Once Upon a Time in America



A street in Port-Huron.

Entry #7   •   14th of November, 2014 Entry translated by  Pierre-Luc Roussel.
Read the entry in french.
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There are three ways to cross from Ontario to Michigan. Firstly, in Detroit there is either the tunnel or the Ambassador Bridge. Crossing by bike it is possible to take a bus through the tunnel, which was my original plan. However, one must take the bike apart and put it in a booze or bag. I thus thought it would be simpler to take the ferry between Sombra and Marine City. I hadn't really thought about the third way, which was soon to impose itself.

Indeed there is a bridge between Sarnia and Port-Huron. Posting a host demand for Sarnia on CouchSurfing are also seen by people in Port-Huron. Bill, retired from NASA, contacted me and offered to come and get me in Sarnia and take me to Port-Huron, thus crossing the border with him. I accepted and we met in a coffee shop to chat and, i guess, reassure him that I wasn't going to cause trouble at the border. We still had some.

Customs Agent : "How do you know each other?"
Bill : " We're friends".
Customs Agent : "How long have you known each other?"
Bill : " Two days".

That referred to the time since our first contact on CouchSurfing. I figured as he did that the half hour since our metting at the coffee shop would have been a worse answer, but from now on I can safely say that the customs agent didn't like us. He sent us to a second controller where the car was thoroughly searched and where we were questioned in further details. They let us pass in the end.

In Port-Huron, Bill took me around town and we ate in a brewer's pub (Michigan is the country of small self brewing pubs, Grand-Rapids its capital). I also met his wife Janine, whom welcomed me with chocolates on my pillow, and Bill Sr, Bill's father, a retired railway worker. His family came from St-Louis to find work in the thirties, after the crash. He had many interesting life stories to share.

The next day, Bill Jr. and Sr. had to go to Detroit and offered to take me but I thought that would be cheating and wanted to ride there myself. However, my knee still hurting from the Belleville - Whitby, i thought back about my bike wheel that I hadn't repaired when a spoke broke in Kingston and that died definitely in Whitby and I figured, wisdom gained, that letting my knee heal (when it's still possible) might be a good idea. So I accepted their offer and left for Detroit with them.