Day 3.5: Border Crossing No. 1 (Seattle > Vancouver)

When we last posted, we were about to disembark in Seattle, where we would catch a connecting bus to Vancouver, BC. Arriving in Seattle, we scrambled to retrieve our four large (re: humongous and unwieldy) boxes containing our bicycle frame, wheels, bob trailer, and gear, as the loud speakers announced the last call for our bus. Steve was stressed; Jackie less so. (Note: My father is capable of extreme displays of speed and strength in moments of imagined disaster). The bus driver was calm and accommodating, and we boarded the bus without issue. We fell asleep to a man’s soft chants in a language we did not know. We deduced from his phone conversation that he was returning home to tribal land.

Border Crossing No. 1 at the Vancouver station: We lugged all of our stuff off the bus, through the customs hall, only to be wished well on our voyage. We apparently do not inspire suspicion. (For Jackie, the ease and congeniality of our crossing has been part of a continued meditation on borders. As this border interaction would  indicate, it seems it’s my very birthright to be able to step right over them, American passport in hand, white “American” features on my face.)

After a sleepy three hour bus ride, we arrived in Vancouver at Central Station at 1:30 am and unloaded our boxes to the curb, where we discovered that the station was all locked up and our watertight plan of storing our gear at the station was, in fact, leaking. Steve imagined we would have to assemble the bike right there and then – in the middle of the night, in the worst part of town. Jackie raced to the Hostel on the next block where an elderly night manager invited us to just bring it all over. The bus driver carried us and our cargo on an exclusive, one-of-a-kind, SPECIAL midnight ride to the hostel. Before long we were fast asleep with our boxes stored safely. 

Why are sentient days of travel the most tiring? Perhaps the motto of our travel so far is: Energy begets energy. Sitting begets snoring. Arrive to train stations one hour early.

The Backpacker’s Hostel had everything we needed and no more: a bed, a shower, and cheap beer. Unfortunately, we did not have the chance to take advantage of the third before we assembled the bike and road south to Point Roberts on Sunday afternoon. Read about in our next post.

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