Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

US Crossing Third Time Lucky

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

US Crossing Third Time Lucky

Article excerpt

Byline: By Leon and Joanne Bowman

Banff, best known of the Canadian Rockies National Parks (and also the busiest) was our final planned destination before crossing the border into the US.

Using the Lake Louise Village Campground as a base, we spent almost a week exploring the park, it's glacier-covered mountains and magnificent lakes.

Lake Louise, the emerald watered "jewel of the Rockies", although stunning, was an anticlimax after the breathtakingly beautiful waters of Lake Morraine. An evening walk along the shoreline of Bow Lake was truly magical.

Running about three days ahead of schedule, we made our way down to Waterton National Park, just north of the US border. Despite grey clouds and rain obscuring the scenery, we were still able to enjoy our time there, spotting as many bears in three days as we did during our entire time in Canada (22 altogether, including two Grizzlies. Sadly they were all elusive enough to prevent me from getting a good photograph).

Saying a fond farewell to Canada, we headed for the US border, only to say hello again half an hour later. An ill mannered, obnoxious US customs officer had taken great pleasure in informing us that we couldn't enter the States without the appropriate paper work for our van.

Furthermore, we were informed that we'd have to drive about 200 miles east and cross the border at Sweetgrass, an impounded van the result of non-compliance.

Three days in the farming town of Milk River while we awaited the letter of compliance from Ford left us little choice but to visit the weird rock formations of the Writing on Stone provincial park.

Arriving at Sweetgrass with paperwork in hand and confident of success, we again tried to cross the border. Half an hour later we walked into town to try to find an imports `broker' while US customs looked after our van for us.

Apparently without a broker we'd be unable to sell the van before we left. (The reasonably amicable customs officer doubted my intention to give it away for some reason!)

Back at the border, later the same day, there only remained the simple task of sitting in a locked room for an hour while our van was thoroughly searched before we were finally allowed to enter the country. …

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