Day 86 (June 22): To Cross or Not to Cross into Canada… today…
We have been eyeing the Canadian border a lot lately. Every time we look we try to figure out the best time and place to cross. Perhaps the only certainty we’ve discovered in our journey thus far is that everything is subject to change. This is especially true of our travel plans.
Two months ago we were pretty set on crossing into Canada from Montana. We planned to leave Idaho for Spokane, Washington for Lindsay’s next Remicade infusion. Then from Spokane we’d head east to for a few days in Glacier National Park.
But in Thermopolis, Wyoming we met a man who convinced us that we needed to make a “detour” to South Dakota. He offered us a place to stay for a few weeks if we needed a break from the road. We had given up on South Dakota in early May when we abandoned our 50-state Grateful American Road Trip.
However, South Dakota came up again later when we discovered that we would need to change our vehicle registration. We learned that in order to spend years as “ex-pats” south of the border we are likely going to need to register our truck. Of course the best place to do this HAD to be South Dakota. And we would need to be there for a few weeks… with a mailing address.
A Constant, Changing Course
So we set a new course, one that brought us into Oregon and Washington for nearly two weeks. We thought we’d cross the border via Vancouver and then return through eastern Canada where we could drop down into the Dakotas. Then we met Mick, who inadvertently corrected our course.
Now we have a course and, as we’ve tried to convince ourselves to slow down, it seems we’re going to make our run across the border very, very soon. Today we had a ton of errands to do – in Spokane of all places. We were in Spokane a little over a week ago for Lindsay’s Remicade infusion. Had we planned better (though we never would have known the course of this past week) we would have stayed in Spokane.
But everything has happened so extraordinarily since we left Spokane. We’re returning with certainty that we were never supposed to stay.
In fact, Lindsay remarked how much we would have missed if we had stayed in Spokane. We would not have stayed at a gorgeous vineyard. Nor would we have had an amazing experience cherry picking. We certainly would not have been as productive as we were in Leavenworth.
Final Preparations for Canada
In looking forward at our run to Alaska we had a pretty exhaustive list of errands in Spokane. We had to find Everest a new bag of food, recalibrate a new camera lens, pick up a new drone, do laundry, pick up a new devotional, refill our propane and, somewhere in the mix, figure out where we’d spend the night.
Well we knocked out the whole list – even after a 3.5 hour drive from Leavenworth in the morning. We have since made it north just past the small town of Kettle Falls, Washington. As the crow flies, we’re about 75 miles from the border. But the route we will take tomorrow will lead us an hour west before we turn north. We plan to cross at Midway, British Columbia.
We’ve decided to have a lazy morning, despite tomorrow being a pretty long travel day. As much as we love driving, its the days when we have a “destination” in mind that are the longest, hardest days. But we’re camped next to the Columbia River (again!) and we plan to give Everest a chance to go for a morning swim before we all settle in for the drive.
I reconnected with my friend Jarryd, uber-successful travel blogger for NOMADasaurus, who always spoke about a place called “Revy” in BC. He and his wife met years ago in the town and I have always wanted to visit Revelstoke from the stories they shared. While he is incredibly busy (and currently living in Australia, many time zones away) he did manage to post a note on Facebook to see if any of his old friends would host us to some degree in Revy.
The End (of the day) Justifies the Means
It worked! So while we have a long day ahead of us, those days are always easier when we know we have a place to stay.
Most days we start our day not knowing where we are going to end up. In that, we are true nomads, sojourners by choice. It can be stressful, however. Even though our rig is equipped to be able to be self-sustained “off grid” for around two weeks or so. But we still need to find places to park at night. Lindsay is a pro at finding us places to stay on short notice. But we have absolutely no clue how to live nomadically in Canada. And we don’t know whether we’ll even have cell/data service as we go.
But Jarryd hooked us up with a destination. So we’re spending the rest of the evening relaxing in preparation of our big crossing tomorrow. This crossing is the symbolic “beginning of the beginning” of our true adventure. We’re not certain what we’ll find when we get to Alaska. We just know that this is our calling, to go, so crossing into Canada marks the beginning of our run toward Prudhoe Bay.