Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Day Nine - Part Two ("Road To Nowhere")

Day Nine (Road To Nowhere)

I'm doing it in reverse today. Sort of.

After the rough ride I experienced outside of Climax last week, I decided to take a different route on my way home. Shaving 20 minutes off of my drive, but much of that on gravel or dirt roads.

At least they are maintained roads.

For the part of my trip that goes past Robsart, I experience nothing new. I pass the ghost town, and then head towards Consul.

Another grain tower.

Arriving in Consul. The road splits to either Alberta, or to Montana. Neither are paved, and neither have much traffic, houses... or anything!

But there's plenty to see. There's nothing in the way.

I see a prairie dog.

Hey guy!

I'm nearing the US Border, and after my last go around with the border officials in Canada, I was a little more relaxed. I have nothing to hide. But still, I always end up feeling interrogated. It's their job, and I respect that. I just hope they respect me.

The temperature reads around -2 degrees as I pull up to the gate.

I am greeted by a serious-looking gentleman, with an important job to do.

"what were you in Canada for, sir"

I hand him my passport card, and the poster for the show I just played.


"More like a vacation."

"Any firearms?"

"No, sir."

"prescription drugs?"



"I left two cans of Guinness behind me that I brought in last week."


"any fruit?"

"Just a couple of snack packets"

"are you carrying any cash over $10,000.00?"


(I wish!)

"so what do you do for a living, Scott?"

"I'm a musician."

"mind if we search your bags?"

"Go right ahead."

The windows and lift gate have been open for awhile and it's freezing cold. I'm starting to get a little bored. It's around this time that I decide to earn a little official respect, as I recently took a part time job back in Hadley, Massachusetts, but usually don't bust this fact out on people... until now.

"I also work at the US Department Of Fish & Wildlife Services."


The man looking through my stuff immediately stops, and stands straight up. He's fairly impressed by this news.

"It's no big deal, I just move a few boxes and sweep up a bit around the offices."

(the questions stop - they are all done with me here)

"Good to see you sir. Have a good day."

Descending into Havre... I get some nice mountain shots.

"Mountains come out of the sky... and they stand there..."

Tomorrow: I will get back on the Empire Builder (in a light snowstorm, with wind chills of -35) and head back home to Massachusetts (via Chicago). I plan on upgrading to a sleeper car, and that will be the last part of my story. This has been an experience to remember for a lifetime! I have been welcomed back to Eastend anytime I want, and the Stegner House is mine to live in when that time comes.

That time will come soon enough.

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