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Canadian Border

Old 08-09-21, 07:32 AM
  #76  
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
I told this story before at another thread but here it is again ...

Years ago I was staffing an ACA Cycle VT. One morning I was on the early shift in a van marking turns with chalk spray. At Derby Line VT I decided that one turn needed extra arrows so I drove around the block to return to that location. Suddenly all of the signs were in French. I kept making left hand turns until I approached the port of entry ,.. from the Canadian side! That must have been before 9/11.
a few years ago, maybe 3, 4? (Covid has messed up how long ago stuff was with this lost 18 mths) we biked with friends in and around the Quebec Vermont border for a three day trip I think. We passed through one of those "split down the middle" towns, and it certainly has changed from pre 9/11 days and or before. There are very clear and present signs of where teh border is and from vague memories, I suspect all the "through" streets have been blocked off except for the one that has the actual border crossing.
Seems to me that my friend told us of the house or library or something with a line down the middle of it back in the day.
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Old 08-09-21, 07:51 AM
  #77  
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
These border agents have a lot of power, but have minimal oversight.
I've never had a really bad experience like this, but I think its very fair to say that your statement holds a great deal of truth, and one must always be very aware of this when dealing with border crossings--how you present yourself, having an awareness of how you appear to them vis a vis "what is normal" etc.

As someone else astutely remarked here, they have boring as frick jobs for the most part, most are regular joe schmoes, some are going to be unsophisticated joe schmoes with views of life with a certain angle, and like all people, can be unhappy with their lives, or their day, or whatever, and if its one of those days and they dont like the look of your face, or think you are a lazy hippy dippy dude on a bike (only kids ride bikes sort of attitude) or whatever---if your i's arent dotted and your t's not crossed, they can become officiious.
Or they can be perfectly nice people too, but they are dealing with a border, and illegal goods and people cross all the time over these things, so I get that angle of it too.

My border crossing story to add to others here was on my very first bike trip, 1989, from Montreal into Vermont etc. When crossing back into Canada, I was on a rinky dinky little road with a border building, but I hadnt realized exactly where it was (no bike computer, big map) and so had approached the little building going down a hill and had been stupidly weaving back and forth , slalom wise, on the downhill.
Hey, i was tired, I was happy and there were no cars and there was a downhill.
Didnt realize they had been watching me do this, so probably being bored (and possibly thinking I was drunk or high) they did the whole questioning thing and had me empty out every every corner of my panniers.
They were civil enough, or at least I recall that, but I had nothing to hide, I had time that day so wasnt rushed, and so just calmly did all they asked. They were probably a bit bored too, but as Axo says, they certainly have all the power to do what they want , completely on their "suspicions", within certain guidelines.
But for sure, personal opinion and perception is a part of this, so you could easily get into the sort of thing that Axo had.

bottom line, be on one best behaviour, be smart, and simply put, know the rules and laws so you arent breaking any law that can legally give them reason to stop you going in.
I'm just always aware that I could be dealing with an unhappy person who feels like messing someones day up for whatever screwed up reason, so am very very careful of how and what I say---but I would hope that jerks will tend to be rare, just like with any group of people in the world.

and at least with US Can border stuff, we dont have to deal with bribing and shenanigans that one can encounter in so many other countries, as Axo and I know.
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Old 08-09-21, 07:52 AM
  #78  
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Both the US & Canada will deny entry to each other's citizen if they have a drunk driving offense. I hosted a young warmshowers guest from California. He and his half-brother biked up the coast, against the wind, to Canada. His brother had duel citizenship because his mom was Canadian, and they were going to visit her in Vancouver. After Vancouver, my warmshowers guest biked alone to Manitoba, then crossed into Minnesota. After getting to Michigan, he attempted to cross back into Ontario but was denied entry due to a DUI on his record. Apparently the agent at the BC border was more lenient, perhaps because he was with his Canadian citizen half-brother.
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Old 08-09-21, 08:25 AM
  #79  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Seems to me that my friend told us of the house or library or something with a line down the middle of it back in the day.
That would be the Haskell Free Library & Opera House, deliberately built astride the border, partially in Derby Line, VT, and partially in Stanstead, QC. Construction was completed in 1904.

https://haskellopera.com/history/

I visited the library after 9/11. The streets were still pretty open then with minimal border markings or signs at that time. Decades ago, the two towns functioned as one. I was coming from Quebec and I accidentally found myself crossing back into the US before I had wanted to. I don't recall any sign warning me I was about to exit Canada or enter the US. I explained to the US agent who was cool about it. I'm sure I wasn't the first person to do what I had done. He told me to just do a U-turn but to make sure I stopped at his post when I came back. BTW, if memory serves me correctly, there was a hardware store on the US side of the border, but located between the US & Canadian border posts. When I drove 1 block back to the Canadian border post, I was processed normally. I parked the car a short distance away, spent my remaining Canadian coins in a grocery store, and walked over to the Haskell Free Library & Opera House about 2 blocks to the east The border was completely open next to the library, but the sole official entry to the building is on the US side. I took a few photos, walked back to my car, drove back to the American border post, officially entered, then drove 2 blocks east and parked the car across the street from the library. I went inside. There is black hockey tape on the wooden floor to denote the border (for insurance purposes). The library was pretty quiet and the Quebecoise librarian offered to give me a tour of the building. (BTW, my little tour was in French and the librarian told me that they get more Americans who can speak French than anglophone Canadians.) When the library was first built, the town on the Quebec side was anglophone, too, and the library's collection was in English. Now the Quebec town is mainly francophone and the library's holdings are in both French & English. She took me upstairs to the Opera House which was still used for concerts and events. The stage was in Canada, but the seats were in both countries. The pretty original stage curtain from 1904 is still there. She said the only real change to the building was the installation of an elevator to conform to disability laws. Staffing is from both countries. There are phone numbers for each country. Most of the book stacks are in Quebec, and the internet room & multimedia resources are in Vermont.

