Friday, April 24, 2015

April 24, 2015 at 05:03PM by advodna_dave

For anyone wondering about the ferry process, it was really easy. We'd made reservations online and were told to arrive an hour early. When we got there, we were directed around the main line of cars, through a parking lot and into a lane behind another RV. I went inside to pay the balance while Ann climbing into the trailer to feed the kids and get them changed out of the pajamas they were still in from their early wakeup back at camp. At about 8:00, they started loading from various lanes of cars, big rigs and RV's picking and choosing based on length and weight. While the pic I posted showed a tight squeeze, it was all very slow and orderly with a guy standing right in front of me directing which way to turn the wheel (like lining up for an automatic carwash). 

By the time we got out and walked upstairs, the boat was already underway. There was a simple cafeteria setup, a little shop where we bought a M.V. Coho magnet for our collection and a variety of different seating from booths to large shared tables to pretty comfy seats. Not to long after leaving the port, the boat started rocking pretty good and Ann decided to go outside on the upper deck to ride out her seasickness. After about 15 minutes, it settled down to slow bob, although I didn't see her for the rest of the trip. Note, we'd left Gorilla down below in the trailer although a number of people had dogs up in the seating area.

Pulling off was similarly orderly with guys in orange vests pointing at the vehicles they wanted next. Of course, this time, we were all being directed into customs and immigration lines for Canadian entry. When it was our turn, the agent was polite and *thorough,* the same experience we'd had when crossing the year before on the way to Banff. Of course, that time Wynne had been sleeping in the back seat, so we'd both whispered the entire interaction. This time, he asked me to roll down the back windows and looked confusedly back and forth between the passports and the back seat. I asked what he was looking at, and he just said, "Oh, I just couldn't find the other baby." I'd forgotten that the picture on Wynne's passport had been taken when she was about 5 weeks old, and though she was three now, would still be valid for another two years!

Other than that, he wanted to make sure we weren't bringing in anything we planned to leave behind, working while in the country or carrying firearms. When we said no to the last item, he said, "You're going to Alaska but not carrying a firearm?" I couldn't tell if it was just a reasonable follow-up or if he was questioning our judgement. He also asked about pepper spray or bear spray at which point I looked down to see the canister we'd bought last time in Canada in the door pocket beside my left foot. Without really thinking, I just said "No," and he was satisfied.

We'd done our best to clean out the fridge of most fresh fruits and vegetables, but there were a few things we couldn't incorporate into the last meal. We'd also read something about restrictions on raw eggs and poultry so had hard boiled our last dozen. When he asked about eggs, I told him what we had, and he apologized that the rules were changing every day and no eggs at all were allowed. We pulled over to the side and an agent approached and asked me to get the eggs. She stood at the door as I tried to open the fridge only enough to grab the carton, not sure what other contraband she might see in there, but she just commented as she scanned around the inside of the trailer that it looked like a pretty nice set up. From behind a stack of books in the back corner of the trailer, "Ophelia the Orchid" and "Aaron the Airstream Plant" silently concurred, careful not to reveal their hiding places.

With a wave from the agent, we squeezed between a fence and a large class A motorhome that was undergoing a full cavity search, a tighter fit even than we'd had on the ferry, pulled out into traffic and disappeared into Canada.