(Clearwater, Minnesota – Windows and More parking lot)
BIG DAY! Today is the day we headed for the border. To say we weren’t nervous about this step of the trip would be a complete lie. As the border patrol officer told us, he’s “the judge, the jury, and the executioner”. So with a truck full of tools, and Greg with his not so squeaky clean past, we had our fingers crossed. The crossing went something like this:
Step one – we pulled into the car lane which has a garage style service area, of course the Boler doesn’t quite fit and we’re left looking like amateurs right off the hop.
We hand over the passports and answer the customary questions. Where are you coming from? Moosomin. Where are you headed to? North Carolina. What do you do for a living? Pipefitter and Field Engineer.
Wait. The officer goes back to his booth, then comes back with a couple more questions. So you’ve taken some time off work? Actually we both quit our jobs! You have a home in Canada? Nope we packed it all up and sold everything else!
More waiting. These last couple of questions we’re quite proud to answer and are patting ourselves on the back for our accomplishments.
When the border patrol officer comes back we’re told to pull ahead and park in the parking lot, where we are then waved into the office. Crap. Inside we meet a new, older, officer.
His opening line, “Let me tell you what I’m having a problem with.” Shit, shit, shit. “You don’t have jobs to go back to. You don’t have a home to go back to. You have nothing tying you to Canada. What’s to stop you from staying as illegal aliens in the states?” He then followed up with the real dousy. “From everything you’ve told me I can deny you access to the States.”
Well shit, we hadn’t even thought of this angle. After a long discussion that covered everything from reviewing the boat documentation, to the officer’s time in Desert Storm he reluctantly let us go with a smile on his face.
Insert relieved victory dance here**
Greg’s favourite line from the experience, “The problem I’m having is that you have ladders strapped to your roof”.
Did I mention Grandpa made it across the border too?!