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June 8
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Total Members Voted: 10

Voting closed: June 05, 2019, 09:13:36 PM


Author Topic: Montreal meet  (Read 1629 times)

oscar

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #25 on: July 02, 2019, 10:16:39 PM »

Also, for those traveling, hotels in Massena NY (just across the river from Cornwall, in the far reaches of the North Country) are pretty cheap, and just two hours from Montreal, so there's another option.

Still another, where I've made my (refundable, using points) reservation for Friday and Saturday evenings, is Malone NY. That seems to have a better lodgings selection than Massena.

Assuming I go (not 100% at this point), I would enter Quebec at the route 132 border crossing, and return to Malone via route 138. clinching the west ends of those very long routes.
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cu2010

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #26 on: July 07, 2019, 09:31:29 PM »

For me, lodging in Massena is free since I live there.  :-D

Unfortunately, I have family coming in from Florida, to say nothing short of the fact that my car is broken and isn't making a trip any more than five miles, so I'm out.

If there is a second meet, say in August, that might be doable... my car should be repaired by then and I'll have more vacation time to play with.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2019, 09:38:29 PM by cu2010 »
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #27 on: July 08, 2019, 01:20:04 PM »

I'm hoping to do a "make up" trip next year since it didn't work out for me this year, though I'll have to see how everything shapes up before deciding for sure.  Might be possible to connect in a second meet.  Alas, I've used more vacation time this year than I originally intended, so I'm not aiming to travel overnight for any meets other than Newburyport for the rest of this year.
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Duke87

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #28 on: July 09, 2019, 01:56:22 AM »

As suspected, I'm out for this.

Will check out the new bridge whenever I happen to find myself back in Montreal next, which is likely inevitable.
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #29 on: July 09, 2019, 06:55:45 PM »

Lunch and departure will be at:
Dunn's Famous Deli
3271 Boulevard Taschereau
Greenfield Park, QC  J4V 2H5

https://goo.gl/maps/5pdAHpU1vKxLpoAw6 [FGW9+4H Greenfield Park]

Reservation for ten at 12:00 noon, under my name (Carl).

Detailed itinerary coming soon, just need to recon it first.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2019, 07:02:05 PM by Dr Frankenstein »
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2019, 10:56:35 AM »

^ Huh....I stopped off at the Tim Hortons on that same block a couple weeks ago...
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oscar

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2019, 04:49:06 PM »

Count me in. See ya at noon.

I'll be staying in Malone NY the evenings before and after the meet. If the meet runs long (after 6pm), I might need to peel away early, to make it back to Malone before it gets dark. Both of the nearby border crossings are open 24/7, but I hate night driving in unfamiliar territory.
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cl94

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2019, 06:04:44 PM »

I'll be staying in Malone NY the evenings before and after the meet. If the meet runs long (after 6pm), I might need to peel away early, to make it back to Malone before it gets dark. Both of the nearby border crossings are open 24/7, but I hate night driving in unfamiliar territory.

FYI: if you haven't used the Malone area crossings before, you're probably going to get secondaried. They secondary almost anyone who isn't from the area regardless of NEXUS/etc. status at those crossings.
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cu2010

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2019, 06:27:28 PM »

Count me in. See ya at noon.

I'll be staying in Malone NY the evenings before and after the meet. If the meet runs long (after 6pm), I might need to peel away early, to make it back to Malone before it gets dark. Both of the nearby border crossings are open 24/7, but I hate night driving in unfamiliar territory.

It is actually considerably quicker- and only 10 miles longer- to cross at Champlain (Hwy 15/I-87) and take US11 back to Malone... and those are far better roads. Probably a much better option when late.

Plus, the Champlain crossing is more heavily used and you'd be considerably less likely to be secondaried there. As cl94 said, most of the small crossings between Cornwall/Massena and Champlain/Blackpool are little used and thus the border guards are more than likely to interrogate you as they have nothing better to do.

For anyone coming from the south, namely the I-81 corridor, considering using a crossing other than the Thousand Islands Bridge and want little hassle... avoid the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. It's the least used of the three bridges in the area, and the Canadian border guards there are notorious assholes. That is the only crossing where I have legitimately had problems crossing; I never have problems at Cornwall. Though the Thousand Islands Bridge does now take EZPass...

