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.

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.

Old rusted tractor and plough
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”.

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.

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…


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)?


R & A said...

Do you pay to go back