Border crossings

Yesterday I rode south to the Blackfeet Nation, where warriors on horseback guard the northern entrance to the rez. Artist Jay Laber created the sculptures out of rusted car parts remaining from the disastrous 1964 flood that devastated some areas of the reservation downriver from the Two Medicine River dam. Three more of Jay’s sculptures guard the south, west and east entrances to the reservation.

To qualify as a Blackfeet tribal member, one-fourth blood is required. Approximately 8,000 tribal members reside on the rez, which encompasses 1,462,640 acres.

Chief Mountain

After a stop at Many Glacier, I backtracked and caught Montana 17 north to the border and returned to Canada. This is a gorgeous ride, but 17 is populated by lots of open range cattle lounging on the roadway. They’re all black, and difficult to see in the shaded areas of the highway. I can’t imagine riding it at night for just that reason.

I’ve become so accustomed to crossing into “the States” that for me it’s just a matter of heading south and hitting the line. Polite Customs agents, few questions and a minimum of formality are the rule, and I’ve never ever had a problem being admitted. This time, however, I had forgotten my citizenship documents.

No problem, though.

After scanning my driver’s licence and receiving a lecture about not having citizenship papers, I was allowed into the country one more time by the tourist-friendly border guard.

Here’s a tip for those of you who are new at the border-crossing game: If you’re wearing dark glasses, take ’em off. The agents want to see your shifty little eyes.

3 thoughts on “Border crossings

  1. hehe, lovely. mind you, on the way home I barely had to stop at the window… I held out my passport, he made a general shooing motion at it. he asked how long I’d been & if I was bringing anything back; 10 days & some munchy-type stuff, I answered. ‘Welcome home!’ he says, as he waved me on through. I was never so glad to be on Canadian soil as at that moment :D. I guess, if I have that [all the stuff you wrote] look about me, it must very definitely be a *Canadian* [all that stuff you wrote] look, eh?

  2. Obviously you have that surly, shifty-eyed, bomb-throwing, gun-toting (although, that’s a good thing in America), drug-abusing, revolution-fomenting, sleep-in-your-car look about you that says you’ll be working in the California strawberry fields before long.

    I, on the other hand, project the innocent, lackadaisical, devil-may-care look that says, “stop me, pull me aside, question me, search my belongings, there’s nothing there” look as they wave me through with nary a question or proof of citizenship.

    Ain’t life grand?

  3. hah! I won’t even describe the last time I crossed into the states, but let’s just say they kept me there for almost 2 hours while they searched my car & belongings for evidence of either a) an illegal attempt to live & work in the US, or b) some form of drug-dealing. then, after doing me a favour by letting me enter, they suggested I go back to Canada & enter at a ‘better’ point. right… besides the fact that there was no *way* I’d risk going through that again, the bloody crossing would’ve been closed by the time I got there & I’d have spent the night sleeping at the border in my car! bah.

    oops, sorry. I mistook this comment box for my soapbox :D.

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