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Thread: Cooper Discoverer: The Canadian Border Crossing

  1. #1
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    Default Cooper Discoverer: The Canadian Border Crossing

    “You’re doing it again,” she said. “Arthur didn’t say to turn and you turned right. Where are you going?”
    My wife was right. Arthur was right. I was wrong for turning right… But it felt good because there were mountains to the right, dirt roads, trees, and the unknown. It looked interesting to the right; it looked ordinary along the planned route. Sometimes being wrong is the right thing to do.
    Arthur is my GPS, by the way. We named him Arthur because he has a British accent and reminds us of Arthur, King of the Britons. Arthur assumes a petulant tone when I don’t follow his commands. As soon as I turned right he said, “recalculating” ---- and he sounded irritated.
    I like to irritate Arthur.
    “Well,” I said, “I don’t want to go through Calgary. I’d rather go through the mountains. It’s prettier; less traffic.”
    “But there’s snow up there.” She pointed to peaks in front of us. “Do you even know how to get through? What if we get lost?”
    “Lost is fun!” I replied. “Besides, we don’t have a timetable.”
    She settled back in the Jeep’s seat, knowing that I was going the way I was going. Besides, I could tell by the look on her face that she also thought it was prettier this way.
    The road continued up up up, the snow got a little deeper, and the pines thickened. The landscape was a complete canvas of snow covered trees and muddy dirt roads, not a home or building anywhere. Our eventual destination was a small/friendly motel in West Glacier, Montana. It was early July and we were on the Canadian side of the border.


    Safety fast,
    Bill

    "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
    And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything"
    Bruce Springstein


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  2. #2
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    It was right about this time that I realized that we were pretty low on fuel. I pressed a few buttons on Arthur and inquired about the proximity of a filling station only to find that my options were all in the opposite direction. Bummer.
    Just as I was about to announce my defeat and turn around, we came upon a strange sight. It was a compound of some sort, Royal Canadian, with a Maple Leaf proudly fluttering above it. It was a stately but lonely structure, concrete block, fenced in, gravel driveway, and a single fuel pump alongside.
    I parked and entered the structure. There was a nice lady there in uniform, bristling with Canadian politeness. “How can I help you?” she asked.
    “I’m hoping that your pump outside means there’s gas for sale….” I replied, “not just for official vehicles.”
    “Oh no, sir,” she said, “that’s for everyone! Go ahead and filler up.”
    So I did. Gratefully. Even though it was almost $6/gallon after all the conversions. And well worth it.
    After I filled up, the nice lady pointed me to a section of the lobby that had a rack full of postcards with hummingbirds painted on them. Her hummingbirds, her art, her postcards. She invited me to buy a postcard. I felt pretty guilty about it but didn’t buy a postcard.
    We said our goodbyes and were off, pointed in the general direction of Montanna.
    In a short while we found an old deserted town and decided to stop for a picnic. The town consisted of many buildings in varying degrees of decrepitude. Not much in the way of signage and nothing apparently wrong with it all to merit its complete lack of human habitation.
    We found a nice spot, took out our picnic supplies, and then were assailed by a swarm of biting insects that we had never encountered before. They were voracious and seemed bent on draining our life-blood so we beat our way back to the Jeep post-haste and hit the trail again.
    Our next stop was another strange-looking fenced-in area with a sign declaring “Bison Preserve”. There were no KEEP OUT signs so we drove in over the cattle grate. And there were bison everywhere --- it was wonderful. We drove around for a while and ate lunch in the Jeep while watching the bison frollick.

