[pct-l] Border Crossing off the PCT

Carolyn Burkhart kitravensong at hotmail.com
Sun Oct 13 11:33:04 CDT 2013

Josh Eldridge ▶ PCT Class of 2013
9 hours ago
Hey everyone....Andrea Dinsmore asked me to share my border experience just so those thinking of taking a similar route would be aware.

I was lucky enough get in at ross lake and hike the east bank trail north to Canada without any issues. About 8 miles past the border i was questioned by a conservation officer and handed him my passport and permission to enter canada paperwork. the officer radioed into the border agency and after a long wait i was shocked to hear a voice come across the radio saying "arrest the suspect under the immigration act!!" i was handcuffed and transported to a police station in Hope BC where i was placed in a cell. Around 10 p.m. Someone sent by the border agency came to transport me to a detention facility near the Vancouver airport. i was thoroughly searched again, hancuffed at the wrists and ankles and loaded into the back of a transport vehicle.

Once in Vancouver i was placed in another cell where i spent the night. The next afternoon i finally had the opportunity to be interviewed by a border official. up to this point i really did not have an opportunity to explain my situation and the people i had contact with seemed to know little if anything about pct and had little understanding of the circumstances which caused me to cross the border in the manner in which i did. At the conclusion of the interview the border official thankfully seemed to understand my situation and said they had no grounds to detain me further....he'd try to get me released asap. A few hour later i was called and escorted out of the facility, placed in a cab and dropped off at the border with instructions to see a certain officer on the canadian side and hand him some paperwork. After that i was free. No charges were filed against me and supposedly i should be able to enter canada in the future though this ordeal will show up in the system. i had been happy to get to Canada but i was even happier to get back to the U.S.!!!

In the end i guess i was detained because i didnt enter at a border crossing and because it was at a place other than the pct? So there ya go....take it for what you will. i have no regrets and am just happy that i had the chance to complete a continuous hike from Mexico to Canada. i plan on writing the pacific trail processing center of the border agency in hopes that future hikers wont run into the same issues. Goodluck to everyone still out there!! May you all cross the border safely and not end up in jail!! 
~ Coincidence

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