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Practically strip searched crossing into Canada


Naked Baby
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Just wanted to tell you of an experience I had crossing into Canada going to Niagara Falls to see the water and do some geocaching.

 

We crossed into Canada and stopped at the border crossing, and were asked to pull over and get out of the car.

 

As they just about ripped the car apart looking for whatever they look for when they search vehicles crossing the border. They found my GSAK printout of geocaching locations in the Buffalo and Niagara Falls area.

 

If you have seen these printouts they are mostly map coordinates with some other information. So someone who is not familiar with these it sort of looks like terrorist spots, right?

 

Well to them yes.

 

The border "people", called over a few other ones and went over the list, then started questioning me. I told them what it was all about, they had no clue what I was talking about..

 

I was asked to go inside the building, where I sat for about 30 more minutes, getting dirty looks from everyone around behind the glass and the counters.

 

I had to explain it all over again. Got about 20 questions about everything under the sun.

 

They let me go....

 

Coming back into the states, only took me 15 seconds.

 

Moral of this story is, if your going to cross the border with map coordinates, be sure to have them on you. I believe if i had them on me and not in a suitcase in my car, they would not have questioned me.

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CyBret over at Geocacher University has a nifty downloadable brochure that has simplified explaining geocaching to law enforcement officers and other inquisitive people more than once for me.

 

Yeah, that's a good idea. Me, I live only a few miles from Canada as the crow flies, and I've literally crossed a thousand times, and probably a couple of dozen for Geocaching. I have almost 300 finds in Southern Ontario. Then again, I'm a "local" going over. Only a couple of times have I ever crossed anywhere but Buffalo, Niagara Falls or Lewiston, N.Y. Unfortunate what happened to you, but I can actually see their reaction from seeing the GSAK printouts. I assume you don't feel you did anything to warrant the detailed search? They really are rare.

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I had an experience crossing back INTO the US from Canada about 19 months ago in North Dakota. I wasn't GCing, but was in ND on business. There is a free "Peace Garden" area for tourists that doesn't require a search to enter, but does to leave.

 

I, from Arkansas, was in a ND rental car with a drivier from Florida, carrying all of the luggage for us AND our two other coworkers (we were burning gas we could expense, so we put all of the luggage in our car instead of the POV that our colleagues were driving).

 

Two non-locals in a rental with LOTS of luggage. Yup, we got stopped and the search commenced.

 

LUCKILY, being in the Homeland Security business as a contractor, we happened to know one of the supervisory Border Patrol agents on duty at that checkpoint. When he recognized us from a project we'd worked on together the week before, we "called off the dogs" and let us pass.

 

Whew - talk about friends in high places!!!

 

Disclaimer: This post isn't GC-related, but I still wanted to share... that month in ND was a blast, and I recommend anyone take a trip there if you can.

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The title of this thread is "Practically strip searched crossing into Canada" but there is nothing in this thread about being strip searched. Maybe this is what you meant by practically. In the words of Inigo Montoya "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." If think what you described was bad then I suggest you not fly and don't travel outside North America.

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The title of this thread is "Practically strip searched crossing into Canada" but there is nothing in this thread about being strip searched. Maybe this is what you meant by practically. In the words of Inigo Montoya "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." If think what you described was bad then I suggest you not fly and don't travel outside North America.

 

or ever go into Turkey for Bulgaria. That was fun...

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The title of this thread is "Practically strip searched crossing into Canada" but there is nothing in this thread about being strip searched. Maybe this is what you meant by practically. In the words of Inigo Montoya "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." If think what you described was bad then I suggest you not fly and don't travel outside North America.

 

Am I the only one who finds it funny that the guy was "practically strip searched" and his username is "Naked Baby"? :blink:

Edited by marikun
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I had a bad crossing from Toronto back in the USA. Was coming from China on business. Endured a 6-hour delay in my flight from China, was sick with the flu and then get flagged going through US customs in Toronto. This was about the 4th time this had happened to me coming back into the USA from overseas. Now I am sick, tired and haven't seen my wife for 2-weeks so needless to say I wasn't in any mood for Homeland Security BS. Had about 30-minutes to catch my flight back home to Philly. After 1-1/2 hours of BS from them I finally exploded. Called one officer a b&tch and ranted and carried on until a supervisor showed up. Explained to him that I get this BS all the time and that I have filled in all the forms to stop this, blah, blah, blah. I end up having to stay in some flea bag hotel that night outside of Toronto and then restart all of BS again inthe morning!

