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Canadian Border

Old 07-28-21, 04:01 AM
  #51  
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Not paywall, should be readable by all. Something else to watch if you have plans to cross the border.
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/0...-strike-501004
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Old 07-28-21, 08:52 AM
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I'm going to wait until next year. I'm not too keen on how this is all unfolding right now - delta variant, Border Services strike, etc. Also leaves me wondering how welcoming will Canadians be? It's such a strange time!
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Old 07-28-21, 01:30 PM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Altair 4 View Post
I'm going to wait until next year. I'm not too keen on how this is all unfolding right now - delta variant, Border Services strike, etc. Also leaves me wondering how welcoming will Canadians be? It's such a strange time!
The tourist industry will be welcoming because they are desperate for your dollars. Still you might meet individuals that are not.
You guys still haven't opened up for us. Oh well maybe next year.

From the sounds of it Border Services haven't figured out how to handle vaccine verification and covid testing. Long line ups at airport entry points for returning Canadians.
It is still a couple of weeks before Americans will be allowed. Add a strike and It probably isn't worth the wait.

Last time I crossed the border was January 2020, pre pandemic, at Coutts/Sweetgrass, to pick up a bike frame that I had shipped to the border. The US was in some kind of budget crisis
so there was only one lane open, on the major Alberta/Montana crossing, which is of huge commercial importance.It was about 45 minutes waiting in line to get through, the border agent was a bit of a jerk (they all are), and the return trip took 5 min. including paying a GST fee on the frame.

Good luck if you go.
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Old 07-28-21, 03:13 PM
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Photo is nine years old, no waiting.



But on the USA side, do not take any photos, for some reason they think that what the border facilities look like is top secret.
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Old 07-28-21, 04:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Photo is nine years old, no waiting.



But on the USA side, do not take any photos, for some reason they think that what the border facilities look like is top secret.
Where is that?

The only place I've ever crossed by bicycle was Roosville Montana/BC. It took about 10 minutes, border agent was a jerk.
But they let us through and we had a great trip. I would never judge a country by its border agents. They have an important but boring job and many of them get officious.
Its human nature.

If any of you guys are going to cross next month, I would be prepared for long delays.
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Old 08-07-21, 06:14 PM
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Not paywall, everyone should be able to open it.
https://www.politico.com/news/2021/0...ericans-502756
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Old 08-07-21, 07:32 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post

If any of you guys are going to cross next month, I would be prepared for long delays.
I am contemplating going late August, just as schools are opening. The 72 hr. PCR test is throwing a wrench into my plans. Might hang out in Maine for a bit, get the test, if I am negative cross over. I'll see how crazy the border crossing situation goes. If it is bad then onto plan 9..... so many trips have been canceled.
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Old 08-07-21, 07:55 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
Where is that?

The only place I've ever crossed by bicycle was Roosville Montana/BC. It took about 10 minutes, border agent was a jerk.
I crossed into BC there with my girlfriend in ‘09. Agent was a total jerk. At one point she fired off “What’s your next day back at work?!?!” It was the third day of the trip. I had no idea of what the date was that day. All I could come up with was “A week from next Monday.” Fortunately, the GF was good with things like that.
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Old 08-08-21, 03:43 AM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
Where is that?

....
Sorry, I missed your question earlier. That was while riding from Waterton park to east side of Glacier park. My GPS says that was highway 6 in Canada to Montana highway 17 in USA. Photo taken in 2012.

There were some very impressive uphills that day.
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Old 08-08-21, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Sorry, I missed your question earlier. That was while riding from Waterton park to east side of Glacier park. My GPS says that was highway 6 in Canada to Montana highway 17 in USA. Photo taken in 2012.

There were some very impressive uphills that day.
That border crossing is called Chief Mountain. Thought it looked familiar. I’ve crossed in both directions.

Yes. There is some impressive climbing in the Belly River Valley. Not long after leaving Waterton there’s something like a 6 mile climb heading towards the US border. Going in the other direction, our ACA map warned us not to take the hills for granted after crossing Going to the Sun the day before.

Nice scenery though. I’ll try to post some photos from my desktop.

From a 2009 Waterton Glacier Loop.



Leaving the park.

Looking up the first climb.

Looking back down the first climb.

Shortly before or after the border crossing.

Chief Mountain itself. Sacred to the Blackfoot Nation.

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Old 08-08-21, 09:54 AM
  #61  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
That border crossing is called Chief Mountain. Thought it looked familiar. I’ve crossed in both directions.

