The most nerve racking time awaits, crossing over the border! I’m still not sure why I always get so nervous when it comes to any border guard, they’ve never once been mean and I’ve never had any issues. Might have been because this time was the first I was crossing solo, or maybe it’s because often times they take their jobs far too serious (nothing wrong with that), but when they don’t smile I seem to find it funny for some reason.
As I took off in the morning I knew it wasn’t going to be the best drive. It had been snowing heavy icy snow all night, but was ready to head south and have all that snow turn to rain.
As I’m getting closer to the border you get the warning signs letting you know the border is coming up. Exciting! It’s always so weird because then out of no where there are all these buildings, cameras, lights and signs telling you where to go. You know you’ve arrived. I stop and wait for the vehicle ahead of me to go and as I pull up to a US border guard I just pray they are not super proper and can smile at least once, instead of being stone cold serious. Lucky for me he is super nice and as I hand him my passport he gave Baron a treat through the window. Next I get the standard; where are you going? How long will you be there? What will you be doing?. All was going well, but then, Do you have any citrus fruit in the van? SHIT! I pause and respond, “Yes!?”
Well things all change and not only did it go stone cold serious, but this wasn’t going to be funny at all, I fucked up. I am told to pull over to the side and a border agent would be there to meet me and that was it, my van was getting searched. Awesome!
In the van I had 2 oranges, 2 lemons and 2 tomatoes in the fridge. Want to know basically the only 3 things you can’t bring across the border? Yup, citrus fruit, aka, lemons and oranges, and the only vegetable, yup tomatoes. Not so fun and the worst bit, they took all of Baron’s food too, which for a dog with severe allergies and who eats food that you can basically only get in Canada, this sucked. I had driven across the border with Baron at least a dozen times in the past and never once had issues with this. This time though I was traveling light and didn’t have the original packaging and had it broken down into small ziplocs I lost it all, so keep the original packaging. Goat and lamb products are also not allowed across the border. My food had none of those things in it, but because I didn’t have packaging to say it, it was gone. If I didn’t have that fruit they would have never cared about his dog food either.
Long story short I actually got in a lot of shit, was handed a piece of paper with a list of things to not bring across the border and was told it would now be on my record when I cross and not knowing wasn’t an excuse. The next time I’ll be fined. Best bit the lemon, orange and tomato were actually all from the US in the first place. Gah.
Either way when it comes time for me to come home and cross the border back into Canada I’ll be greeted with a welcome back and one of those friendly looks that looks like you’re getting a little hug from Canada again. Guess we’ll find out what happens next time I cross over the border. Welcome to the USA! Next stop … picking up a Baby Ruth and driving the whole day until the sun goes down!
Let's get serious for a moment folks traveling with their 4 legged friends, especially in north Cali! While Baron was in the Redwoods, through our many days hiking he sadly pick up a tick and it tested positive for Lyme!