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Am I the only one who finds it funny that the guy was "practically strip searched" and his username is "Naked Baby"?
The only reason I read the thread
Not the only reason for me, but it sure helped.

 

I also have to wonder if this is another of those "...And what's the rest of the story?" topics where it turns out there's more to the story than the OP is mentioning. :laughing:

 

Other than the fact that they weren't really strip searched at all. :D

 

The only time I've crossed at Niagara, the Canadian Border Patrol were cheery, happy folks. It was the US Border Patrol that gave me a hard time...

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The title of this thread is "Practically strip searched crossing into Canada" but there is nothing in this thread about being strip searched. Maybe this is what you meant by practically. In the words of Inigo Montoya "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." If think what you described was bad then I suggest you not fly and don't travel outside North America.

Looks like they got it right to me.

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The title of this thread is "Practically strip searched crossing into Canada" but there is nothing in this thread about being strip searched. Maybe this is what you meant by practically. In the words of Inigo Montoya "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." If think what you described was bad then I suggest you not fly and don't travel outside North America.

Looks like they got it right to me.

I was disappointed with the story. It could have been much closer to being strip searched. I can think of plenty more things that could have happened and some posters have given examples. Practically was still a little ways off in this case. Having to go inside a building where people give you dirty looks then answer a couple of question before being let go. Not close. I was expecting at least a story about being patting down. If you don't leave feeling like you've just been groped then they weren't doing it right.

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I suppose the moral of the story is whenever encountering the "AUTHORITIES" make sure that anything that could be an implement of mass destruction or planning such an act OR contraband.. those items should be clearly marked as to their true nature and non threatening use. OR in the case of substances ID as or prescription meds issued by a legite doctor or else harmless ingredients.

 

Story coming... (no strip search though)

Problem is I only thought that mattered OUTSIDE MY HOME. Long story short, police outside my house looking for car thieves that were fleeing. LOTS OF FLASHLIGHTDS and even more cars. I felt safe since I just talked to the local police a few nights earlier about finding my neighbor dead in his home, passing away naturally. Decided to tell police the 2 houses next door were vacant and the people they were pursuing likely cutting through to the next block or hiding there.(FIRST MISTAKE) Basically, I got ID'd as the culprit from a seriously pumped up rookie, asked to come to the sidewalk, put in handcuffs, and put in back of the patrol car. At this point they were not very interested in how the "real theives" were getting away, .....

 

Bad turned to worse, when they went in my house, returning with news that they "found my herion". I couldn't think what it was they thought they had found, until I was showed a medium sized plastic bag with about a dozen nested folded paper "bindles" inside, each filled with a little brown powder.

 

OH SHOOT! I had just gone to the accupuncturist, the Chinese Doctor uses herb extracts, as opposed to having to boil down the raw herbs down. In a usual thrifty way, my DR didn't put any card or instructions inside, since I already knew the simple preparation method. These were also just sitting on top my desk! The police didn't seem to be buying the accupuncture herb story either ...darn. At this point events were starting to get outta hand, and it felt like a cross between the movie The Fugitive, where no one believes Dr Kimball and Midnight Express were I was headed for some unpleasant form of captivity for an unknown amount of time!!

 

So, after a night in jail and then getting my attorney nieghbor to intercede, the charges of "Drunk in Public" WTF? got dropped in the "Interest of Justice". I knew a few new things. Cops don't look very hard if you fit the description, I understood why people of color don't trust police,.... _Always_ put a biz card in my accupuncture herb bindles, and it pains me, but if I ever see police cars lined up and down the street, DON"T GO OUTSIDE TO HELP, even if I know where the bad guys are! (maybe I'll just call it in?)

