Across Continents

Ken's Blog

Bedtime in Beaver Creek

September 29th, 2011

Bedtime in Beaver Creek. Mike had already retired to his tent. Found myself taking refuge from the gentle rain in the unlocked entrance hall of the 1202 Motor Lodge, in whose grounds we were camped. Reading the local telephone directory. More than a pamphlet but hardly a weighty tome.

We’d been told that in the summer this small border town swells to at least two hundred people. Just one tourist attraction. She works in Buckshot Betty’s restaurant. Serves a great dinner. And breakfast.

There’d been a little method in my apparent madness flicking through the phone book. Looking for a number for someone we were hopeful of staying with in a couple of days time. Took about three minutes.

[Please forgive the alleged humour… it’s that or lots of beaver jokes.. Truth is, neither Mike or I had the proverbial’s to ask if such critters were on the menu..]

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Buckshot Betty’s

September 29th, 2011

Buckshot Betty’s. If you wanted to eat out in Beaver Creek, it was the only show in a very small town. And we did. It’d been a long day. Neither of the two ATMs were working. Both empty, not expected to be refilled for a week or so. But, explained our server, they could take Mastercard or US Dollars at a push. We could eat.

She’d a curious accent. Seemed familiar, but I was too tired to ask. Instead a fellow diner let slip she was from Melbourne. Over here on a working visa. Quite why she’d chosen such a remote Yukon outpost no one seemed to know. Never quite seemed to be an opportune moment to enquire.

We’d planned to push on from Beaver Creek towards White River but Mike’s flat tyre had meant there’d be a good chance we’d be running short on daylight. Instead settling on a night in the very small border settlement before pressing on the next morning. Finding little difficulty convincing ourselves that a decent meal would be just reward for crossing twenty five miles of no man’s land into Canada.

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Beaver Creek

September 29th, 2011

Beaver Creek from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Beaver Creek. Mike and Ken’s first stop in Canada’s Yukon Province. Ken captures pretty much all of Beaver Creek on film. And marvel at him getting a few of the place names confused…

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Not deflated

September 29th, 2011

Not deflated from Ken Roberts on Vimeo.

Barely into Canada, Mike has his first puncture on the road. And seem remarkably cheerful about the experience…

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Officer 21113

September 29th, 2011

US Customs and Border Protection Officers had names. Canadian ones had numbers. Mine was Officer 21113. Blonde. Mike and I had joined in the small line of cars waiting to be admitted into the country. I’d have said crossed into, but we’d already ridden twenty five miles through Canada to reach the Customs post at Beaver Creek.

I’d been a bit nervous leaving Alaska. No checkpoint on the outbound side of the US Customs post. Fearful I’d need show some sort of exit stamp to the Canadians, I’d pulled over to the inbound side to ask if I’d need something put into my passport. No, I was assured, this wasn’t necessary. Carry on to Canada.

Officer 21113 referred to it as an interview. I thought it more a chat, describing my intended route through the Yukon and British Columbia. Just one pertinent question. Why did I have a US visa? She seemed reassured when I explained it was simply because I needed more than the three months the normal waiver would allow me. Stamp in passport. Six months entry.

Canada - Immigration - entry stamp - Beaver Creek - 19 Aug 11

I’d half expected to be asked how I’d support myself, what ties I had to the UK, that sort of thing. But no. Rather, it was Mike who got asked the more searching questions. But then he did have a beard.

[Please note that the Canadian Customs and Border Protection Officer’s number has been ever so slightly changed to protect her identity.. And Mike’s beard does look terribly respectable. For UK nationals note that the six months I’ve been granted by the US and Canada runs from the day of entry, irrespective of the number of times I cross their mutual borders]

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