Saturday, September 4, 2010

When in Doubt Faint!

All loaded up and ready to go.
Daryll writes:
We are in Arcata. California at the moment and after 6 days on the road, 1460km later, we already have a few stories.  Crossing the US Border was meant to be the easiest border that we were going to cross during this trip.  We have down it several dozen times over the last few years, it wasn't on our radar that we would need to stress out about it.

So here the fun begins - Who would have thought that crossing the border on a Monday morning was going to be so busy.  We waited for about 45min in the line up in our riding gear in the heat.  Angela rides up to the border guard at the booth and after several minutes gets handed a slip and directed to go inside.  I follow inside. We line up again and Ang fills me in on the conversation she had with the guard.  Apparently he wasn't happy with the fact that we had no exact return date back in Canada and neither was he happy with the fact that we had no real documented ties to Canada anymore.  Wait in line for another 45mins till we get to another customs guard at the counter.  He goes through the usual questions as we answer the best we can.  According to him, we needed to prove to him that we were not planning to immigrate to the US and we had no physical proof on us that we were only planning on staying 2 weeks before moving on to Mexico.

The 2 most important questions he asks, we answer honestly and it's not the answers he was looking for:-
1)  Do we have a home or a place to go back to in Canada - our answer is no.
2)  Do we have jobs awaiting for us in Canada - our answer again is no.
We assure the guy that we have funds, and that we are traveling and have no intention to immigrate to the US; however he is not buying our story and I can see that he is on the verge of denying us entry.

By this point, I was feeling too well.  Spent about 90mins in riding gear waiting and needed to sit down. I thought I could take a step back from the counter and possibly sit; however didn't quiet make it and as I took a step back, continued to the ground laying on my back and fainting.  I probably had about 5 custom guards around me, asking if I was ok.  On the way down, I hit my head on the tile floor, so they were concerned that I had hurt my neck or head and started scanning me for any visible injuries till the paramedics arrive.  A couple minutes later, about 4 fire fighters arrive and start going through all their procedures.  I recover by having some water, my head hurt, but wasn't anything serious. 

As I lay on the ground, the only thing I could think of, was the guard had a problem with us entering the US before this, and now with me laying on the ground, he is definitely not going to let is in now.  By this time I am feeling much better and start joking with the firemen as they are really interested in our tip.   I notice that the same guard pulls Angela aside and I find out later that he had asked her to go through our itinerary and says that he is granting us entry to the US because I had fainted. So much for logical rules getting us into the country. We spend a few more minutes resting outside in the shade before moving on to our friends (Tom & Kathy's) place in Bellingham for lunch and a well needed distraction from the mornings events.

Tom had introduced me to Couchsurfing a few weeks prior and we had a few places lined up for the first few nights.  We spent that evening in Port Angeles with Sherry & Terry and we got in later than schedules; however they were absolutely amazing, thank you.

We head off early on day 2 which was going to be our longest riding day (400km) for our stay in the US.  We were going to ride from Port Angeles to Ocean Park.  The roads were awesome, twisties along the coast; however it rained and rained and rained for pretty much the 9hrs that we spent on the road.  So when we got to Mike's place in Ocean Park, we were soaked.  Mike, a fellow rider as well was equally gracious and by the time we went to bed, had all our riding gear sprawled around his house drying out.

Check out the link on the right of our photos so far in the US.
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  1. LMAO! sounds like the adventure started right away. glad they let you in to the US otherwise it would have been the shortest around the world trip ever. take care and ride safe. Greg and Jill Porter

  2. The fact that our trip was ending at the US border before it even began was the stress factor that I think made Daryll faint. That'll teach us to telling the truth!

  3. Telling the truth seems to be a good idea, but as Grant Johnson has made it clear, it doesn't always aid progress... good thing it all worked out, hope you guys have a wonderful time - look forward to the coming adventures!

    Peter & Joyce Jowett

  4. Who would have thought! Glad you made it through the easy part...