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This isn't any kind of new "Homeland Security" event. About 20 years or so ago I entered Canada at Niagara Falls and three days later exited at Windsor. Breezed through Canadian Customs, not so on the USA side. They pulled us into a breezeway, got us out of the car and into a building, and they proceded to tear apart our Pathfinder. Took the panels out of the rear cargo compartment, checked the spare tire, air cleaner was taken apart (which was the only thing they put back where it came from). No explanation, very few questions. Guess it was just the un-luck of the draw.

 

Did some caching in Windsor a few weeks ago, thought I was going to go through it again. Lots of questions, roll down all windows, a quick look-see, disgusted looks, more questions. Got the usual inquiries, "where did you go and what did you do? I wasn't about to explain geocaching to him for fear that it would open Pandora's Box, so he got the generic (but very truthful) answer that we went walking in Ojibway Park. Of course, he acted like he didn't know where Ojibway Park was, and I had to tell him where it was and how we got there. Finally got the wave-through, I was relieved.

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those items should be clearly marked as to their true nature and non threatening use.

 

Yeah.....next time, write this on your printout:

 

Coordinates for Geocaching only, absolutely NOT for my diabolical terroristic plans!!

 

It should make things go much quicker!! :wub:

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This is not about a crossing into Canada but is a funny story about traveling abroad.

 

I was traveling commercial for the military it was about the time of the Tsunami in the south pacific. I was trying to get back to the states but it was difficult to get anything resembling a logical itinerary. I had to go from Guam to Fukioka Japan then onto Tokyo and then to SanFran. I had less than one hour between flights in each of these cities.

 

Just remember that if the airport code is FUK, that is what is going to happen. I was held up in FUK cause they could not understand why I would book an itinerary that was as awful as their airport code.

 

That was the sweetened condensed version of the story.

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Am I the only one who finds it funny that the guy was "practically strip searched" and his username is "Naked Baby"?

 

The only reason I read the thread

 

Me too.

 

I sweat going through TSA in both Houston airports because there are at least 2 dozen people who are now TSAs that I have personally fired for incompetance that would probably be more than happy to strip search ME and give me a hard time given the chance. Been very lucky so far...

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The title of this thread is "Practically strip searched crossing into Canada" but there is nothing in this thread about being strip searched. Maybe this is what you meant by practically. In the words of Inigo Montoya "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." If think what you described was bad then I suggest you not fly and don't travel outside North America.

 

or ever go into Turkey for Bulgaria. That was fun...

I must admit that I am confused by your statement. How does a person manage to "go into Turkey for Bulgaria"? Did you perhaps mean that you tried to enter Turkey on a flight arriving from Bulgaria, and that it triggered all sorts of alarms with the border security personnel in Turkey?

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Am I the only one who finds it funny that the guy was "practically strip searched" and his username is "Naked Baby"?

 

The only reason I read the thread

I agree with both of you. I found nothing in the original post to suggest anything near a strip search, and I found it fascinating that a poster named "Naked Baby" was so obsessed about nakedness that she/he needed to use the word inappropriately in their thread title.

 

And, I am suddenly feeling obsessed about stripping and being naked after reading this thread, and am also feeling sympathy for all those readers who tuned into this thread only because the OP's nme contained the word "naked" and the thread title contained the word "strip", so please allow me to share with you the fact that my elderly female cat Isis is sitting in front of my PC monitor as I type, and, ZOMG, she is naked! Amazing! And, oops.... my elderly male beagle is begging me to feed him breakfast, and, OMG, he is naked too! Naked, naked, naked, naked. Strip, strip, strip. Stripped, stripped, stripped. Naked cat, naked dog, and, OMG, even my 25 laying hens strutting outside my window in the poultry pen are NAKED, strutting naked!

