Friday, 16 July 2010

Across the border into America

16th July: St. Malo to Roseau, MN

Odometer: 131 km, Start: 8.30am, Finish: 4.15pm, Avg: 23.6 km/h,
Weather: Mostly sunny, NW wind, Temp: 16-26°C
Mosquito Bites: 73, Hills walked: 0
Road Conditions: #59 (26km), 2m gravel shoulder, light traffic. #201, grassed over shoulder, deserted, reasonable road surface. #89, gravel shoulder, deserted, reasonable road surface. Good tarmac on the US side at first then deteriorates approaching Roseau. Gas station at #59/#201 and services at Vita (45km) then nothing until Roseau. Ascent: 150m/100m.

My approach towards the US border was uneventful. The roads were flat and straight. The scenery consisted mostly of farmland – a mixture of cattle farming and hay/silage crop fields. Occasionally small open forested sections would punctuate the landscape. My old friend the Red-winged Blackbird was also much in evidence. After I turned onto the provincial road #201 the road was almost deserted.

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Deserted straight road through an open pine forest

Vita was the only town of note and it came a bit early at 45km. I took a light lunch, expecting Piney to have something later. Unfortunately, Piney was a dead town with the hotel, restaurant and gas station all boarded up. I was a bit hungry when I got to Roseau, MN.

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Old rusted tractor and plough
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Isolated trees make good subjects!

The border crossing was painless. Technically, I crossed as a pedestrian. The border patrol officer filled out a simple I-94 form, I ticked a few boxes, paid $6 and was through in 10 minutes. The Pine Creek border crossing was a very quiet one. The officers said “they liked it that way”.

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The small US border post at Pine Creek

So I’m in the US! I keep reminding myself this is the US and not Canada, as there’s not much visually to distinguish the two, apart from the change of flags flying and the new currency.

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Welcome to Minnesota

After buying a map of Minnesota and studying a few routes, it looks like I’m going to take 4 days to make Duluth. I’m straight-lining Minnesota more than I planned to save some kilometres. I’ve fallen behind a couple of days and since I’ve decided I’m not interested in doing 150km+ days I need to shorten the route to make sure I’m not short changed towards the east coast of Canada. So I’m going to cut out a little bit of my planned route meandering in the States. I’ll see how I get on. Here’s to a successful American leg of my cycle trip…

2 comments:

Bryan said...

Strange re: fee to cross at CAN/US border... I didn't have to pay anything at Piney... Maybe because you're not a North American citizen (Canadian/US/Mexican)?


bryan
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http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/X-Canada-2009

R & A said...

Do you pay to go back