Tuesday, October 28, 2014
Posted by
Dave and Amy Freeman

Canoeing back to the USA

Around 5 pm we paddle out of Quebec and entered New York. We scanned the shore for a US flag, or some sign of a US border crossing station, but we couldn’t find anything so we pulled into a marina just past the border to ask. The marina opperator was a little surprised to see us, but called the border patrol for us and told us to wait by our boat. An hour past and it started to get dark. We munched on peanutbutter and honey sandwiches and did our best to stay warm. Around 6 PM two border patrol guards came and explained that the water crossing had closed several weeks ago because the railroad swing bridge and the locks just north of the border were all closed, so the waterway closed for the season.

We explained that we had crossed the border by water in Sault Saint Marie 5 weeks ago and that we were just trying to follow the law and check into customs the only way we knew how. Luckily they quickly warmed up to us when they realized that we didn’t have a car and couldn’t drive across the border. They worked through the process of checking us in and by 6:30 we were officially back in the USA and paddling south down Lake Champlain.

The lake was like glass, so we decided to paddle into the night to make some miles. In the morning a strong south wind was predicted and we wanted to make the best of the calm weather. The border guards explained that snow is expected on Friday, which caused us to quicken our pase. We passed a string of cormarants roosting on an delapidated railroad tressel as the last of the sun’s glow disappeared below the horizon.

We paddled on into the darkness, until a little after midnight having paddled an addtional 20 miles after dark. We quickly pitched our tent under a stand of cedar trees and fell asleep. With sound with of 15 to 25 miles an hour for today we decided to spend the day resting and catching up on emails. We have lots of events in the works over the next month, so we are busy making all of the final arrangements. We have about 20 more miles to go to get to Burlington, where people will welcome is into town around 4:30 PM and then we will present at UVM ay 6:00 PM.

It feels good to be back in the US!