    Last edited by Hilldweller; 06-01-2016 at 08:09 PM.
    Safety fast,
    Bill

    "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
    And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything"
    Bruce Springstein


    HAM General licensee

  3. #3
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    Hunger assuaged, we resumed our trek and eventually found a border crossing. Not one of those big border crossings that we’re all accustomed to, the ones with long lines, surly customs agents, and Winnebagos with the Griswalds on board. This was rather a tiny border crossing, cute, remote, looking frozen in time. It had one lane, two Mounties, and a single gate.
    We drove up to it and the Mounties snapped to attention.
    “Good day, sir”, one said (politely).
    “Good day,” I replied.
    “Would you mind stepping out of your Jeep, sir?” he asked (politely).
    “Certainly,” I replied.
    “Would you mind if we searched your Jeep, sir?” he asked (very politely).
    “Um, sure,” I replied.
    “Do you have anything to declare?” he asked further.
    “Canadian mosquitos are enormous and bloodthirsty,” I kidded.
    “Sir?”
    “Sorry. We had a run-in with a swarm of massive mosquitos a few hours ago.” I displayed some bites on my fore-arm. “Barely escaped with our lives”.
    “Very sorry, sir,” he said. And meant it. Canadians are like that. Polite and sincere.
    Meanwhile, his counterpart was neatly stacking the entire contents of our Jeep in the road. Piece by piece, bit by bit, painstakingly orderly. And, after everything was stacked, he knocked on panels, peered in every hole, got under the Jeep and poked. Then he put everything back in the Jeep, just as neatly and orderly.
    “Thank you, sir; you can proceed,” polite Mountie #2 said.
    “Thank you, gentlemen,” I said. “But I gotta ask… …what was that all about? I’ve never been searched before.”
    Mountie #1 leaned forward and said, “well, sir, we get two kinds of folks crossing the border here. We’re remote, you know.”
    I nodded. They were indeed remote.
    “First kind are loggers. Second kind are smugglers.” Mountie #2 nodded in agreement. Mountie #1 continued, “…and you don’t look like a logger….”
    We all laughed. “I guess you can add a third kind: Adventure Tourist”.

    We were on our way again, back on American soil. Glacier National Park was ahead of us and we were ready for more adventures.

    Safety fast,
    Bill

    "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
    And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything"
    Bruce Springstein


    HAM General licensee

  4. #4
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    Very entertaining tale Bill.

    And kudos, Arthur is a much more endearing name than what I call my GPS.
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Airmapper View Post
    Very entertaining tale Bill.

    And kudos, Arthur is a much more endearing name than what I call my GPS.
    Thanks.

    I actually de-installed the Arthur voice from that GPS when it died and installed it in my new GPS.
    ....I missed it....
    Safety fast,
    Bill

    "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
    And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything"
    Bruce Springstein


    HAM General licensee

  6. #6
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    HA ha....love the cdn border patrol! And they are 100 % correct. On the remote crossings, 2 types of people "USUALLY" go through.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kojackJKU View Post
    HA ha....love the cdn border patrol! And they are 100 % correct. On the remote crossings, 2 types of people "USUALLY" go through.
    It was the way he said, "...and you don't look like a logger..." that cracked us up. Not that he was implying that we looked like smugglers or anything. Just not loggers.
    Safety fast,
    Bill

    "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
    And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything"
    Bruce Springstein


    HAM General licensee

  8. #8
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    Ha! Humorous and Nicely written story Bill. Thanks for the entertainment.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim65wagon View Post
    Ha! Humorous and Nicely written story Bill. Thanks for the entertainment.
    Thank you, sir.
    I was just thinking about you (and Stankfoot). We're planning to go up to Chincoteague Island in October ---- might run through Williamsburg. And Mirtes said, "don't you know a couple guys up there?"
    Any advise on where to camp? We did KOA at Williamsburg and it was tollerable....
    Safety fast,
    Bill

    "Poor man wanna be rich, rich man wanna be king
    And a king ain't satisfied till he rules everything"
    Bruce Springstein


    HAM General licensee

  10. #10
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    What dates are you looking at for Chincoteague?
    We're not even close to Williamsburg. We're at King George. It's right off route 301 before you get into Maryland. If you're up this far you're welcome to camp in the driveway - no wilderness but it's better than a koa.

    Stankfoot was down Williamsburg way. I haven't heard from him in a few years though.
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