Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Day 4 - East Grand Forks, MN - Neepawa, Manitoba, Canada

Woke up at 6:30 and left East Grand Forks around 7:30 after taking the tent down and packing everything in about an hour.  The town is deserted at this time in the morning. I stopped in front of the River Cinema right across from a Cabela's store. The bridge in the background is the one I walked last night to watch the concert.  My next stop is in front of city hall, deserted as well, I could have ridden the bike on the sidewalk and no one would have noticed.



Across from City Hall there were more farm animals, they seem to be all over the city.


I cross the bridge into North Dakota and head towards Devils Lake thinking it's going to be something nice to see but when I got there I was a little disappointed, it's just a huge lake and a little town called Devils Lake.  I didn't take any pictures of the lake, it was far from the road and nothing spectacular.




A little later the sky turned from a bright blue to a cloudy and rain threatening sky, it never rained but the wind was the worst I have encountered so far on this trip.  The wind was blowing from the south and the bike kept veering towards the edge of the road, never a good thing.




Across North Dakota you see lots of silos and farms, it's amazing how many miles of farms I passed.  The ride was boring and the wind was relentless.





I continue west eventually reaching the town of Rugby, the geographical center of North America, who knew Rugby was the center, wow, I wonder why it's called Rugby? It's not even a big sport in North America.


Rugby is a city in Pierce County, North Dakota in the United States. It is the county seat of Pierce County. The population was 2,876 at the 2010 census.[1] Rugby was founded in 1886.
Rugby is often billed as being the geographic center of North America.  Wiki





The wind was so bad and the temperature had dropped to the low 60's that I stopped in Rugby and bought a scarf and a long sleeve sweatshirt. The scarf helps to stop the wind from going down your back.  I will add it to my list for the next trip for sure.
Rugby is also the place where I made a right and headed north into Canada.  As I approach Dunseith, the last town in the US I spot this giant turtle and stop to take a picture, that's when I notice it's made with wheel rims, I wonder who's idea it was, great imagination for sure.




I continue to the border and stop on the Canadian side.  The office comes out and asks where am I going, I say Alaska and Whitehorse, he asks who am I going to see in Whitehorse, I reply friends on motorcycles like mine.  He asks me if I'm carrying any drugs, alcohol or weapons, I say no.  He asks how long I'm going to stay in Canada, I say not sure.  He goes inside with my drivers license and after a few minutes comes out and tells me to park the bike over by the table.  He then asks me to open my bags and says he's going to search them.  Another officer comes out and helps him.  At this point I'm getting upset and annoyed.  While opening my camera bag he drops one of my batteries on the floor and I ask him to be careful with my stuff, it's expensive.  He looks at me and says he HAS the right to search.  I say, search all you want, just don't break anything.  At this point I'm thinking, DUMB ASS, I almost felt like telling to keep Canada to himself, I will return to the US but unfortunately I keep my mouth shut since I do want to get to Alaska and don't feel like flying.
They search everything including inside my sleeping bag, didn't take the sleeping bag out but inserted his hand inside, I felt like telling him where he could insert his hand.  In the mean time I open a bag of peanuts and proceed to eat them, might as well, there was nothing for me to do.
After a while he says everything is good and I should enjoy my stay in Canada, I'm thinking, go F... yourself.
Afterwards he is very friendly and asks what route I'm taking and even suggest a better one, again I'm thinking of saying "I don't need your stinking help" but I keep my mouth shut again.  Time to move on.

I'm in Canada, Manitoba is my port of entry.


Further up the road I spot another giant creature, it's starting to be a theme with me.


The sun was going down fast when I spot this Canadian fighter on the side of the road, not sure what's doing there but I stop to take a picture, I love planes.


I was planning on getting on highway 16 but miss the turn and continue to Neepawa when I realise I made a mistake.  It was late and I was tired, I decided to find some food and then find a campsite in Neepawa.
I find a very nice campsite by a little river and get a site.  I get my site right next to a British guy who has 4 motorcycles, used to race them and now lives in Canada and works in the agriculture business.
I setup my tent and then walk to the river to take a picture, nothing special, just a little river.



We talk about motorcycles, he says he's jealous of my trip and wishes he could do it too.  I ask him what he does and he says he runs his quad through farms analyzing the soil and the crops for a big corporation.  He tells me he covers 50000 acres of farmland for a big company.  The next day he was supposed to drive his F-150 with the quad 2 hours north and then spend the day in the field surveying the land.  I never knew such a job existed.  You can see his F-150 and quad in the picture.  He lives temporarily in a camper.


