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SwineFlew

Canada's first Geowoodstock

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Love that it's in Canada next year, hate that it's pretty much as far from me as possible :P

Pay attention to Landsharkz for details about the event and planning, and if you're on Facebook join the 2020 Community group; lots of discussion and tips and help there for anyone doing the cross-border thing for the first time.

 

As for what you're asked about by border personnel, it really depends on the officer.  Be prepared to be grilled, but hope to have someone on a good day :)

 

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18 hours ago, Joe_L said:

 

That's true, too.

 

But in many (most?) states a single DUI/DWI is a misdemeanor.

 

It doesn't matter how U.S. states classify a DUI/DWI.  In Canada a DUI/DWI may be classified as an "indictable" offense, basically the same as a federal offence in the U.S. and the Canadian immigration laws are written for how a criminal offense is classified in Canada.

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Thousands of Americans visit Canada every year without problems. Just don't have criminal records or suspicious behavior.

 

Suggested readings

 

What Americans Need to Know Before Visiting Canada
https://www.tripsavvy.com/what-you-should-know-before-visiting-canada-1481860
No firearms.
Don't forget to purchase medical travel insurance.

 

Documents Needed to Go Between Canada & USA by Car
https://traveltips.usatoday.com/documents-needed-between-canada-usa-car-21162.html

 

Guide to Driving in Canada
https://www.tripsavvy.com/driving-in-canada-1482154
Proof of auto insurance is required.
Everyone in the car is required to wear a seatbelt.

 

Speed Limits – U.S. and Canada

https://www.ezbordercrossing.com/travel-resources/speed-limits-u-s-and-canada/

In Canada, speed limits are posted in metric units (kilometers per hour, not miles per hour).

 

Happy Geocaching and Greetings from Québec City!

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Here in Oz we see the Border Control TV show with Americans entering Canada. To me, one of the common themes that slows entry is car searches where remnants of drug use, bongs, pipes, empty baggies etc and firearm stuff like shell casings, holsters etc, even though there are no drugs or weapons being carried.

 

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13 hours ago, colleda said:

Here in Oz we see the Border Control TV show with Americans entering Canada. To me, one of the common themes that slows entry is car searches where remnants of drug use, bongs, pipes, empty baggies etc and firearm stuff like shell casings, holsters etc, even though there are no drugs or weapons being carried.

 

We have the same issues with entry control points on military installations in the US, especially those where one enters United States land (and is thus subject to US federal criminal jurisdiction) well before one actually is greeted by a gate guard.  Folks get liquored up and don't pay attention to where they are driving, then suddenly they are getting waved over to the inspection lane, and have you been drinking tonight, sir, and is this your pistol and bag of weed that is concealed in the console, madam?

 

Example: orange lines show the difference between what Google thinks is federal land at Fort Eustis versus the actual jurisdiction, which follows the railroad tracks all the way up to where the Army spur comes off the CSX line.

 

Capture.JPG.edfabde34b862ed1f15bd90f66b1faf0.JPG

 

I'm pretty sure the Fort Eustis main gate had a better DUI arrest rate than any DUI checkpoint the Newport News city police ever put together.

 

But I digress.  Back on topic, since this applies to border crossings as well: the time to check one's car (or one's breath) for illegal substances or objects is BEFORE one arrives at the checkpoint, not after.

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Posted (edited)
17 hours ago, colleda said:

... where remnants of drug use, bongs, pipes, empty baggies etc and firearm stuff like shell casings, holsters etc, even though there are no drugs or weapons being carried.

 

 

From hard won, first hand experience with the Canadian border officers, any geocachers who plan to rent vehicles and drive into the Canada, thoroughly check your rental car for any potential contraband or remnants of such before you approach the border (under seats, seat pockets, trunk area, cup holders, etc.).  Depending on your rental car company you may need to ask for additional insurance/registration documentation too.  I sure hope the organizing committee talks to the border folks before the Mega event (some trackables can still be contraband even if they're legal in the country of origin).

