November 21, 2015
It was the first day on the entire trip that was hard to get up for. Perhaps it was the fact that we knew it was our last day on this wonderful adventure. Perhaps it was the realization that soon we’d be back into our normal stride. Or perhaps it was just plain laziness. Whatever the cause, we both felt a little sad at the prospect of the trip ending.
We reorganized the gear so that I had easy access to all of the paperwork required for the border. In our heads we planned for a three hour minimum visit with our pals at the border. Getting the bike through required that we declare the bike for export on the US side and then declare it for import on the Canadian side. This process has been on my mind for two months now, and even though I knew I had most of the bases covered there’s always room for something to happen – and I was remaining prepared for having to turn around at the border for some unforeseen reason.
As we headed out from Great Falls, it was the first cold day on the bike. We stopped so Nita could wrap herself up in her liners and I needed to zip up the vents. The riding was a straight shot on the I-15 all the way to the Coutts/Sweetgrass border. We pulled into the Vehicle Export lot and walked up to the 2nd floor. I was completely prepared for bureaucracy to begin – but rather I was met with a smile.
“When did you send in the paper work?”
“About a week ago”
*Stamp* “Drive north young man”
And the US part of the import was over. Just like that! With all of the paper work required for the Canadian side, surely that part would prove to be the long wait.
After the standard questions, the border guard asked me to pull into the lot and visit the traffic booth inside. A different guard filled out the Form 1, asked me to check the date of manufacture, and informed me of the GST charge to import.
*Stamp* “Have fun!”
I was so happy I wanted to cry. We were in and out of the border in less than 30 minutes.
Originally we wanted to ride one of my favorite roads north to Calgary – HWY 22 or the Cowboy Trail. However a storm was brewing and with 5 hours on the road already we felt like getting home. Straight north on HWY 2 and we pulled up to our home just as my mum pulled in. Lovely. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen her so happy – it makes me think that she didn’t think she was going to see me again :) Still, it was good to be home – though sad to be over.
The trip was an amazing experience – though I’m sure for a while it’s going to seem a little strange not having somewhere to go, or to have something we need to do. I’ll probably need to write about it as a whole – after looking at everything here – and put it all together in my mind and heart. It was magic.
We can’t wait for our next trip…