 

BTW, When I travel by air to foreign countries on consulting jobs, I tend, for some reason, to have a very easy time getting through Customs/border security when entering those countries. And, if you want REALLY EASY, try entering Malaysia via any of their major airports as a US or Canadian citizen -- there is a special no-questions-asked-no-hassles-zero delay-just keep-on-moving queue just for US and Canadian citizens; there are zero hassles and zero questions. It is even easier exiting Malaysia as a US or Canadian citizen, for they invariably wave you past the checkpoint queue, allowing you to skip it entirely. Actually, it is almost as easy to enter India as well via their major airports if you are a US or Canadian citizen; it is effortless.

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I am shamelessly bumping this thread on naked geocachers and the stripping of geocachers at international borders, because I feel that it is likely the most important thread ever to have appeared on this forum and perhaps on any forum in the world.

 

And, on a closely related note, I offer the following bizarre but true report: This morning I made the 9 mile drive to town to run some errands at local shops. While driving on the nearly-abandoned (due to New Year's holiday) city streets, I noticed one SUV bearing a bumper sticker proclaiming "Kayak Naked!", and two cars bearing bumper stickers reading "Ski Naked!!!". At about this point, after noticing the bumper stickers on these three vehicles, I began to strongly fear that I would shortly encounter a car or SUV bearing a bumper sticker reading "Geocache at international borders naked!" The times, they are a changin'!

 

.

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I was wondering why I was having trouble reading this thread when I realized that I had my personal firewall set to child safe surfing. Thanks Vinny! I blame your post.

 

Hmmmm, bumper stickers...

INS865-2T.jpg416PWN58MAL._SL160_AA160_.gifh104_125.gifrunnakedbump.jpg2004022214_Display-35.gif

 

My favorite:

nudist-bumper-sticker.jpg

 

I wonder why I wasn't able to find a GEOCACHE NAKED bumper sticker.

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It's not just lists of lat/long that get the Canadian's panties in a twist. Just the meer fact that somebody is crossing into Canada from the United States gets them all a twitter with suspicion. They can't seem to understand that not everybody in the United States is carrying an arsonal of guns and knives on their person while crossing the border. In the early 90's I traveled from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, Canada and when I got to the border I was interrogated for several minutes about any guns, knives, cigarettes (I guess smokes are a big item to smuggle into Canada). Border guy couldn't get it through his head that I did not have nor even own any guns, knives or illicit cigarettes. Fortunatly I didn't get the enjoyment of them tearing apart my car. Coming back to the states all I got was "where to coming from..."vancouver"....where you going...."Seattle"....OK....have a nice day."

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The title of this thread is "Practically strip searched crossing into Canada" but there is nothing in this thread about being strip searched. Maybe this is what you meant by practically. In the words of Inigo Montoya "You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means." If think what you described was bad then I suggest you not fly and don't travel outside North America.

 

or ever go into Turkey for Bulgaria. That was fun...

Yes the title is

Practically strip searched crossing into Canada

But the poster cache ID is Naked Baby ;)

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It's not just lists of lat/long that get the Canadian's panties in a twist. Just the meer fact that somebody is crossing into Canada from the United States gets them all a twitter with suspicion. They can't seem to understand that not everybody in the United States is carrying an arsonal of guns and knives on their person while crossing the border. In the early 90's I traveled from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, Canada and when I got to the border I was interrogated for several minutes about any guns, knives, cigarettes (I guess smokes are a big item to smuggle into Canada). Border guy couldn't get it through his head that I did not have nor even own any guns, knives or illicit cigarettes. Fortunatly I didn't get the enjoyment of them tearing apart my car. Coming back to the states all I got was "where to coming from..."vancouver"....where you going...."Seattle"....OK....have a nice day."

 

Did you happen to notice that only one country's guards were wearing guns?????

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It's not just lists of lat/long that get the Canadian's panties in a twist. Just the meer fact that somebody is crossing into Canada from the United States gets them all a twitter with suspicion. They can't seem to understand that not everybody in the United States is carrying an arsonal of guns and knives on their person while crossing the border. In the early 90's I traveled from Seattle, WA to Vancouver, Canada and when I got to the border I was interrogated for several minutes about any guns, knives, cigarettes (I guess smokes are a big item to smuggle into Canada). Border guy couldn't get it through his head that I did not have nor even own any guns, knives or illicit cigarettes. Fortunatly I didn't get the enjoyment of them tearing apart my car. Coming back to the states all I got was "where to coming from..."vancouver"....where you going...."Seattle"....OK....have a nice day."

