I started out for Vegas September 30 alone. The weather looked great and the ride was going good until I approached the border and realized I had left my passport on the dresser. You don’t need a passport yet to cross by land but you do need proof of citizenship and that means at least a birth certificate, which is an antique now so of course I left it at home as well.
The border line up was long as only one gate was open but there were three guards inside it laughing. Good I thought they are in a good mood.
When I stopped I was asked to pull ahead so the could see my plates in the camera then one cicled the bike, one stood in the door and watched while the third held out his hand out for my documents saying, “Where are you from?”
“Kelowna,” then explaining, “I also live in Alberta, that is why the plate.”
“Citizenship” He said looking down at my lonely drivers license.
“Canadian, but I forgot my passport on the dresser and only have a drivers license.”
“You need proof of citizenship, what do you do.” He looked at me the smile was gone.
“I write humour motorcycle travel stories. Right now I am preparing a story on how I got through the border without a passport.”
The second guard was now reading all the patches on my cut off jean jacket. “Iron Butt?”
“Yes sir, I earned that riding 650 miles from Kelowna to Grande Prairie every month to go to work.”
The first guard let out a hint of a smile as he looked at his partners, “You have nothing else?”
“Wait, I do have something from your country that isn’t official but should say where I was born.” I looked through my pack and pulled out my book, Get Out of Your Way. “Here,” I started fumbling for the authors bio. I found it, they had edited it, and there was no mention of my place of birth.
“So you are going to write a story about us?” He said now openly smiling as he looked again at his partners.
“Yes, it will be my second on border crossings and why you let me go because I am such a good guy. They are always positive stories.”
Handing back the license he said, “You know what you have to have to get into the US now don’t you?”
“Yes I do, I had it laid out but just forgot it.”
“Well next time, bring it.” He smiled and waved me on.