Last edited by axolotl; 08-09-21 at 08:28 AM.
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Old 08-09-21, 09:25 AM
  #80  
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To answer your question; can't say for sure. But, you don't want to come up here.
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Old 08-09-21, 10:25 AM
  #81  
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Crossing the border has changed a lot in the last 20 or so years. Used to be able to cross just by showing your drivers license, but the Canadian border agents were always suspicious that you had been doing a lot of shopping.

There is book by a Canadian guy, Derek Lundy who rode his motorcycle along the Canada/US border and the US/Mexico border in the early 2000s, with a lot of interesting observations.

Borderlands: Riding the Edge of America.
https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/8189961-borderlands
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Old 08-09-21, 10:25 AM
  #82  
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Before 9/11, I never had a passport, all my foreign travel was to and from Canada and no passport was needed. When I got a passport, I got both the book and the card. I use the card to cross to and from Canada on land, easier to carry a credit card sized passport card in my wallet than the book.

Just a side note, I mailed in my passport renewal in Feb 2020 before the Covid lockdowns. Took several extra months to get my new ones because of the lockdowns. I have read that passports now take much longer to renew in USA, so if you plan any foreign travel, check your passport and send in renewals extra early.
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Old 08-09-21, 12:23 PM
  #83  
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Border crossing into Canada has really changed since I was a kid. When I was between 12-15 years old, my friends and I often hopped on a bus (10 cents) in Detroit, MI where I lived, and rode it over to Windsor, CA. We'd spend the day roaming around, and then hop the bus home. No one even cared. When I turned 16, I just drove over. I'd make a trip to Canada about ever couple of years to get a new pair of CCM hockey skates My parents were from Canada so we visited there there a lot.

Canada is one of our favorite place to cycle so we have probably averaged close to a border crossing a year, for the last 10 (excluding 2019&2020) years. A couple of those years we made three crossings. I have never experienced any issues during that time. The border agents on both sides, have been helpful, and did their job.

The only time I had a "problem" was when I was attending a conference on Vancouver Island as part of my job. When asked the purpose of my visit, I said," work". They asked me to come inside and asked a few more questions about my planned activities. No big deal.

The only other time I was "slowed" down a little, was when I answered the question: do you have mace with you. I said no, but I have dog repellent (Halt II). I was sent to another officer, and he asked to see the container. He returned the repellent to me, and then we talked about bikes.

It seems like we characterize all TSA agents and Border agents in a negative light for just doing their jobs; only a very few are guilty.

Last edited by Doug64; 08-11-21 at 03:08 PM.
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Old 08-09-21, 03:04 PM
  #84  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
I suspect all the "through" streets have been blocked off except for the one that has the actual border crossing. Seems to me that my friend told us of the house or library or something with a line down the middle of it back in the day.
Here's the international barrier on Church ST in Stanstead QC, LOL! ...




Current satellite view of Derby Center VT/Stanstead QC ...



You can see the library that djb and Axoloti speak of straddling the line. I may have gone up Lee St on my trip around the block in the ACA van. It appears to be still open unless that canopy of trees is hiding a barrier. If you look up Lee St from Caswell Ave with street view it looks open.

Last edited by BobG; 08-09-21 at 03:26 PM.
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Old 08-09-21, 03:30 PM
  #85  
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build the wall !!
build the wall !!

err, I mean
Put in the flower pots !!
Put in the flower pots !!
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Old 08-09-21, 03:36 PM
  #86  
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
That would be the Haskell Free Library & Opera House, deliberately built astride the border, partially in Derby Line, VT, and partially in Stanstead, QC. Construction was completed in 1904.