The reason that Canadians are so paranoid about anyone entering their country from the USA is that their fear and paranoia is simply a projection from their consciousness of their own hostile and unsavory attitude toward the US. You see, beneath a rather placid and bland exterior, Canada has long been insanely jealous of the USA, largely because they covet our goats, donkeys, Barred Plymouth Rock hens, Paris Hilton (and, on Thursdays, Nicole Richey as well) and an obscure but powerful Air Force base located near Bellevue, Nebraska (which contains, on a secret level located 900 feet below ground, a stockpile of all the crashed UFOs which the US government has remanded since 1943), and they are covertly planing to invade the USA to steal these precious national resources from us. So, it is only natural that they are rather paranoid about folks from the USA.

 

.

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If a naked baby is driving, it's guaranteed, not practically guaranteed, that you will be strip searched.

 

If, on the other hand, you have naked children with you, you will be forever detained and imprisoned. Crossing Country lines is oh so much more FBI-worthy than crossing just State lines.

 

If on the third hand, you and the other person in the car with you have both had Secret Security Clearances in the past, then they will welcome you, thinking that perhaps you will share the USA's secrets on those UFO's and aliens.

 

And lastly, if you state that you are just going to look at the foliage around Lac-Megantic, and want to find only one geocache just one mile over the border, and buy some beer, then be sure to say that it's Alexander Keiths India Pale Ale that you want to get. They will gladly let you through for that fantastic beer that you can't get in the USA. Don't mention any other beer though or you might be searched.

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If a naked baby is driving, it's guaranteed, not practically guaranteed, that you will be strip searched.

 

If, on the other hand, you have naked children with you, you will be forever detained and imprisoned. Crossing Country lines is oh so much more FBI-worthy than crossing just State lines.

 

If on the third hand, you and the other person in the car with you have both had Secret Security Clearances in the past, then they will welcome you, thinking that perhaps you will share the USA's secrets on those UFO's and aliens.

 

And lastly, if you state that you are just going to look at the foliage around Lac-Megantic, and want to find only one geocache just one mile over the border, and buy some beer, then be sure to say that it's Alexander Keiths India Pale Ale that you want to get. They will gladly let you through for that fantastic beer that you can't get in the USA. Don't mention any other beer though or you might be searched.

 

And if you have a third hand, I assume you will wind up in Bellevue Nebraska.

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As explained in the other thread, a friend, my brother from Washington, myself (from New Jersey) went to Maine to help my sister with the Maine DeLorme Challenge. Of course, we jumped on the opportunity to cross the border from Calais to St. Stephen! To color in Canada (for my friend, my sister and myself) and New Brunswick for my brother. My friend is Cuban. This is the first time I've tried to use my new passport. My sister is a government employee. My brother has traveled to (and geocached) in quite a number of countries, including Thailand, Sout Korea, Macedonia and China. We dropped all our luggage in the motel in Calais. My sister mentione 'geocaching' to the Douanes Canadiennes guard at the crossing. He tells us which cache to avoid, and how to find the nearest cache, and waves us inside. That took a half hour, with some strange questions: "You're Cuban. Your country doesn't like Cuba, but you work for the goevernment?" "You worked in Ontario for six months?" And so on. I don't think they liked my previously unused passport (and they didn't stamp the page!)

I claim that the problem was that my sister said "Geocaching!" My sister says that the problem was that I look like a terrorist, and we were travelling wth an 'alien'. The Cuban is a US citizen, and has been for more than forty years!

Returning to the US through "Homeland Security" took 45 minutes, and a search of my sister's car.

"You look like a terrorist!" What does a terrorist look like???

So, to show me up, my brother returns to Maine a few months later, to finish the DeLorme Challenge with my sister. They cross the border near Lac-Megantic (as mentioned by trainlove), with the car fully loaded! (Neither of them had found a cache in Quebec yet...) And return on the next border crossing south. And they breeze through Douanes/Homeland Security with no problems! :)

So, how do I go about looking less like a terrorist, for the next planned trip to Nova Scotia and St. Pierre y Miquelon???

