Thursday, August 13, 2015

Noyes, home of a former US/Canada Border Crossing: July 18th, 2015

Over the last four years, we have visited the far northeastern corner of the state (Grand Portage State Park), and driven through the far southwestern corner and the far southeastern corners of the state.  Since we were spitting distance to the far northwestern corner of the state - and its interesting history - we couldn't resist checking out the small town of Noyes.

Welcome to the United States!  Or, enjoy your trip to Canada!

The International Crossing at Noyes was established in 1931, but it has been an important crossroads for much longer than that.  It is the terminus of US 75 (you can drive all the way from the Canadian Border to Dallas, TX), and it is also where the BNSF and Soo Line railroads enter Canada.  Before that, there was an oxcart trail that crossed through the small town.  The Noyes Border Crossing was officially closed in 2003.  Now, the only travelers crossing through Noyes are migrating birds and other wildlife.

This side Canada, other side USA

This is the fourth time that Joe and I have bumped up against Canada since starting this blog, and the fifth time for me.   The first three times:

  1. We cross over the Pigeon River by Grand Portage, Joe is nervous
  2. We cross back over by International Falls with our contraband Kinder Eggs..uh, just kidding...
  3. We wade into the Rainy River at Franz Jevne State Park, enjoying our time on an island in the middle that may or may not belong to Canada
And, I may or may not have wandered into Canada on my dogsled trip to the Boundary Waters with Mandy and Mark.

We could walk to the abandoned Border Crossing of Emerson, Manitoba if we dared.

It's interesting how in so many places along the border, you might not really know what country you are in.  The US/Canada border is the longest international border in the world.  Although we hear a lot about security on the southern border of the US, there doesn't seem to be a lot of security going on up here.

Welcome to the United States: we are protected by floodlamps and wasps nests

After poking around for a bit, we realized that the gate was not the actual border.  The actual border was delineated by a series of grooves on the asphalt and what was once a mowed border between the trees.  There was a monument in the grass showing that we had found it: the 49th parallel.

Weedy Border

For a while, I stood in Canada while Joe stood in the United States and we looked around.  How strange that we can do that!  Are there any other places in the world where one can literally waltz over the border?

Anyway, after a while we realized that we would be unhappy if we stayed in two separate countries.  Because Joe had the keys and the car was on the USA side of the border, I repatriated myself and we continued on our journey.

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