https://haskellopera.com/history/

I visited the library after 9/11. The streets were still pretty open then with minimal border markings or signs at that time. Decades ago, the two towns functioned as one. I was coming from Quebec and I accidentally found myself crossing back into the US before I had wanted to. I don't recall any sign warning me I was about to exit Canada or enter the US. I explained to the US agent who was cool about it. I'm sure I wasn't the first person to do what I had done. He told me to just do a U-turn but to make sure I stopped at his post when I came back. BTW, if memory serves me correctly, there was a hardware store on the US side of the border, but located between the US & Canadian border posts. When I drove 1 block back to the Canadian border post, I was processed normally. I parked the car a short distance away, spent my remaining Canadian coins in a grocery store, and walked over to the Haskell Free Library & Opera House about 2 blocks to the east The border was completely open next to the library, but the sole official entry to the building is on the US side. I took a few photos, walked back to my car, drove back to the American border post, officially entered, then drove 2 blocks east and parked the car across the street from the library. I went inside. There is black hockey tape on the wooden floor to denote the border (for insurance purposes). The library was pretty quiet and the Quebecoise librarian offered to give me a tour of the building. (BTW, my little tour was in French and the librarian told me that they get more Americans who can speak French than anglophone Canadians.) When the library was first built, the town on the Quebec side was anglophone, too, and the library's collection was in English. Now the Quebec town is mainly francophone and the library's holdings are in both French & English. She took me upstairs to the Opera House which was still used for concerts and events. The stage was in Canada, but the seats were in both countries. The pretty original stage curtain from 1904 is still there. She said the only real change to the building was the installation of an elevator to conform to disability laws. Staffing is from both countries. There are phone numbers for each country. Most of the book stacks are in Quebec, and the internet room & multimedia resources are in Vermont.
neat about the building.
about the inadvertent going to the states from canada, I have good friends who live near the border and used to cross regularly. They told of how a French (France) couple who didnt speak English made this mistake (not in this town, but nearby) and the US border people were really angry with them because I think they tried turning around right at the border.
Again, I get that they are doing their job and people try to pull off all kinds of wacky crap, bringing in this and that, and drug and weapons smuggling is no laughing matter.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:10 PM
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
... They told of how a French (France) couple who didnt speak English made this mistake (not in this town, but nearby) and the US border people were really angry with them because I think they tried turning around right at the border.
....
I had no clue how close I was to France when I did my Canadian Maritimes tour two years ago, I met a couple on PEI that were from St Pierre or Miquelon, if I had known that I could have taken a ferry to France from Nova Scotia, I might have considered it.

But that would not have been by accident. Gives me a reason to go back there some day.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:12 PM
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
... It appears to be still open unless that canopy of trees is hiding a barrier. ...
Don't tell anybody about the canopy of trees, they might have to cut them all down so that the predator drones have better visibility of the border.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:28 PM
  #89  
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Originally Posted by BobG View Post
Here's the international barrier on Church ST in Stanstead QC, LOL! ...



Virtually impenetrable
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Old 08-09-21, 05:31 PM
  #90  
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Somebody who lives in the vicinity needs to go and check it out and see what it is like in this pseudo post covid world.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:40 PM
  #91  
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indyfabz
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Nice pictures guys Y'all tour with some tough ladies
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Old 08-09-21, 06:38 PM
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Todays delay at the border. Seems to be about 3-7 hours. Not great but some crossings seem ok.
​​​​​​https://www.reuters.com/world/americ...16-2021-08-09/
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Old 08-09-21, 10:29 PM
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What country is responsible for watering the flowers?
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Old 08-10-21, 04:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
What country is responsible for watering the flowers?
that garnered an early morning chuckle Doug.
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Old 08-21-21, 08:31 AM
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If it does not open, first couple paragraphs from article pasted below:
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-...21-2021-08-20/

WASHINGTON, Aug 20 (Reuters) - The United States on Friday extended the closure of its land borders with Canada and Mexico to non-essential travel such as tourism through Sept. 21 despite Ottawa's decision to open its border to vaccinated Americans.

The latest 30-day extension by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), came after Canada said in July it would start allowing in fully vaccinated U.S. visitors starting Aug. 9 for non-essential travel after the COVID-19 pandemic prompted a lengthy ban that many businesses have called crippling.
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Old 08-21-21, 04:38 PM
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I'll never be able to travel to the USA again unfortunately. Any air travel will also have to completely avoid the USA as well (i.e. no layovers) and hopefully not have to even fly over it. Too risky. Generally, avoiding the USA in any way possible is a good idea from now on. It's too bad, there are so many places to see there and people to engage with. Farewell USA
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Old 08-22-21, 02:57 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
I'll never be able to travel to the USA again unfortunately. Any air travel will also have to completely avoid the USA as well (i.e. no layovers) and hopefully not have to even fly over it. Too risky. Generally, avoiding the USA in any way possible is a good idea from now on. It's too bad, there are so many places to see there and people to engage with. Farewell USA
Do you have a criminal record?

That was my cousin's reason for never visiting the US.

I look forward to visiting our southern neighbours again some day, but at this point I have no idea when that will be. Of course it is still possible to fly.
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Old 08-22-21, 09:03 PM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
Do you have a criminal record?
Not yet, but I'm working on it.
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Old 08-22-21, 10:39 PM
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Originally Posted by prairiepedaler View Post
Not yet, but I'm working on it.
I have a buddy who was arrested once but never charged. He has had to explain that, at the border, a number of times but so far they have always let him in.
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Old 08-23-21, 08:52 AM
  #100  
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I am still holding out hope for Utah in November

Last month I was in Waterton National Park which borders Glacier NP and took a boat tour trying to escape the heat. We "crossed" the border which was just a swath cut through the trees on each side of the lake up and over the mountains.

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