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Old 05-05-2019, 04:34 PM   #1
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Border crossing decisions

We have always left Osoyoos and headed south, crossing the border on #97 towards Oroville and eventually head towards Spokane. However mapquest wants to take us east on Crowsnest to Cascade and crossing on #395 south towards Spokane, Wa. The route appears to be more scenic. But 2 things are on my mine, first off, the first method will see a lot of Escapes coming and going and will be more familiar with the rally and thus less suspicious of our trailers. Second the route although scenic may not be conducive to towing and other unknowns like gas and stores to stock up.
Just wondering if anyone can recommend #395 south to I90 and then eastward. Thanks for any input....
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Old 05-05-2019, 04:59 PM   #2
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The route via #395 is certainly longer (by about 10%) and slower, according to Google Maps. I really like driving the Crowsnest (in a car, van with trailer, or motorhome), but I like interesting twisty roads. I wouldn't be concerned about services - there are lots of little towns on this highway.

I can't compare the roads and driving experience with the alternate routes, as I have only drive through Washington once, three decades ago.

I would suggest checking the border crossing, as some have limited operating hours and that one at Laurier WA must be a very minor crossing facility. Looking at a map, the hilarious thing about this area is that the runway of an airport on the U.S. side runs right over the border into Canada. Apparently there are six of these border-crossing runways on the Canada-U.S. border.
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:34 PM   #3
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The Crowsnest highway from Osoyoos to Cascade/Laurier is a shade over two hours and is a very pleasant scenic drive. I live in Grand Forks BC so am a shade biased I guess. Laurier to Spokane is a great drive, follows the Columbia River to Kettle Falls and is around 2 hours. After Spokane The I90 is as scenic and an easy a drive as any interstate. In places it does not even feel like an interstate and there are some interesting towns along the way. Take the short detour into Deer Lodge!
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Old 05-05-2019, 05:35 PM   #4
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Cascade/Laurier border is open 8am to midnight
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Old 05-05-2019, 07:59 PM   #5
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I came that way two years ago, it was fine with a 15 even though there was a detour off the main road at one point (I'm sure that's fixed). Can't compare as I haven't done the other way. I did see one other Escape the way I went, north from Spokane. The only difference at the border from Sumas was that instead of asking about fruit or money they asked about guns and alcohol. It was a nice drive.
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Old 05-05-2019, 11:25 PM   #6
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We crossed there once going to the rally.
Beautiful drive, convenience stores with gasoline and snacks, friendly border guard.
His question: What states have you been to on this trip? As I reeled them off he said with a smile, “ You’ve traveled the American west without a gun? And you made it here”?
“Yes I did” I told him.” Have a nice time in Canada.” Go for it Jim, see some new country, stretch the envelope. Stay down on the Mount Baker/ Snoqualmie National Forest at Douglas Fir CG. Great old growth forest complete with epiphytic moss and spotted owls. Who who who? You
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Old 05-06-2019, 10:14 AM   #7
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I'm looking at this on Google maps, and so... if I am driving up from Spokane I enter Canada at Laurier ...I then stay on 395 and then cross the border back into the US? And loop down on Route 21 past Danville, and around and back into Canada at Midway, and onto the Crows Nest Hwy on to Osoyoos?

Two border crossings on the way to Osoyoos? Well that's what Google maps suggests. This could be ...fun.
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Old 05-06-2019, 11:30 AM   #8
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Myron, Once you cross at Laurier you head west on Crowsnest which is also #395 and at Almond Gardens #395 heads south to Danville, but you stay on Crowsnest all the way to Osoyoos.
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Old 05-08-2019, 04:15 PM   #9
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Got it, thanks. Made no sense to me either, but....for some reason when plotting this on Google maps, instead of turning right in Canada onto the Crowsnest road they prefer dropping down back across the border then coming back up route 21. ( ) Wondering if Crowsnest road there is dirt, or too cranky.

Never mind.

So I've been wading through the Tips for driving across the border things not to even think about bringing, and it seems to include fresh foods of any kind, firearms of course, more than ten thousand dollars (no problem there), and, any and all Cannabis products. Guess that rules out my favorite THC salves, oils, jellies, tinctures and hard candy.

What about my bags of frozen Bertolli or other pre-assembled bags of uncooked commercially froze foods?
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:03 PM   #10
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Frozen is fine, it is the fresh stuff that gets you in trouble. Two years ago Iowa Dave gave me a box of oversized garlic his brother grows. They were the size of onions. Anyway we breezed through customs without a hitch and once home realized it was a "no, no".
There is a real nice IGA store in town we go to pick up items, but again when departing, anything fresh needs to be eliminated. Your dog food is fine as long as you have the container it came in. You will also need a letter from your Vet that the dog is current with rabies, dated within 90 days of crossing.
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Old 05-08-2019, 05:53 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
Got it, thanks. Made no sense to me either, but....for some reason when plotting this on Google maps, instead of turning right in Canada onto the Crowsnest road they prefer dropping down back across the border then coming back up route 21. ( ) Wondering if Crowsnest road there is dirt, or too cranky.

