Niko’s Kantina ride: Choose the border crossing

Crossing the border was easier than expected!

I spent some time deciding which border crossing should I take, smaller and remote, where the officer has more time to harass you OR be more relaxed. Or the busier crossing, where they are used to international travelers and have less time to harass you, but decide faster they don’t like you.

I chose the first one. Decided to get there early and bring them some coffee. Luckily the Saturday night was late and so was I on the border. No coffee either. It was probably a good idea. Fingerprints, picture and I was in the U.S. in no time! There goes the most iffy border crossing on this journey. I guess if Trump was president I’d still be in Canada. Just guessing.

Soon as I cross the border I smell that funny herbal scent. I try to figure out which plan it is, till I get told from a native that it’s harvest time. Of course, marijuana is legal in Washington. I’ll remember this state by this smell, which is ever present.

In the continued boost of confidence I decide it’s time for some more dirt. I find some marked unpaved roads on the gps that seemed to be going in the right direction. Without second thought I take it. Beautiful riding, smooth and scenic. I soon discover that the gps had no idea about where these roads are going, but neither did I. The smooth road turned into 4×4 tracks, then into single tracks, hiking trails …

The KLR 650 is a very capable bike. But the panniers and spare tires made it low and slow. If I wouldn’t be an Istrian I’d probably give up, but our motto is: “Die before giving up”. I muscled up that stupid hill and down again. Now I know what BC1 is capable of and I’ll keep it for future reference.

The dirt road dumped me just below Sherman pass, after I ride that beauty, I end up in Republic where I stop for a picture and a guy in a camo vest asks me with his deep voice: “Are you lost?“. The way he asked made me feel like they don’t appreciate foreigners around here. As I ride further I realize I’m in a huge ranching area and things started to make sense. Beautiful scenery anyway, had a wonderful ride this day.

Ended up in Tonasket, a really small town on a crossroads. Nothing much to do there, I stay in a motel and watch the political debate but quickly switch to a James Bond movie, more credible anyway.

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