Erie Beach

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    • Day 1


      August 6, 2023 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 79 °F

      Crossed Peace Bridge at Buffalo.
      Penny (for those who didn't know Penny a.k.a. Penelope is my Android Auto Map Guide 😉) for whatever reason decided to take me on a scenic route via PA-309, 29, US-6 and couple of other small roads before spilling me onto I-86 just at Elmira NY, E of Buffalo... definitely a new one for me.
      So here we were, finally 5.75 hours after hitting the road.
      BTW no problem at the border
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    • Day 1

      On the Border

      January 21, 2017 in Canada ⋅ ⛅ 55 °F

      I made it! The rest of the ride to Canada was uneventful and quick. The Honda Pilot drove very smooth but it ate gas like crazy! I could never afford a car like that. I'd go broke putting gas in it all the time!
      Getting past the border crossings was an experience like I've never had before. Every time I visit Canada, the guards on both sides are very nice and friendly but this time the Canadian border guard was not very nice at all. He asked so many questions, some that didn't even seem relevant to me, and even came out of his booth to walk all around the car and look through all the windows. He asked me why I'm coming into Canada, what my job is, and if I was bringing any alcohol or firearms. When I said no, he asked if I owned any firearms. When I said no to that, he asked if I wanted to own firearms. I thought that was a strange, and inappropriate, and wondered where he was going with this and why. I just responded that I've never thought about it and did it matter? The next thing he asked was how much, and what kind, of photography gear am I bringing into Canada. I guess he saw my camera bag on the back seat when he was walking around the car. I have no idea why he was asking about that though. There are no rules about limits on photography equipment that I've ever heard of. I told him I have just one camera body, several lenses and a tripod. His next question was how was I planning to use it. This keeps getting more and more disturbing to me but I just answered that I planned to see, and photograph, Niagara Falls and then leave tomorrow morning.
      He appeared to be thinking things over, I'm not sure why. Maybe thinking of more questions or maybe thinking of not letting me into the country but, finally he gave me back my passport, after going through every page, and told me I could go.
      That entire incident was very weird and disturbing. I've always loved visiting Canada before but that guy really made me reconsider my feelings about it. Dealing with him just left a very sour taste for Canada in my mouth. I'm not sure how fast I'd be willing to come back again. That's sad because, before today, I've always considered it to be a beautiful place and thought the Canadian people were very nice and friendly. I guess not all of them are like that, unfortunately.
      The bad part is, those border guards are the first contact someone has with the people of another country and it's also a person's first experience with that country. If it's not a positive experience, it really shapes your opinion and feeling about that place. I know it's made my opinion of Canada drop quite a bit. That makes me sad because I've always loved to go there before.
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