Edited by NetworkCacher
spelling error

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34 minutes ago, NetworkCacher said:

Depending on your rental car company you may need to ask for additional insurance/registration documentation too. 

 

Ah, good point.  But I'll be more explicit:  Be sure your rental contract allows taking the car across the border.  That's not a given.

 

Another thing usually forbidden in rental contracts is unpaved roads; some of BC's finest caching (IMHO) is up gravel roads into the middle of nowhere.  But around Abbotsfurd Abbotsford, that shouldn't be an issue.

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17 hours ago, colleda said:

To me, one of the common themes that slows entry is car searches where remnants of drug use, bongs, pipes, empty baggies etc and firearm stuff like shell casings, holsters etc, even though there are no drugs or weapons being carried.

 

When I was just dating an ex, I traveled every-other week into Canada (Quebec). 

My line of work, always had a spare holster, and duty gear odds n ends in the car, and no one ever said anything (the few times stopped).

Was taken into the building though the day I thought I was gonna happily present an engagement ring.  Probably my fault for being honest...

I argued that an engagement ring is only a "conditional" gift in my state and in Canada, but ended up paying some hefty taxes on it anyway.

She was gonna move to the US just a few weeks later...

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On ‎5‎/‎30‎/‎2019 at 4:17 PM, The A-Team said:

A bit of local orientation:

  • The event will be held near Abottsford. The "...ford" part is usually pronounced "furd" locally, not like the car company, so it's something like "Abbotsfurd". I'm sure it's officially supposed to be pronounced "...ford" like the car company, but most people don't say it that way.
  • The Fraser River is the longest river in BC. It flows from the mountains in the eastern part of the province and eventually makes its way to the coast. Near the coast, it flows through the Fraser Valley, which is where Abbotsford is located. The Fraser Valley is a low and very flat floodplain, bounded by mountains to the north and south.
  • The "Lower Mainland" is the name given to the southwestern-most part of mainland BC. It general includes the Fraser Valley and the Greater Vancouver area, plus a few other areas nearby.
  • The Lower Mainland has strong influences from both south Asian (mainly Indian and Pakistani) and east Asian (mainly Chinese) immigrant families. The city of Surrey has the largest south Asian representation, whereas Richmond has the largest Chinese population. Don't be surprised to see many signs in those cities written in the languages of those countries (though most would also be in English).
  • West of the Lower Mainland is Vancouver Island, which is where I live. Note that Vancouver Island is not where the city of Vancouver is located (a common mistake for visitors). The island and city are named after the same person, but are otherwise completely separate. BC Ferries (the 2nd-largest ferry line in the world) has hourly sailings in the summer from south of Vancouver to just north of Victoria on the southern end of the island. If you're going to be visiting the Lower Mainland, you should strongly consider driving over to visit Victoria and other places of interest on the island while you're here. Things are more easy-going and less busy over here than on the Lower Mainland. You can also visit Nanaimo, the origin of the world famous Nanaimo Bar.
  • The legal drinking age in BC is 19.
  • A reminder for our American neighbours (notice the spelling there? :grin:), Canada (like most of the world) uses the metric system. You'll see speed limits in kilometers per hour. 100 km/h is roughly equivalent to 60 mph. A nice day is 20 degrees Celsius.
  • We drink "pop", not soda.
  • The last letter of the alphabet is "zed", not zee.
  • The Barenaked Ladies are really just four fully-clothed guys.
  • Our football game has 10 more yards, one less down, and one more player.
  • Finally, the local hockey team is the Vancouver Canucks. The Calgary Flames are the despised rivals from the other side of the Rockies, and Flames fans will not be warmly welcomed. :laughing:

So, what I gleaned from all this is wear a Flames jersey to GeoWoodstock.