I really wish I could join you all, especially since it's not often meets are held within two hours of my home... but alas, the timing just doesn't work out with this one.
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Alps

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2019, 06:31:12 PM »

Count me in. See ya at noon.

I'll be staying in Malone NY the evenings before and after the meet. If the meet runs long (after 6pm), I might need to peel away early, to make it back to Malone before it gets dark. Both of the nearby border crossings are open 24/7, but I hate night driving in unfamiliar territory.

It is actually considerably quicker- and only 10 miles longer- to cross at Champlain (Hwy 15/I-87) and take US11 back to Malone... and those are far better roads. Probably a much better option when late.

Quicker if there's no traffic... ... ... ...

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2019, 06:52:56 PM »

As cl94 said, most of the small crossings between Cornwall/Massena and Champlain/Blackpool are little used and thus the border guards are more than likely to interrogate you as they have nothing better to do.
How's US 11?  Whenever I get around to doing my Montréal trip (still have my fingers crossed for next year, though I'll see how the meet schedule shapes up), I want to return to the US that way to properly clinch that last piece (currently I have a mile long "sight clinch" north of US 2).  Not sure I really have an excuse as to why I'd be crossing there over I-87, especially as I'd likely be returning mid-week and I doubt congestion at the I-87 crossing would be a reason.

Quote
avoid the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. It's the least used of the three bridges in the area, and the Canadian border guards there are notorious assholes. That is the only crossing where I have legitimately had problems crossing; I never have problems at Cornwall.
I can concur.  The one and only time I've had to deal with secondary was crossing into Canada here.

Quote
I really wish I could join you all, especially since it's not often meets are held within two hours of my home... but alas, the timing just doesn't work out with this one.
Ditto.  It's so close, I'd daytrip it if it weren't on the other side of the border.  Alas, it's right in the only free weekend between two family gatherings and a conference, and I've used a fair amount of vacation this year (a week of it unexpectedly when something got rescheduled at the last second), so I'm not really in a position to go up at this time.
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cl94

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2019, 06:54:42 PM »

How's US 11?  Whenever I get around to doing my Montréal trip (still have my fingers crossed for next year, though I'll see how the meet schedule shapes up), I want to return to the US that way to properly clinch that last piece (currently I have a mile long "sight clinch" north of US 2).  Not sure I really have an excuse as to why I'd be crossing there over I-87, especially as I'd likely be returning mid-week and I doubt congestion at the I-87 crossing would be a reason.

I'll have an answer for you on Sunday. My reason will be the cheaper gas just inside VT if they give me trouble.
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oscar

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2019, 07:26:37 PM »

Count me in. See ya at noon.

I'll be staying in Malone NY the evenings before and after the meet. If the meet runs long (after 6pm), I might need to peel away early, to make it back to Malone before it gets dark. Both of the nearby border crossings are open 24/7, but I hate night driving in unfamiliar territory.

It is actually considerably quicker- and only 10 miles longer- to cross at Champlain (Hwy 15/I-87) and take US11 back to Malone... and those are far better roads. Probably a much better option when late.

Plus, the Champlain crossing is more heavily used and you'd be considerably less likely to be secondaried there. As cl94 said, most of the small crossings between Cornwall/Massena and Champlain/Blackpool are little used and thus the border guards are more than likely to interrogate you as they have nothing better to do.

I've already clinched A-15, I-87, and US 11. So I'm looking for crossings and routes I haven't done before. I'll have plenty of time in the morning to get to the meet location by noon, even if I draw a secondary search. The return will also allow time to get back to Malone before dark (sunset will be 8:41pm), especially if the meet ends as scheduled around 6pm.

I'll also have the option of locking up and leaving my laptop and some of my meds in the hotel in Malone, to make any secondary searches less "interesting" and hopefully brief.

How's US 11?  Whenever I get around to doing my Montréal trip (still have my fingers crossed for next year, though I'll see how the meet schedule shapes up), I want to return to the US that way to properly clinch that last piece (currently I have a mile long "sight clinch" north of US 2).  Not sure I really have an excuse as to why I'd be crossing there over I-87, especially as I'd likely be returning mid-week and I doubt congestion at the I-87 crossing would be a reason.

