my journey had originated etc and after few minutes I too was shown out. However, Joe was once again ushered back into the room and for the best part of two f%$king hours they bombarded him with a battery of endless questions and inquiries. I was about apoplectic when he finally emerged and fully expected at that stage we would be allowed to go on our way. However, the customs officials then decided that a search of our bikes was in order, so we were both marched outside and watched in absolute frustration as the official began to unpack and sift through our carefully organized belongings. Finally, satisfied that neither of us had anything questionable on board, we were finally told that we could proceed; and so in a state of complete exhaustion and extreme irritation, we both gathered up our belongings off the floor and haphazardly re-packed them onto our bikes.
FWIW many of the alcoholic and substance type misdemeanors in the U.S. are treated as felonies in Canada and consequently they take a very dim view of even the slighest blemish on a persons record, no matter how ancient it may be. The total irony here is that for three forty somethings innocently traveling across country, two of whom didn't even drink, the tiniest blemish on a childhood rapsheet could be sufficient enough to derail the entire opperation in the eyes of the Canadian immigration officials. Subsequently I would advise anyone contemplating a cross Canadian journey to - if necessary - straighten out the appropriate bureaucratic minutae before embarking on the trip, as the likelyhood of a sudden unforseen wrinkle in the proceedings is unfortunately quite possible.
Subsequently however, we were both finally permitted to enter Canadian airspace and, after finishing the repacking of the bikes, the pair of us saddled up and headed towards Regina. By this time darkness has fallen and I was thankful that I'd taken the time to install the HID lighting on the KTM, which at least made visibility a little better. And we certainly needed it; with a mixture of delirious exhaustion coupled with a raging frustration at the whole situation, I certainly wasn't in the best frame of mind to be making sensible roadcraft decisions and I can't imagine Joe felt any better either. Normally, when entering a new country, my mind is instantly filled with wonder at the sudden change in environment. However in this case, even though the landscape did look somewhat different from the immediately preceding U.S. vicinity, I was filled with such an overwhelming sense of anger from our treatment at the hands of the Canadian border officials, that I found it impossible to be inspired by any of our new surroundings; and I cursed the entire godforsaken country along with all of its' inhabitants as if they were all somehow directly responsible for our predicament.
Thankfully the road to Regina was not particularly challenging, requiring less in the way of concentration than a more technical alternative; but even so the rate of progress still seemed excruciatingly slow and the miles covered ticked off the odometer reluctantly at a pace so agonizingly lethargic as to be almost imperceptible. However, despite the slightest ache, pain, sore or frustration being unbearably magnified by the tediousness of these final miles, ultimately we rolled into Regina and - guided by the indispensable technology of the GPS - rode directly to the hotel, where gratefully we spotted Gary's V-strom - already packed away for the night - as we pulled into the parking lot. After mustering what little energy reserves remained, the pair of us grabbed our belongings, covered our bikes and at somewhere between midnight and 1am, we both stumbled into the hotel room where, after briefly relating the days events to a semi-comatose Gary, we flopped into our cots and immediately attempted to convert whatever slumber opportunities existed before the next 4am alarm and another 1000 mile day.
Well, since the original premise of this report was to find out what we missed and where we went wrong, does anyone have anything inspiring to add in regard to the landscape covered during our travels so far? Because looking back at the distinct lack of photos taken, we didn't find that much to recommend it.
Douf screwed with this post 04-24-2009 at 07:38 PM