Oh ‘Merica, When Will You Catch Up?

Oh ‘Merica, When Will You Catch Up?

Now that I had my destination, Newfoundland, I was ready to say goodbye to Maine and head back north into Canada.

With all my trips to Grand Manan, I’d become a familiar face at the border. It got to be quite fun to see some of the guards, on both sides, who heard the story of my trip and checked to see how I was doing. They’d even leave their post to come chat for a minute. It’s funny how my curiosity about something as simple as life in rural America has generated such good will. It gives me a warm feeling inside. And, at the same time, I wonder, “Should we really get ‘kudos’ for taking interest in this part of our world?”

Today I had a new guard as I crossed into the Canadian side. When I told this young, 30ish guard about my trip he joked about me being a hippie.

I corrected him. “I don’t see myself as a hippie, I’m a contemporary bohemian,” I responded.

He laughed.

I might not look like a hippie in my uniform, but I’m a hippie at heart. Last summer, me and a couple bodies biked (motorcycled) down the west coast through Cannon Beach and then northern California.

“Did you go to Humboldt?” I joked. (I wondered if he’d get the joke.)

“Hey,” he said, “I might be in my uniform today, but trust me, we are all ready for ‘it’ to go legal in October.”

“Wow,” I thought, I can’t believe we’re having this conversation.

Traffic was backed up 5 deep by now. 

“I’ve been told,” he went on, “that even when it’s legal here, you don’t want to tell the ‘border patrol on the other side’ that you’ve ever smoked. If you do, the US will ban you for life.”

“Seriously? That’s wild.” I said. 

As I pulled away, I thought, oh, America, I mean US, you can do so much better than this. Give it up already. If even Canada is going legal, let’s get with it and do what’s right.

Shortly though, the thought was out of my mind.

I was on the Canadian Highway, my sights set on Newfoundland.

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