Unforeseen Chain Of Events
WRITTEN BY CHRISTIAN KÖHLERT
Brotherhood Of Skateboarders
The journey had begun and we really enjoyed our road trip from the very first moment. Heading for the west-coast area we had the opportunity to stop at friends of Jens. Except from a few occasions where we spent the night somewhere else. Since he already crossed this part of Canada on his bicycle he seems to know a couple of guys in every town along the road. One reason he could connect to people that well is his passion for skateboarding. All his friends who welcomed us to their places treated us with lots of love and hospitality. It seems like in Canada skateboarders still maintain a codex of brotherhood among their kind.
Skateboarding In Rossland
In all these different towns like Salmo or Rossland Jens was either found on his skateboard or under our vehicle fixing some issue. Even though he put a lot of effort preparing the camper for the long ride many new issues popped up in a short amount of time. First we had problems with our batteries because of a regulator which we had to be replaced. Then Jens noticed that the differential of the rear truck was “sweating” which means that oil was leaking from it. It took Jens two days to repair that issue. On our next part over some steep mountain pass the fuel pump showed some insufficiencies which ended with another stop at Lordco, a shop chain for car replacement parts. Lordco delivered a brand new fuel pump for less than 50 Canadian dollars. That was surprisingly cheap.
When we arrived in Osoyoos close to the US border, our ’78 Ford 250 finally worked as it should apart from some squeaking noises that came from the bearings in the right front wheel. Nothing to worry thou. Jens would fix that along the way to Oregon. So it was time to cross the border to get over to the US.
People gathering around our camper while Jens is repairing the bearings
The Border Fail
Two days ago we tried to enter the States. Well, I say tried because we did not manage to get over. As two Germans in a weird looking camper with Canadian car plates, we expected to be on special watch list. Of cause they picked our car for close inspection and they found something they did not liked. They detected Jens’ weed grinder with tiny bits of green plant parts in it. I guess we had been too naïve to think that even though cannabis this more or less legal on both sides of the border, it might not be a problem to have a device like this on board. Well, it is a problem and they made a big issue out of this. Since Jens claimed the grinder as his possession he is now not welcome to the US anymore.
After almost 4 hours in this cold ass waiting room we were send back to Canada. Before that Jens fingerprints were taken and he had been interviewed. The Canadians searched our camper for another two hours – just in case the Americans missed something. That was not the most delightful time of our trip far. Without being too much disappointed, we accepted this radical change of our plans. Since Jens already travelled the west coast of the US he was more eager to see Mexico and Central America in general. So we decided that Jens remains in Canada for another month while I drive the camper through the US on my own. When I arrive at the the southern border of the US he will take a direct flight to Tijuana where we meet up again.
Back at Osoyoos after the border fail
At the same evening of our rejection we met another young German fellow. I guess he was a little bit irritated, that we did not show any signs of disappointment. From the first moment we considered this unforeseen chain of events as a challenge and not as a misfortune. It is a process and only in the end we might be able to judge whether this rejection was good or bad. No question – It is a drastic intervention in our plans but you got to go with flow whatever comes along. Being flexible is very important and remaining a positive attitude is a key element to that.
Leap Of Faith
For me personally this trip on my own through the US is a certain challenge since I am more the computer geek without too much ambition into physical trouble shooting. For Jens this is also a leap of faith. He put so much time and effort in our mobile home which he needs to remain in my hands for over a month. We don’t know what this all is good for but we will certainly figure it out.
The last 2 days Jens repacked the wheel bearings so they won’t make any weird noises anymore. He did the best to his abilities to hand me over a vehicle that will manage to do the job to take me all the way to Mexico without any trouble. Today we will split off and hopefully my next travel blog entry will be sent from US soil.