Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Quick Exit from the US - Quick Entrance Into Canada....

Our last leg, on this great seaside motorcycle ride, was the 30 minutes to get to US Customs at the Blaine Truck border crossing.
Leaving the Inn on the northern side of Burlington, WA.
We were rolling shortly before 8:30 am.  The TV weather forecasters were calling for rain along the I-5.  We were dressed for that!
Everything looks so nice and colourful now that the leaves of spring have sprung.
I-5 was not busy. 
The rain held off
And it was smooth sailing through the city of Bellingham.  We were headed for an off site airport parking facility to retrieve our Nissan truck.  
Our Nissan was left here, one week ago Monday, May 6th, for our flight to Palm Springs.
Only 15/20 minutes north from the Bellingham airport and we were at US Customs.  The customs officer asked for the original Harley Davidson title, looked it over and compared it to the documents I had filed a week earlier, asked where it was parked for inspection, stamped the original title and sent me on my way. Export was completed without inspection.  She never even looked out....but likely could see on a camera TV screen. That only took five minutes.

Using our NEXUS border entry cards, Jeanette followed me as I rolled into the special lane and, after a few questions, was pointed to the parking area to file the import documents and pay the GST (Goods and Services Tax).  That took no more than about 15 minutes.  The timing could not have been better.  I was the only importer at customs.  Now....that is highly unusual.  Great timing though!

The Canada customs officer asked a few questions but did not bother to go check the motorcycle over or even to verify if the VIN # was correct. I was sent on my merry way.

I did stop into the RIV office (Registrar of Imported Vehicles) to file my documents, pay the RIV fee and receive a file number to proceed for a vehicle inspection which - in Canada - is done at the Canadian Tire stores.  

From start to finish, the export/import process took no more than 30 minutes.

At its resting place in our garage.
The Electra Glide is in serious need of a good bath and some fine detailing.
Shortly after we arrived home, the forecast rains came down heavy.  Man-oh-man....did it rain!  And to have avoided riding in it was great timing.

Today is voting day in British Columbia.  It is a Provincial vote to determine which party will govern our lives these next four years.  Once our duty is done, I plan to spend some time detailing the Harley and making arrangements to have the final inspection completed before registering the ride.

Jeanette and I caught up on some mail, emails, return phone calls and, when I settled in to watch the Game 7 Toronto Maple Leafs / Boston Bruins NHL hockey game, Jeanette drove off to attend an informal gathering of like minded nurses at a house party. The Boston Bruins won the first playoff round with an overtime goal.  

What a truly fun ride this was.....!
Oh how we enjoyed our motorcycle journey up coastal Highways 1 and 101....from southern California, though Oregon, Washington and back home.  It was an 1800 mile journey (2,880 kilometres).  We lucked out with the weather!  We have the better than 1000 photos to look back on too.  We both cherished the opportunity to experience such natural beauty.

With this ride completed, we have now ridden over 140,000 miles (224,000 kilometres), on motorcycles, these past 14 years.  That is an average of 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) per year.  Hard to imagine....but true!  We've enjoyed every bit of it; including the nail biter routes we sometimes found ourselves on.

Thanks for riding along.


  1. A great trip it was. Glad you arrived home safely and that your border crossing went smoothly. Should be a fun summer of riding with the new Harley.

  2. Glad you made it home safe and sound with no border issues.

  3. Wow, 140K miles, that is amazing. Glad you made it safe and sound and enjoyed it!

  4. What a wonderful journey, I can only imagine. Have ridden only a couple years and not so many miles, many, many years ago.
    Thanks for sharing your awesome trip.

  5. Glad to see you both home again safe and sound after your long bike ride.

    Sounds like your border experience couldn't have gone any smoother.

  6. welcome home to you both!! glad you made it through the border with no trouble!!

  7. Importing a vehicle into Canada is so easy. Because of this, the prices of used vehicles is dropping slightly in Canada, Why buy here when you can run across the border for so much better a deal?

  8. I've gotten caught twice only in a major downpour while riding. Not nice ! So glad to hear you had such a pleasant experience.

    Where was your new header photo taken ?