Okay, let’s cut to the chase. I’m writing the from a coffee shop called Butterfly Herbs in Missoula, Montana. Needless to say, we made it across the border. We accomplished this mostly by not being idiots the second time around. We told the guard that we lived with our parents and emphasized the student thing more than the aimless traveller thing. We were told “have a good day” and were waved on through. Not even a search.
We have made it here by the kindness of the following people: a wide selection of Quebecois cherry pickers, a man who didn’t speak English doing some cross-border shopping, a raver named Bam Bam, a former draft dodger, two guys who referred to themselves as ‘genuine Indians’ and kept threatening to scalp us, an engineer from Kansas who bought us chicken strips, a man who’s neighbour’s kids refer to him as grandpa, a man who wouldn’t talk, a guy who sings in a pop punk band that writes songs exclusively about zombies, and a student from Montana with a purple fixie bike that had a seat entirely covered in duct tape.
It’s been a crazy ride. We’ve been in three different states just today. We’ve seen the $100/month campsite just outside of Oliver where all the cherry pickers live and the gorgeous 1.5 million square acre Colville Reserve. We went with a van full of people speaking French from vineyard to vineyard, looking for work. We met a girl who told us that she loved to backpack and then, “Well, I own a backpack, at least.” Last night we snuck into a closed water park to run around on all the slides and sleep. A woman tossed cliff bars out of her car window as she passed us this morning.
This is just a list of little details from within the little worlds that we glimpsed through the eyes of our drivers and other friendly people we’ve met along the way. I can feel a narrative taking shape, but it’s one that is bigger than a blog post. The trip is taking off. Life is good. I’m going to get back to that now.