This border crossing is one of a series of old and underutilized road crossings between the U.S. and Canada in the Saskatchewan and Manitoba area.
The border guard we spoke to said the building dates back to well before the 1950's. But they only process about 50 cars per day here so not much point in spending millions of dollars to update things.
We got to talking to the U.S. border guards. There were only two of them there. They asked where we were staying.
"Couchsurfing. Have you ever heard of that"? I explained.
"I've heard of it, but I would never do it", said the female guard with a sour look on her face. I never did see a smile out of her. I've said it before, but I don't understand why these people can't do a good job but do it with a pleasant attitude. Her older male co-worker was a little more talkative, but when we were telling him about Mexico and Guatemala you could see that he simply didn't understand the attraction. Just shaking his head at us.
Anyhow, made it through the border and headed for Grand Forks, North Dakota.
Not much to see along the way, in fact we didn't take any pictures.
Yesterday's drive, 190 miles (305 kms).
Stopped for gas in Devil's Lake and paid $3.54 per gallon (about $0.95 per litre Canadian) for gas.
Saw the tourist info office coming into Grand Forks and picked up a city map and used their free wi-fi to check emails. Then we went downtown and wandered around.
Our couchsurfing host Jasmine is a reporter with the local newspaper here and had been called out on a story and wouldn't be back until sometime in the evening. This is one of those time where it would have been handy for us to have a cell phone, but instead we managed with email and found the library and other sources to stay in internet communication with her until she returned.
The river running through the downtown area is the actual border between North Dakota and Minnesota. So one the west side of the river is Grand Forks, North Dakota, and on the east side is East Grand Forks, Minnesota.
There's a recreational path running in the greenspace along the river on both sides. So we went for a 3 mile (4.5 kms) walk. There's a large campground right close to the downtown area and we saw this odd looking trailer.
There's a winch system that lowers the trailer to the ground!
So I did some research and these trailers were originally made as ice fishing huts. They've expanded and designed the trailers now as dual purpose so that you would use them year round. I expect they must be really well insulated. You can read more about them here... http://icecastlefh.com/
Ruth, and The Greenway recreational path along the Red River.
It was a nice enough walk, but the path is really better used by bicycles. There's not really a trail right beside the river because this river has severe flooding problems in the spring and anything closer to the river would get damaged every year.
One of the new dams on the river.
The old St. Michael's Hospital and nurses residence is now a historic building. Built between 1907 and 1914.
Back in the city, we found the St. Michael's church built around the same time. I guess the church business was doing pretty well back then.
Hmm. You can paint your house whatever color you want to. Or colors.
Downtown Grand Forks.
Grand Forks made the news in 1997 because of the devasting record flooding they were experiencing. They've now built a huge wall around the downtown area to contain the water, and they've also built a reminder of the highest water levels over the years.
The Sorlie Bridge. You can see Kevin standing beside the marker that says the water height.
A file picture showing the same bridge in 1997!!!
Kevin, by the high water marker showing the dates that the flooding was really bad.
Checked in with Jasmine, and she said she would be back around 8:00pm. So we went and got some dinner. This is the first time we've eaten in a restaurant since April! We went to an Asian place and Ruth had a chicken curry and I had beef pad thai. Not bad, but not great. Total including a beer, tax, and tip was $32.
Ruth's chicken curry. Nice presentation, but it was advertised as being on a bed of spinach. No spinach to be seen. The waitress said "oh, they changed the menu. We don't have any spinach". Hmm.
So we met up at Jasmine's apartment and stayed up talking until 11:30pm. Once again, a great couchsurfing experience.
Today, we're off to Duluth, Minnesota!