October 19/18 (Part 1) – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario to Bay City Michigan – Changing Countries

Today was the day we had been saving all our energy for. We had been warned about how busy and difficult the border crossing at Sarnia, Ontario could be.

But, I am getting ahead of myself. We woke up to a marvelous home cooked B & B  breakfast in Niagara-on-the-Lake. This really was a great place to stay and perhaps we should have booked two nights. But, we were off on a new adventure.

Driving away around rush hour, we were slowed down by construction detours in St. Catherines, before making our way from the QEW to the 403. We had a coffee stop booked in London, with one of my former workmates. We arrived in time to find him surrounded by a Mom’s and Tots play group, enjoying a morning outing. While it was a bit noisy for a while, the coffee was great and it was good to catch up.

Coffee over, we said our goodbyes and headed to the border crossing in Sarnia.


When we discussed the crossing with Jamie, he told us to keep veering right into lane 13, which apparently opened up into 4 lanes through the Customs clearance. The closer we got, the more we looked for the hours long lineups our friends had told us about (we were crossing on a Friday around lunch time after all. We were also worried about what changes had been made just 2 short days after Canada had legalized recreational marijuana possession.

In the distance ahead, we could see the 6,178 foot ((1,883 m) long Blue Water Bridge crossing the St. Clair River where it empties out of Lake Huron. On our side was Sarnia, Ontario. On the other side was Port Huron Michigan. (Source:Wikipedia)


On the bridge, we were soon crossing over the St. Clair River and the edge of Lake Huron.


We headed for the toll plaza, paid our toll and then aimed for the Customs booths in the far right lane, as directed by Jamie. We handed our passports to the inspection officer, who asked us “What are you folks up to, today?” When we told him we were driving across Canada and the US, his next question was “Aren’t the hotel prices getting expensive?” When we replied in the affirmative, he handed our passports back and told us to “Have a Nice Day.” Baffled, we looked for some sign that there was more to this, but he waved us on. Total time spent at Customs was one minute. No questions as to why we were visiting, did we have any fresh produce, where we were going or were we dope smokers.

I guess we should not have been surprised. After all, how much trouble can two old farts in a Prius get into?

A little further up the road, we bounced off the corner of Flint and thought of all the stories we had heard about their drinking water problems. But, we were pushing on. Next stop, Frankenmuth.



2 thoughts on “October 19/18 (Part 1) – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario to Bay City Michigan – Changing Countries

  1. Glad to hear it. You just have to think the whole border crossing experience would have been different if we were driving a shiny black Cadillac Escalade with 20″ rims and blacked out windows. Thanks for stopping by Nikki. Allan


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