Alta Archives: Border Crossing Questions

Posted: June 10th, 2013 | Author:

There’s a certain formality that goes along with crossing the Canadian/United States border. You drive up. Proceed as directed. Stop at the window. Hand over your passports. Answer the questions of the border patrol agent. If you’re lucky – you get to continue on to your destination. If you’re unlucky – you go directly to getting searched. Do not pass go. Do not collect $100. It’s a process that lacks any sort of conversation or personality.

I spent last weekend in Canada. Waterton, Alberta to be specific. If you haven’t been there, take a minute and add it to your “To Visit” list. Seriously, just look at this photo.

Wateron, Alberta, Canada

Jumping for joy in Waterton.

After working Waterton for all that it was worth, we packed up the car, turned it south and headed back to the U.S.A. With the radio turned down, sunglasses off and passports at the ready, we pulled up to the agent station. The conversation went like this:

Border Patrol Agent: “Where are ya’ll from?”

Us: “Well, we currently split time between Salt Lake City, UT and Whitefish. Right now we’re headed back to Montana.”

Border Patrol Agent: “So, you live in both places?”

Us: “Yes.”

Border Patrol Agent: “Ok. How long were you in Canada?”

Us: “Two days.”

Border Patrol Agent: “Where were you guys?”

Us: “Waterton.”

Border Patrol Agent: “Are you bringing anything back with you?”

Us: “Nope.”

Border Patrol Agent: “Any alcohol, tobacco or firearms on board?”

Us: “No, sir.”

Border Patrol Agent: “Good. Alright, Alta or Snowbird?”

Us: “Alta. No question.”

Border Patrol Agent: “Nice!” (as he reaches through the window to give us both a pound.)

As we crossed back into the U.S., smiles on our faces, it hit me how well known and loved Alta truly is. Even at the Waterton border crossing, 12 hours of driving from Salt Lake City, a place where small talk usually does not exist, there are folks stoked about Alta.

Do you have a similar story? Let us know. We’d love to share it in the Alta Archives.

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