Passing the Border Crossing – Spokane, Washington, United States

The sun shone brightly and not a cloud was in the sky. The fresh yet warm mountain air greeted me as I stretched my crumpled body. We had a more productive meeting deciding on our game plan. Joey and I went into town to pick up a few things while the others stayed behind to pack for our departure to the States.

We found a lovely café to eat in and it turned our our server was also going to Burning Man. Infact, she is camping in the same camp as us. Cool. We ran about pick up supplies and last minute stuffs. I got a little caught up in the dollar store but then practiced some serious self discipline and put everything back that I didn’t need. I walked out with a box of safety pins but not all the glam and glitter I had originally chosen. I really enjoyed smiling at everyone because for the most part, they smiled back warmly.

Finally by late afternoon we were ready to head out. Packed to the brim and armed with everything that we would need from Canada. We passed through Salmo and great memories of Shambhala danced in my mind. I noticed a thrift store so Anna and I did a bit of shopping while Joey grabbed a coffee at the gas station. I was thrilled to find a deal that you could stuff a bag full for only 3 dollars. Yay! We found a bunch of great items including a slick pair of black boots which fit me perfectly. I didn’t realize that boots are pretty much essential in the desert. I guess I had forgotten how uncomfortable it was to wear sandals in the Sahara.

We were a bit nervous as we arrived at the entrance to the US but instantly my worries were quelled. The ladies were very friendly and the check was pretty straightforward. Compared to the Vancouver checkpoint, this was tiny, more like mom and pops operation. We had heard several stories of Canadian would be burners getting turned away at the border for one reason or another. Apparently, they can refuse one entry for any reason at all. So in my mind, once we passed the into the States, we were pretty much home free.

When Dylan called us on the cellphone to tell us he had made it through as well, we all celebrated. With our spirits high, we decided to squish in and make room for a hitchhiker. We had a nice chat with this Californian called Joe who was hiking around by himself. We dropped him off in the next town where we stopped and treated ourselves to a homemade pie from the diner.

We drove some more and some more finally ending up in Spokane, Washington. Growing up one of our main TV stations was based in Spokane so I had always envisioned this city as a big antenna surrounded by a few houses. I learned that it’s a lot bigger than that after we drove around for an hour lost. We tried to find a bite to eat but not much was open. Joey was pretty upset that Franks Diner which is situated inside a train car, was closed. “Diners are never supposed to close!” he groaned.

We settled on a bar that unfortunately only had their appetizer menu available. So we ordered a dinner of friedness and several pitchers of beer. The service was good and we had some good laughs. We were all pretty tired when we finally pulled into the campground in Riverside park. We didn’t even bother setting up tents in the darkness of 3am, instead all just smushing into the vans. After a few giddy and giggley conversations, we all drifted off into a broken sleep.

Today I am grateful for distance.

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