Yes. There is some impressive climbing in the Belly River Valley. Not long after leaving Waterton there’s something like a 6 mile climb heading towards the US border. Going in the other direction, our ACA map warned us not to take the hills for granted after crossing Going to the Sun the day before.
...
Great photos.

Some of the hills that day, I was pleased that there was very little traffic on the road from Waterton, as some of the time I was doing switchbacks back and forth within the two lanes on the road to try to flatten the grade slightly.

The next day, Going to the Sun was almost a pleasure ride, as it was a constant flatter grade between about 5 and 6 percent.

Profile from my GPS data from Waterton to St Mary.



Photo below as I was leaving Waterton. I had no interest in getting closer for a better photo.



It started raining on the day we left Waterton, but fortunately it was after the big hills, so no trouble braking on the downhills.
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Old 08-08-21, 10:53 AM
  #62  
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My wife just put her head down and rode. Chief mountain was probably the toughest hill of our tour- Vancouver, BC to Whitefish, MT.




One happy lady

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Old 08-08-21, 10:57 AM
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As you can see from the first photo, it was really cold when we started. That was late June. We set up the tent inside one of the camp kitchens at the town campsite and had a fire in the huge, iron stove.

The real killer was the strong headwind once we finally got down to U.S. 89 the rest of the way to St. Mary. The pass was still closed. In order to ride up and back down the west slope of GTS and still make our flight home we did a near century around the park from St. Mary to Sprague Creek Campground near the lodge via US 89, MT 49 and US 2. The next day the west slope opened all the way to Logan Pass, so the effort had proved worth it. But boy were those three hard days in a row. The GF was so tired after the century that she couldn’t figure out why the women’s room at the campground had urinals. Then she realized her mistake.
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Old 08-08-21, 01:01 PM
  #64  
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
I crossed into BC there with my girlfriend in ‘09. Agent was a total jerk. At one point she fired off “What’s your next day back at work?!?!” It was the third day of the trip. I had no idea of what the date was that day. All I could come up with was “A week from next Monday.” Fortunately, the GF was good with things like that.
In the 40 or so countries I've been to, the only border agent I ever had a problem with was a Canadian agent. He interrogated me for half an hour in a small, windowless room. He yelled at me numerous times. He examined every file on my laptop. He ran police checks on me for each state I've lived in. He seemed extremely pissed off when all of the police checks came back clean. He accused me of lying when I hadn't lied to him about anything. I had no reason to lie to him.

I filed an official complaint against the agent when I got home, and eventually got a bureaucratic form letter response. One thing I learned afterwards from various websites is that there are a huge number of horror stories far worse than mine, from both Canadians and Americans who are attempting to enter their neighboring country and are treated atrociously. These border agents have a lot of power, but have minimal oversight.
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Old 08-08-21, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
... These border agents have a lot of power, but have minimal oversight.
Yup.
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Old 08-08-21, 01:55 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl View Post
One thing I learned afterwards from various websites is that there are a huge number of horror stories far worse than mine, from both Canadians and Americans who are attempting to enter their neighboring country and are treated atrociously. These border agents have a lot of power, but have minimal oversight.
When we crossed into AB at Chief Mountain back in ‘99 during ACA’s Northern Tier tour we stopped to regroup to make sure everyone was admitted. While we were waiting we saw two young people exit the building with an agent pushing a gurney with a bunch of personal possessions on it. The two started loading up their car. The agent had gone back inside the building, but we could see her pressed against the wall peering through the glass at the two. When they got into the car they turned around and headed back to the US side, apparently having been denied admission. Can only imagine what had went on inside the building.
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Old 08-08-21, 03:24 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
When we crossed into AB at Chief Mountain back in ‘99 during ACA’s Northern Tier tour we stopped to regroup to make sure everyone was admitted. While we were waiting we saw two young people exit the building with an agent pushing a gurney with a bunch of personal possessions on it. The two started loading up their car. The agent had gone back inside the building, but we could see her pressed against the wall peering through the glass at the two. When they got into the car they turned around and headed back to the US side, apparently having been denied admission. Can only imagine what had went on inside the building.
I have heard that people have been denied entry into Canada if they have committed an offense in USA that would be a felony in Canada. There are a lot of people in USA that at one time or another had a DWI or DUI, that is a felony in Canada so they can be denied entry, even if it occurred years earlier.

Every once in a while when I am up in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota on a canoe trip, we will be on the border and see these things concreted into the ground. The other side says Canada.

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Old 08-08-21, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I have heard that people have been denied entry into Canada if they have committed an offense in USA that would be a felony in Canada. There are a lot of people in USA that at one time or another had a DWI or DUI, that is a felony in Canada so they can be denied entry, even if it occurred years earlier.