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Another thing to consider for Americans going into Canada:    Some cellphone carriers will charge international rates when using your cell in Canada, so check with your carrier to make sure.

 

One of the things I like about Canada, that I wish the US would also do, is with their currency.  They've eliminated the penny (1 cent) and I've gotten some for free from banks there when converting currency.  Those Canadian pennies are just a fun souvenir now.  The smallest denomination coin is the nickel (5 cents).  And the smallest denomination paper currency is $5.  Coins are used for $1 (loonie) and $2 (toonie), with the $2 coin having an attractive design.  Dollar coins just haven't caught on in the US.  Not sure why.

 

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Posted (edited)
34 minutes ago, noncentric said:

Dollar coins just haven't caught on in the US.  Not sure why.

 

Because it wasn't mandatory.  When the $1 loonie appeared in Canada, all the $1 paper notes disappeared into the incinerator.

 

On the subject of phone service, I see Abbotsfuord is very close to the US border.  You might be able to get by with scraps of signal from across the line, but if your phone is enabled for roaming ($), almost certainly it'll latch onto the stronger signals closer to you.

 

I've used prepaid service from 7-11 SpeakOut (introductory link) in the past, good and cheap (like me), on the Rogers network.  However, I've since switched to Koodo (Telus' cheapskate brand) for their arguably better coverage in the boondocks.  But 7-11 is easiest to setup; look for a namesake convenience store.  For Koodo you'd need to hit the mall.

 

Edited by Viajero Perdido
Linky fixy

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I have a  AT&T monthly prepaid  iPhone and live near Buffalo,  NY. Canada is just across the end of Lake Erie and the Niagara River.  When I moved back from California., I would get notices that I reached ny monthly limits (although I had none). Called them up and they said my phone was "ghost pinging". I had not been within 5 miles of the border, but my phone was pinging the towers on the Canadian side of the border from my house. They fixed it up and had no problems since.  Asked them recently if I can get a temporary plan for going to cache in Canada. They said my plan already covers Canada And Mexico.

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2 hours ago, noncentric said:

Another thing to consider for Americans going into Canada:    Some cellphone carriers will charge international rates when using your cell in Canada, so check with your carrier to make sure.

 

One of the things I like about Canada, that I wish the US would also do, is with their currency.  They've eliminated the penny (1 cent) and I've gotten some for free from banks there when converting currency.  Those Canadian pennies are just a fun souvenir now.  The smallest denomination coin is the nickel (5 cents).  And the smallest denomination paper currency is $5.  Coins are used for $1 (loonie) and $2 (toonie), with the $2 coin having an attractive design.  Dollar coins just haven't caught on in the US.  Not sure why.

 

Do Canada have those tourist SIM cards?  On the coins, its heavy and brother some.

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5 hours ago, noncentric said:

  Dollar coins just haven't caught on in the US. 

 

Not having to, and weight too I bet.   :)   

How many younger folks carry money these days (and stores with card-only), and change... only a few of us old farts have change on us anymore.

 - It's fun though to watch the kid freak over change when you buy something simple, say $2.35, and you hand them a five and 35 cents.    :D

I usually have a few bucks worth of Susan Bs, separated in tiny coin baggies,  JIC there's swag I might want to grab.

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20 hours ago, noncentric said:

...Coins are used for $1 (loonie) and $2 (toonie), with the $2 coin having an attractive design...

 

 

Canada-Loonie-Toonie.jpg

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On 6/7/2019 at 11:38 PM, cerberus1 said:

How many younger folks carry money these days (and stores with card-only), and change... only a few of us old farts have change on us anymore.

 

Well, considering there are younger folk in Canada, our change system does work. :P Maybe it's that so much currency exchange is done digitally these days that having an excess of identically-appearing bills is more tedious than a couple of extra coins in the pocket ;)

(oh this could go back and forth forever - we have what we have, it works, we've adapted, and we like it, and you will to, hehe)

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