Well, it turns out I’m one of Canada’s most wanted…
The day started out much less dramatic however. We both got a good night sleep, the sun had broken up the clouds and the campsite had hot showers. Kiko and I took our time with the morning routine and slowly made our way into Seattle. We stopped at the Pike street market and walked around for an hour tasting samples of smoked fish, fresh fruit and other random nibbles. The weather was awesome so we decided to eat lunch there and maybe get a second cup of coffee. Unlike Portland, Seattle had much more of an upbeat and positive vibe. Kiko decided he could easily move to Seattle, but as much as I liked it too, I have reservations about the weather. I want to see it the other 364 days when its rainy and foggy before I could settle there.
Kiko had been in contact with his sister in law who was staying in Whistler and made plans to meet up that night so we got back on the road. Within a few hours we were at the border where a very nice Canadian officer checked our passports and inquired about the purpose of our visit. He seemed to find the idea of my trip amusing so it was no surprise when he sent us over for secondary inspection. In secondary they asked us some more questions including if we had ever been arrested, to which I honestly responded. In 2006 I was arrested on suspicion of a DUI, charged and I plead down to a wet and reckless. We were told to have a seat while they searched our vehicles and checked out our story. 30 minutes later I was asked to come up front where they explained the situation. In Canada, a DUI, or wet and reckless, is considered a dual offense, meaning it could be a felony or misdemeanor. For people applying to enter Canada dual offenses are always considered on the harsher side, and long story short, in Canada’s eyes I’m a felon who isn’t eligible for entry until 2017. They did give me 3 options:
- Arrest me, take me before a judge who would decide if I can enter or will be deported
- I can withdraw my application to enter Canada and drive home
- They can issue me a one-time exception visa that would grant me access to enter and exit Canada but only for a very short period of time
The officers explained to me that this visa was something they are giving me on their discretion, usually costs $200 but they were willing to waive the fee and that I understand I have to be out of Canada and back to Washington before the end. The permit was issued until September 13th, which would give me only a few days in Alaska before I would have to turn around and head back. I was planning on spending a couple of weeks in Alaska hanging out, fishing, exploring, etc, but now I would have to smell the water and turn back. Maybe I’ll look into the ferry options.
The border ordeal put us a couple hours behind schedule so we blew through Vancouver and blasted up to Whistler. When we got there we could no longer reach Kiko’s sister in law. Her cell was either dead or off and the address she gave us was a big apartment building without any indication of where she would be staying. We waited around for a few minutes before we decided to camp and headed out of town. At least the trip is still on…