The CoolRVers are actually a couple of retirees, Judy and Luke Rinehimer and our 5 year old German Shepherd Dog, Miss Shady Lady. We are "extended-time" travelers with a home in Cool, California. Thanks for following along with us as we travel North America in our "rolling condo", enjoying the RV lifestyle. Your comments are always welcomed.

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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Border Crossing to Cache Creek

[Delayed posting because of no internet service.]

One of the most popular discussions on the traveling to Alaska internet threads has been dealing with crossing the border from the USA into Canada and back into the US.  In a previous blog I reported on all the “research” (i.e., worrying) we had about what we could and could not take with us as we crossed the magic lines.

Monday was our day to test the system.  We arrived at the Sumas/Abbotsford border crossing mid-morning.  I had our passports, dog health certificate and rabies vaccination papers, RV and car registrations, and our US and Canadian proof of vehicle insurance at the ready.  IMG_3056When we arrived there were about 7 vehicles ahead of so we followed a small RV into one of the two open lanes.  We saw no inspections.  Cars were moving through after just a couple of minutes.  But wait, would they want to come inside our RV and inspect the refrigerator?  Well, apparently not! Luke passed his quiz by answering all the questions politely, truthfully, and didn’t volunteer anything extra:

  • Destination?  “Alaska
  • How long in Canada? “Just passing through
  • Any fruits or vegetables? “No fruit, some asparagus and a little lettuce
  • Liquor? Beer? Wine? “One bottle of wine, six-pack of non-alcoholic beer.”
  • Firearms? Mace? Bear Spray? Wasp Spray? “No
  • Firewood? “No
  • Thank you and welcome to British Columbia.  Have a nice trip………

Three minutes and we were done!  And they never asked about meat or dog food or medicines or….  any of the other items we could never figure out.  Total elapsed wait and inspection took just 12 minutes.

By the way, the two nice ladies (daughter and mother from Oregon) in the Class C Itasca who were in front of us in line DID have “nice dry firewood and kindling” and were turned around.  They went back to Sumas and off-loaded the firewood and were coming through Abbotsford for a second time.  We camped near them last night and they shared their story.

With the Silverleaf engine monitoring system and the Garmin IMG_3059GPS set to kilometers (see the 91 in the lower right corner of the screen), we were on our way.  [Kilometers per hour equals miles per hour times 1.6.  The generally posted speed of 100 kph equals 62.5 mph.] 

From the display map on the GPS you can see we followed the Canadian Hwy. 1 north towards Cache Creek.  (For Northern California readers, NO, not the Cache Creek Casino advertised on local TV.)   Basically, we traveled the mostly two lane road through Fraser Canyon for nearly six hours, including multiple stops for construction work, and no cell phone service.  It was a longer than normal travel day but we had spectacular views of Bridal Veil Falls and the weeping canyon walls, the Fraser, Thompson, and Skagit Rivers, and many small towns. The area was also part of BC’s original Gold Rush era Cariboo Waggon Road that linked gold mining towns like Hope and Yale to the Cariboo goldfields in the early 1860s.

Photos from our afternoon drive… [click to enlarge]


Canadian Hwy. 1               Weeping walls of Bridal Veil Falls     


Fraser Canyon Entrance    Minton Gardens (lunch stop)


Town signs:  Hope and Yale (a rafting area)


Waiting for line painters and sign board installers.


End pieces on the Alexandra Bridge


Fraser River and the Thompson River flowing full and fast

Wildlife Sightings:

Frank and Gloria King saw two bald eagles. 

Rinehimers: A sign for Big Horn Sheep and two cowboys on horseback herding the cows home. One of these days….

NEXT:  Still in British Columbia








Merikay said...

Doesn't look very sunny.

Sue and Doug said...

welcome to beautiful British Columbia!!..and no it hasn't been very sunny lately, Merikay..rainy..that is why it is so green!!.enjoy yourselves!!

Shirley said...

Planning to go to Alaska next year, so I am really excited to read your blog.

Merlin & Kathy said...

Enjoying your Alaska travel blog-we are also 3 RVs/friends traveling up to Alaska together now. Your border crossing was so similiar to our experience, we prepared for the "test", prepared for a thorough inspection, and across the border in 5 min. Go figure - enjoy your travels.

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