Never mind.

So I've been wading through the Tips for driving across the border things not to even think about bringing, and it seems to include fresh foods of any kind, firearms of course, more than ten thousand dollars (no problem there), and, any and all Cannabis products. Guess that rules out my favorite THC salves, oils, jellies, tinctures and hard candy.

What about my bags of frozen Bertolli or other pre-assembled bags of uncooked commercially froze foods?

Myron I can't get Google to plot that route, don't know why you got that going into Canada twice route. Highway 3 is certainly not gravel, it's the main route across the southern part of BC. We took it from Osoyoos to Alberta in 2017.

I cannot understand the concern about fresh food coming into Canada. We usually bring groceries in and they never ask what are the groceries. It's going into the US that you have to declare fruit, vegs, and meat, and only meat is allowed anyway, no fresh fruit or vegetables.

Yes big new signs (at least on the Canadian side) near the border saying no cannabis products allowed at the border. So you can't bring those favourite THC products into Canada even though they're legal here. Just shop for them once in Canada, but then you must consume before crossing back into the US, even WA.
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Old 05-08-2019, 07:35 PM   #12
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You can bring a million and ten thousand dollars into Canada if you like. You just have to declare that you are doing that. I'm sure it's the same heading south into US.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:16 PM   #13
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We live in a fruit growing region and they are very strict about bringing certain fruit and vegetables in to Canada at our local border crossings.
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Old 05-08-2019, 09:30 PM   #14
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The Crowsnest Highway (Highway 3) is quite a pretty highway with numerous passing lanes and it's not very busy. My only suggestion is to not travel too early in the morning or into the evening as the wildlife are out. Highway 3 is one of our favourites to travel with the Escape because it's an enjoyable drive, scenic with lots of places to stop, but there are no wildlife fences, so you do have to keep an eye out.
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Old 05-09-2019, 02:50 PM   #15
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I cannot understand the concern about fresh food coming into Canada. We usually bring groceries in and they never ask what are the groceries. It's going into the US that you have to declare fruit, vegs, and meat, and only meat is allowed anyway, no fresh fruit or vegetables.
I suspect that at the crossing which you use the agents are accustomed to locals who are grocery shopping and unlikely to take items of concern to areas where they are grown in Canada.

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We live in a fruit growing region and they are very strict about bringing certain fruit and vegetables in to Canada at our local border crossings.
Right - the risk in either direction is the same: any country wants to keep out produce that may carry diseases and pests which could damage the local agricultural business. That means that when headed into Canada, any type of produce grown in Canada is a potential concern.
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:42 PM   #16
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We live in a fruit growing region and they are very strict about bringing certain fruit and vegetables in to Canada at our local border crossings.
As they must be.
Lived in the citrus belt in FL for years.
All it takes for disease to spread is one person; one piece of fruit, one tree, one infected pallet.

https://www.latimes.com/food/la-fo-c...329-story.html
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Old 05-09-2019, 03:57 PM   #17
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Last year I stayed in chilliwack a night after Osyoos. I left a big bag of groceries with them and then wasn’t asked any questions about food coming back at Sumas. Still glad I didn’t take any chances.

Last fall when I crossed out of Maine they asked about liquor. I had this and that, beer, wine, tequila. The guard did some calculations and determined I was fine. Very precise.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:01 PM   #18
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I'd like to point out that that applies to firewood too. Often see notices about trailer rallies where people are asked to bring firewood. They should absolutely not do that. BC's forests, for instance, have been decimated by spruce budworm.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:18 PM   #19
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I take a shelf load of meds twice a day. In the past when going on trips we would separate doses in twice a day sandwich bags labeled AM and PM. Saves time, insures accurate dosage for me if I am traveling solo. Wonder if that's a mistake when border crossing, opening up a border police challenge because they're not in their pharmacy containers.
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Old 05-09-2019, 04:21 PM   #20
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I'd like to point out that that applies to firewood too. Often see notices about trailer rallies where people are asked to bring firewood. They should absolutely not do that. BC's forests, for instance, have been decimated by spruce budworm.
When I ask people to bring wood for the NOG fires, I MEAN buy it from the camp hosts and bring it OVER from your campsite. But, I can see where people might misunderstand.
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