That was one crossing where my roadgeek-type excuse (desire to clinch the north end of US 11, and ultimately the rest of the route) worked fine. Brief questioning, no search. Border guard probably thought I was weird, but at least I didn't have a hidden agenda.
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Alps

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2019, 07:30:52 PM »

As cl94 said, most of the small crossings between Cornwall/Massena and Champlain/Blackpool are little used and thus the border guards are more than likely to interrogate you as they have nothing better to do.
How's US 11?  Whenever I get around to doing my Montréal trip (still have my fingers crossed for next year, though I'll see how the meet schedule shapes up), I want to return to the US that way to properly clinch that last piece (currently I have a mile long "sight clinch" north of US 2).  Not sure I really have an excuse as to why I'd be crossing there over I-87, especially as I'd likely be returning mid-week and I doubt congestion at the I-87 crossing would be a reason.

Quote
avoid the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge. It's the least used of the three bridges in the area, and the Canadian border guards there are notorious assholes. That is the only crossing where I have legitimately had problems crossing; I never have problems at Cornwall.
I can concur.  The one and only time I've had to deal with secondary was crossing into Canada here.

Quote
I really wish I could join you all, especially since it's not often meets are held within two hours of my home... but alas, the timing just doesn't work out with this one.
Ditto.  It's so close, I'd daytrip it if it weren't on the other side of the border.  Alas, it's right in the only free weekend between two family gatherings and a conference, and I've used a fair amount of vacation this year (a week of it unexpectedly when something got rescheduled at the last second), so I'm not really in a position to go up at this time.
I just crossed at US 11 and got no trouble either way. Just say you wanted to avoid congestion that you know is sometimes there. The point at which you'd exit is well before you'd be able to spot any congestion. Also, I feel like my crossing experiences are pseudo-random. I've had vastly different experiences at the same remote crossing and no problems at Ogdensburg.

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #39 on: July 12, 2019, 10:21:12 AM »

How's US 11?  Whenever I get around to doing my Montréal trip (still have my fingers crossed for next year, though I'll see how the meet schedule shapes up), I want to return to the US that way to properly clinch that last piece (currently I have a mile long "sight clinch" north of US 2).  Not sure I really have an excuse as to why I'd be crossing there over I-87, especially as I'd likely be returning mid-week and I doubt congestion at the I-87 crossing would be a reason.

My only nightmare crossing experience was at this crossing. Took 2 hours at more than 20 minutes per car in front of us. Was interrogated to an uncomfortable degree by two agents (one on each side of the car), asking all kinds of invasive and deeply personal questions. They bluntly told me it was stupid of me to take a day trip into Quebec from Massachusetts before eventually letting me go. Admittedly circumstances vary, and a day trip into another country is potentially suspicious, but the impression I got was that that crossing was intended for local traffic only, and using it instead of the major Champlain one was a HUGE red flag.

Ever since then I've avoided the small crossings that are near a major one, and I'd recommend anyone else do the same. You better have a damn good excuse for not using the Champlain crossing.

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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #40 on: July 12, 2019, 10:33:10 AM »

^ My experience with the US 11 crossing was the total opposite.  Perhaps it's because I live in Vermont, but Doug and I (he was riding with me on that trip) had minimal issue.

In clinching the state-route minor crossings along the border, I've only had one real issue...and that was heading into Canada at (IIRC) the VT 141/QC 141 crossing.  And even that took less than 20 minutes.
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #41 on: July 12, 2019, 11:36:10 AM »

I'll be staying in Malone NY the evenings before and after the meet. If the meet runs long (after 6pm), I might need to peel away early, to make it back to Malone before it gets dark. Both of the nearby border crossings are open 24/7, but I hate night driving in unfamiliar territory.

Montreal is far enough north that it has plenty of daylight this time of year. Sunset tomorrow is at 8:41 PM, and provided there's no bad weather, what I would consider "light" should last until at least 9:30.
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #42 on: July 12, 2019, 12:05:12 PM »

Generally, I've found that as long as the explanation you give for your itinerary is plausible, there are no particular issues (aside perhaps from an agent being bored, or security being heightened for an alert or a drill).  "Google traffic said there was a backup" is a reasonable justification.  I'll find out soon if "I'm not in a hurry and always wanted to drive the length of (VT) Route 100" works similarly well.

I've only had "trouble" at the border on two occasions.

Several years ago, on the way home from a weekend in MTL, my wife thought it would be fun to smoke a Cuban cigar while leaning against the border monument at by the duty-free store at the I-87/A-15 crossing.  We were selected for a "random" and extremely thorough search.