Every once in a while when I am up in the Boundary Waters in Northern Minnesota on a canoe trip, we will be on the border and see these things concreted into the ground. The other side says Canada.

According to the interwebz there are a couple of ways to get permission to enter Canada with a DUI conviction but they look like they are long, cunbersome, bureaucratic and expensive.

https://www.canadaduientrylaw.com/

I've driven that Chief Mountain Road many times in a car, but never cycled it. Going to the Sun is one of my favourite rides, but it won't be this year, as the US is not opening the land border to Canadians anytime soon .


I am surprised you can get that close to the unfenced border in boundary waters. You used to be able to do that out west in the mountains, but in the last 20 years, the border has been fortified electronically with motion sensors and cameras and such and stories are you can't get anywhere near it, or if you do the powers that be know about it. In Whitefish Montana, the local rag had stories about illegals being intercepted in the mountains, the implication being that they were Islamic terrorists.
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Old 08-08-21, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
I am surprised you can get that close to the unfenced border in boundary waters. You used to be able to do that out west in the mountains, but in the last 20 years, the border has been fortified electronically with motion sensors and cameras and such and stories are you can't get anywhere near it, or if you do the powers that be know about it.
Interesting. I have twice ridden north of Yaak, MT, which is way up in the NW part of the state. While planning my route I saw some old forest service roads off the one paved road that come very close to the border but dead end before reaching it. Often wonder how they secure that area. Maybe that’s the answer. While descending Porcupine Pass my phone started blowing up after two days with no service. I had to stop to see what that was all about. Turned out I was connected to Verizon of Canada and was getting notifications off text messages.
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Old 08-08-21, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Interesting. I have twice ridden north of Yaak, MT, which is way up in the NW part of the state. While planning my route I saw some old forest service roads off the one paved road that come very close to the border but dead end before reaching it. Often wonder how they secure that area. Maybe that’s the answer. While descending Porcupine Pass my phone started blowing up after two days with no service. I had to stop to see what that was all about. Turned out I was connected to Verizon of Canada and was getting notifications off text messages.
I should have saved that article in the Whitefish paper. It was interesting but a bit crazy, they seemed to be implying that there were potential terrorists trying to infiltrate the US, but the border while seeming undefended actually is well defended. I don't know. Maybe they are just trying to make you think that so you won't try and sneak over. I'm not going to go and try.
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Old 08-09-21, 04:54 AM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
I should have saved that article in the Whitefish paper. It was interesting but a bit crazy, they seemed to be implying that there were potential terrorists trying to infiltrate the US, but the border while seeming undefended actually is well defended. I don't know. Maybe they are just trying to make you think that so you won't try and sneak over. I'm not going to go and try.
In 2010 I did ACA’s Cycle Vermont supported tour. The second day we came very close to the PQ border. A border agent pulled into one of our rest stops and started talking to me. He said he became suspicious when he saw a non-descript white van with Virginia plates driving slowly. He thought it might be related to drug smuggling activity. Then, he said, he started seeing cyclists and realized what was actually going on. Told me there was a decent amount of drugs flowing south from the province into Vermont. I had no idea.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:12 AM
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More detail on border re-opening to enter Canada from USA here:
https://www.cnn.com/travel/article/c...ide/index.html

Article only cited land borders with this statement:
Fully vaccinated Americans may also enter Canada at a number of land border crossings.

So, that is unclear if we are back to pre-covid conditions or if some land borders are not re-opening.
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Old 08-09-21, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by skookum View Post
...
I am surprised you can get that close to the unfenced border in boundary waters. ....
I do not recall if I was standing in Canada or USA when I took this photo, but the border is the river.

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Old 08-09-21, 06:17 AM
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I haven't crossed the Canadian border in a long time, but I recall a couple anecdotes from canoe trips where we were driving to or from put ins or take outs. One was that a friend who told us he worked for the IRS often seemed to be asked out of the blue whether he worked for the US government and was then spirited off. We always wondered how they knew, why they cared, and whether he was a really a CIA agent or something.

The other thing was a time when we crossed the border into the US out in the middle of nowhere (our trip was all in the Maine, but it was easiest to access our start from Canada). Canadian customs was a little shack. We left there and drove down a dirt road past what was not much more than an outhouse sized shack. The next thing we know we are being chased by US customs agents. They took our error pretty seriously and did what they could to let us think we would be detained, have our vehicles confiscated, and so on. The sign was easy to miss and I suspect they were pretty bored with pretty much zero traffic and just liked having a chance to terrorize some poor idiots like us.
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Old 08-09-21, 07:07 AM
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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.
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