The adventure begins!

Trip Start Mar 04, 2005
Trip End Dec 31, 2014

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Flag of Canada  , British Columbia,
Thursday, May 19, 2011

It took us a little over two hours to travel about 80 miles from Chewelah to the border crossing on highway 31 in Washington. ( Metaline Falls on the WA side, Nelway on the BC side ) We showed up in mass - all five coaches with tow vehicles - about 320 feet of vehicles in total!  The two Canadian customs employees looked a little puzzled at first but quickly recovered.  After about 30 minutes we had answered their questions, had our passports & vehicle licenses checked and were sent on our way.  That is all except the Bell coach. 

They were last seen standing outside their coach while the customs employees entered.  We did stop at a rest area 'down the road' but quickly had to leave as the four coaches there didn't fit and the truckers weren't terribly happy with us.  We had made 'prior' arrangements to meet in a rest area indicated on the British Columbia map outside of the town of Creston.  Don't you know, it wasn't there.  We proceeded down the road looking for a wide spot and finally pulled all four coaches over to the shoulder.  After waiting for about an hour, we once again headed down the road.

Everyone on our 'Sairavan' has the AAA maps for the areas we are traveling through as well as a day by day itinerary listing roads to travel along with the days destination.  Our hope is that the Bells have only been delayed and that something worse hasn't happened.  We do have a cell phone with the Verizon Canadian plan and have left several messages - so far we've heard nothing and are taking that as a good sign!

We traveled a total fo 260 miles in about 9 1/2 hours.  This includes an hour time change, two stops totaling about 1 1/2 hours waiting for our misplaced friends along with a long climb over Kootenay Pass.  We traveled through some of the most stunning scenery and regret that our photos don't do it justice! 

We will let you know when we find the Bell's......

Update:  The Bells pulled in to our campground at around 8 pm - just about an hour behind us.  They had been searched for over 2 1/2 hours and arrived, understandably, in not the best mood!  Fortunately nothing was found with the exception of a couple of extra bottles of alcohol which were promptly confiscated. Not a fun introduction the my favorite area, that's for sure.  And really, if you think about it, not the best way to welcome visitors to your country.  Now we just have to hope that the remaining half dozen or so border crossings go more smoothly.  In the future we will send the Bell's through first since we think they were singled out because they were at the back of the pack at a very small ( parking wise at least ) border crossing.  I can only hope that Ken behaves as calmly as Doug did if the situation arises! 
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