I make a cup of soup and eat the burger I had bought earlier in Neepawa.   Later I have a cup of coffee and then retire to the tent for a good night sleep.


My camping equipment, a $2.99 bottle for the water, Coleman fuel and stove and a plastic cup, ah, the joys of camping.



305 miles today, not too bad, a leisurely ride.

Map:

View Larger Map


To be continued.......

20 comments:

  1. What a challenging entrance into Canada. I have never entered east of Montana but have never had the same experience. Maybe it was the ambiguous response as far as days in Canada. I've always gave them my best estimate on the number of days. Then all they seemed to care about was if I had enough money to spend and if I had any guns. I even ran into a random checkpoint on the Cassiar in the early 80s where they were asking about guns.

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    1. Yea, I think so, I told him I wasn't sure and I was meeting guys but I didn't know where they were coming from, duh.

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  2. I guess some of us have had special encounters crossing the border. I was once been hold by the US authorities for no apparent reason. Nobody talked to me, or explained what was going on. They took my papers and left. So I pulled out my Kindle and started reading. An hour later I got my passport back, and could go. No explanation given. I shrugged it off, and went my ways. Traveling in Europe is so much easier...

    Anyhow, safe travels and watch out for moose and grizzlies.

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    1. Thanks, saw lots of bears and moose today.
      First time I have had access to the internet, have been camping everyday.

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  3. The adventure has started!!! I'm having fun reading and learning lots to plan for my ride! Keep having fun and thank you for taking the time to write it up so we can follow along.

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    1. I wish I had more internet access but I have camped every night, had an horrible night in Battle Forts, will post when I have time.

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  4. Did you expect a little red man with horns and a fork at Devil's Lake? LOL

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    1. Yea :-)
      No, more like something like Mono Lake in California.

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  5. Ooooh you got a 'secondary' at the border. When they pull you over and search your vehicle. Been there, done that and that was with hubby who is Canadian and we were returning home in BC. We've never had trouble getting into the US, just returning to Canada. We have found in past experience the Canadian border guards are a little testy especially the female ones.

    Great pics. Love the turtle made of rims.

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    1. These were two guys, I wish it had been a female, at least I would have something nice to look at :-)

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  6. Hey George, be safe buddy, I hope you are having a great time, and I wish I was riding along side you. I've heard so many horror stories from people trying to cross into Canada, that it almost seems like it is more trouble than it's worth going there. I plan on doing a trip up there next year on the Goldwing. I look forward to reading your great reviews of the places that you visit and seeing your photo's. Stay safe, hopefully we will meet up at the Brick when you return.

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    1. Glad you enjoying Ron, I have seen amazing stuff, bears, grizzly's, moose, mountain goats, just wait until I can catch up. I'm camping so most places have no wi-fi. I'm with 3 other guys now, last night we didn't have a decent meal because we camped in a place where the closest place for food was 100 miles away.

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  7. George:

    I have NEXUS and even then they treat everyone like you are a 2nd class citizen. They have a chip on their shoulders and have absolute authority. They are able to put comments in their computer which can deny you access if they don't like the way you look. You can't even joke with them, they never smile

    You were probably searched because you gave the wrong answers when he asked you questions, esp how long you expected to be in the Country. You have to have "positive" answers. How long . . . "23 days Sir", "I am going to a Bike Rally in Whitehorse"

    On my bike I was once asked: "how much money do you have on you?" I said $43.00. He said: "Let me see it". I pulled out $48.something (change). He looked at me and said "how come you told me $43. and you actually have $48." then he asked "Have you ever been arrested ?" believe me, I dislike going across the border too.

    have a nice trip, but you will find that most Canadians are friendly.

    bob
    Riding the Wet Coast
    My Flickr // My YouTube

    PS: Welcome to Canada

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    1. I know, it's the assholes with badges. So far everyone has been nice, camped with a guy from Quebec, really nice guy. Will post later.

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  8. I'm enjoying following your posts! You are SO funny...I would have wanted to say the same thing that you were thinking, to the border patrol! Ride safe and ENJOY!

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    1. Thanks Nancy, there's going to be much better stuff.

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  9. Great George, really enjoying this.

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  10. East Grand Forks seems to be eerie at that time in the morning. I know what to expect when I cross there next year. Have fun in Canada! Love your post.

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    1. I love sleepy towns, love riding through them. You will enjoy.

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