Thursday, May 10, 2012

We Lost Our Rice At The Border

We're in America now, have been for a few days now. My husband and I decided to come down on another shopping trip to finish equiping the motorhome with a few more items. This was the first time I have ever crossed the border with my house in tow. I would have to say the experience was enlightening. We pulled up to the border guard, as usual, and answered the normal questions. Then we were told to pull over ahead and await a visit from an Agricultural Agent. Odd, but ok. I did expect an investigation of the motorhome, but not by the Department of Agriculture. We waited a few minutes, then we had a knock on our door. I opened it, pulled out the step, and invited the Agricultural Agent into our home. She asked if we had any fresh fruit, meat, etc, the usual questions when crossing the border. Then she asked if we had any rice. Rice? What do you mean? I have dry, uncooked rice, and I said as much. I was asked to produce it. I pulled out two containers of rice, but not the boxes they came in. I found it easier to store if they were in plastic containers. I was informed that there were some types of rice that were not packaged in USA or Canada, and may have parisites of sorts in them. And because I could not produce the box my particular rice came in, it was not going to be allowed into the United States of America. My rice containers were removed from the motorhome, and they were returned to me empty. The Agricultural Agent expressed the severity of bringing such items into her country and gave us a sheet of paper describing items that are not allowed to cross the border. I never suspected my rice as a danger to the National Security of the United States, but I guess you can't be too careful.
We made it into the States, two containers of rice lighter, but we made it.
After spending a night in Thief River Falls, we made it to Fargo. First stop, Mills Fleet Farms. I have to say that is a great store. My husband picked up a pair of overalls, we got a generator (1500 watt running), a couple of deep cell batteries, and a couple flavors of dried soups. I almost bought a gnome for my home, but I resisted the urge. That store has everything.
We also found a place in Fargo to dump the septic tank and get more water for the motorhome. The Petro on Interstate 94 allows free dumping and has water as well. We went there earlier today, pulled up to the area designated for RVs to get gas. Just before the gas pump was an RV sewage dump, and beside was a hookup for water.
I must say, the generator has improved our quality of life one great step forward. We are able to keep our batteries charged, and keep the fridge cold. Since doing the repairs to our propane system, the furnace works great, taking the chill out of the air in the mornings. And we have finally put water into our tank, allowing us to do dishes and wash in the motorhome instead of washrooms along the road. Once we get the propane on the fridge fixed and mount the solar panels, we should be fully operational.
Now that our shopping is done, we are back on the road. We left Fargo, and headed east down Interstate 94. We made it to the first rest area inside Minnesota. I believe we are still in Moorehead, but we are in a nice grassy area, surrounded by trees. Tonight we had a BBQ of pork chops and potatoes and are settling back for a quiet evening out of the parking lots.
Tomorrow we are headed North again. I'm not sure which route we will be taking, but we are in no hurry to cross the border.

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