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Having a military ID, I've never had any problems with TSA, Boarder Patrol, or Homeland Security.

 

Northern Utah: I was taking pictures outside of a missile construction facility, Homeland Security asked to see ID, then said to have a nice day.

Later that same day in central Idaho: taking pictures outside a nuclear research facility. Same thing: asked to see ID, bid me a good day.

 

Travel for Thanksgiving and Christmas at several airports: 2 GPS devices, using them before and after security. Not even a blink.

 

Boarder btwn Seattle and Vancouver: never been searched, just asked where I'm going and where I'm from. Not even what I'm doing!

 

Now that I'm getting started on Geocaching, I think I'll try to stay paperless as much as possible.

Stealth Ninja Geocaching. :)

Edited by bramasoleiowa
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I grew up in the Buffalo suburbs and have crossed the border numerous times. In the late 70s, gas was a lot cheaper in Canada and you would go to Canada to fill up.

 

Buffalo is sort of prudish and the the strippers don't get completely naked. In Canada, they have to have something on (leg warmers or a scarf or boa is OK), so all the American guys go to see the "Canadian Ballet". A car full of guys just has to name the bar they are going to and get waived through with no problem. Getting back in to the US on a weekend night is more of a hassle though. Ontario bars close at 1 AM, while in NY it is 4 AM, so a lot of drunks come into the US after 1 AM. The only way off the Peace Bridge (Buffalo) is via I-190, so after the US customs, the cops sit by the on ramp and check everyone for DUI.

 

I went to a scientific conference in Toronto and was honest about where I was going. I got a lot more questions about it than going to a stripper bar.

 

Another time in the early 1980s, I was in a car coming back into the US with with another US born citizen, two naturalized citizens (Pakistan and Chile) and a green card holder (India). The US customs man asks us what we were doing in Toronto (a scientific meeting on yeast), and our status and everyone was truthful. He looked at us and we thought we would have to go through an hour or so in the office. He then asked us how much beer we had in the car (1 case/adult is fine). When we said none, he said "Why didn't you buy some? Next time bring some back with you!" :)

 

And remember to be ultra polite. If you do what another poster earlier did, they have every right to do a cavity search on you. They also know how long you have been in Canada, as they type in your license plate when you enter and leave. They just caught someone last week who was a spy for Saddam Hussein and was coming back into the US to visit his sick father.

A friend drove from Detroit to Buffalo, speeding almost the whole way. The guy at customs told him "You didn't stop for anything, did you?"

Edited by Wacka
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The only time I've crossed at Niagara, the Canadian Border Patrol were cheery, happy folks. It was the US Border Patrol that gave me a hard time...

Ditto that.

 

Going into Canada "Got a gun eh?" No. "Have a nice day eh?"

 

Going into US. "Take any pictures?" No. "Please turn off the car and hand me the keys." Baggage taken apart.

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The only time I've crossed at Niagara, the Canadian Border Patrol were cheery, happy folks. It was the US Border Patrol that gave me a hard time...

Ditto that.

 

Going into Canada "Got a gun eh?" No. "Have a nice day eh?"

 

Going into US. "Take any pictures?" No. "Please turn off the car and hand me the keys." Baggage taken apart.

Just the opposite for us on both our trips to Canada last year.

About 10 minutes of talking on the way into Canada, mostly chitchat but yes questions about weapons, drugs, alcohol, place we were staying, purpose of trip,...

About 10 seconds on the way back into the USA, I think it's even faster if you go into the USA from Mexico, LOL.

 

P.S. It didn't matter that on one trip we were up there for about a week, while on the other trip we were in Canada only for about 3 hours. Still just 10 seconds for them to run our info in their comoputer and homeward bound we were. Well in the short case it was the same border guard at the same gate who let us through.

 

Oh, and yes, my mention of a third arm in a prior message was specifically alien related.

Edited by trainlove
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