What a great day for driving. We left Claresholm this morning in sunshine en route to Blanchard, Idaho through the majestic Rocky Mountains. We stopped for a picnic lunch in Cranbrook, BC…incredible to be able to have a picnic in early March.
We headed south from Yahk, BC to cross the border to Idaho. “Do you have any fruits or vegetables with you?” Since I had packed the cooler, Jim turned to me for answers. “Yes, we have a few things…I brought whatever was left in my crisper at home” I replied. “What exactly do you have?” asked the nice lady at the border. “Hmmm, we have some lettuce, a cucumber, two peppers and a few left over grapes from our lunch” I offered. “Are the peppers cut up or whole?” “They’re whole” I replied confidently. “Would you please move ahead and take your first left? We’ll need to inspect your items.”
A few minutes later our cooler and lunch bag were being inspected. Lo and behold, a small peeled yam was also discovered and I had not disclosed that. The border patrol doesn’t consider “forgetting” to be an acceptable excuse for withholding information! Our 8-10 grapes were confiscated since they were no longer in the original packaging providing proof of origin…no big deal. Then we discovered that peppers are only allowed if they are cut up…who knew?…or if they are whole they need to have the stickers on them to prove they are a product of USA. We’re not sure how we avoided getting the quoted $300 fine…the peppers definitely had stickers on them but they said “product of Mexico”! Either the officer was blind (he actually took them out of the cooler and read the stickers) or he was feeling sorry for us and Lady Luck intervened on our behalf. Regardless, we were on our way with a list of what is and is not permitted when I remembered that we also had two potatoes packed with the dry goods! So thankful they didn’t find those too! Whew! I hate border crossing!