Two winters ago, between Christmas and New Years, I needed to visit the border.  When I had applied for my work permit in November at the I-89/QC-132 crossing, the printer was broken, and I was told "just pick it up on your next trip up".  I was getting antsy that it might get misplaced...so when I was approved for my Nexus card and saw appointments were available at Derby Line, I decided to take advantage of the first non-snowy day in a while and a slow day at work, to go take care of both.  I took back roads between Philipsburg and Derby Line, crossing back into the US at East Pinnacle, the least-used crossing on the border.   The guard thought I was nuts (the roads were lousy due to snow/ice/cold; windchills were around -40; the weather forecasts I saw didn't mention the ice fog I encountered), and (at about 3pm) I was the first person to have come through.  So I got interrogated, car searched, and patted down.

The only other times I have been searched were the first time I used my Nexus card northbound at Philpsburg, and the first time I used it southbound at Champlain.   I chalked it up to the authorities just wanting to be sure that I was indeed playing by the rules.

Two months ago, at Champlain, the guard on the Nexus lane was literally waving people through southbound.  I haven't had that happen since before 9/11; I would have expected that they would have at least made me stop, because the plate readers can't parse my tags.

BTW, for folks going up on Saturday, be aware that Montréal's fireworks festival is underway, and I believe one of the shows will be that night (and the Pont-Jacques-Cartier will be closed around showtime).

(I won't be up there for the meet.  I already have plans for this weekend, and my trip up for work and fireworks later in the week is already set in stone.)
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #43 on: July 12, 2019, 04:56:09 PM »

From my Canadian perspective, I usually have no issue crossing in the middle of nowhere when I use the traffic and sightseeing excuses (usually with a camera on my passenger seat). In fact, the only places I got secondaried were major crossings.

Two months ago, at Champlain, the guard on the Nexus lane was literally waving people through southbound.  I haven't had that happen since before 9/11; I would have expected that they would have at least made me stop, because the plate readers can't parse my tags.
Yeah, that happened to me once when I had Nexus, on the Ambassador Bridge, Michigan-bound. There was quite a bit of traffic, though.

BTW, for folks going up on Saturday, be aware that Montréal's fireworks festival is underway, and I believe one of the shows will be that night (and the Pont-Jacques-Cartier will be closed around showtime).
That's correct, the Jacques Cartier Bridge as well as the Ville-Marie and Viger tunnels will be closed between 8 PM and 1 AM (approx.).
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #44 on: July 12, 2019, 05:03:56 PM »

Two months ago, at Champlain, the guard on the Nexus lane was literally waving people through southbound.  I haven't had that happen since before 9/11; I would have expected that they would have at least made me stop, because the plate readers can't parse my tags.
Yeah, that happened to me once when I had Nexus, on the Ambassador Bridge, Michigan-bound. There was quite a bit of traffic, though.

I've had that experience entering the US at the Blue Water Bridge (my only crossing) and the Peace Bridge (multiple times). One of those Peace Bridge trips was the return from what was partially an ON clinchathon that I tied a few random waterfalls and historic sites into for justification, so I was afraid I'd get trouble. Nope!
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #45 on: July 12, 2019, 06:00:55 PM »

I was through the crossing at US 11 the time I went that way (US bound) in under 30 seconds. With zero questions even about the fact that I had a minor (my then 17-year old cousin) in the car with me. The lady seemed to just want to be rid of us quickly so she could go back to sleep.

On the other hand, I got sent to secondary inspection and asked where in the car I was hiding drugs when I crossed (again, US bound) at Mooers. Was let go after about half an hour when they found nothing.
That trouble even ended up being for naught now that NY 22 has been decommissioned north of US 11.
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #46 on: July 12, 2019, 06:03:29 PM »

Is there an update to the itinerary?  Looking at the feasibility of being home in time for dinner.
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #47 on: July 12, 2019, 06:40:00 PM »

As regards US 11/Rouses Point, I wrote last year about my experience crossing back into the US there on the Friday of Labor Day weekend 2017.  I'd say it falls closer to what Deathtopumpkins reports--it was not cursory at all.  That said, I would not go out of my way to avoid it.

I did park my car on waste ground near the US 2 terminus and backtracked toward the port of entry, camera in hand.  I wanted to take photos of the bilingual French/English signs near the border itself, which is close to a mile north of the POE.  The border agents had a fit.  They wanted to know where my car was parked; whether I was trying to exchange something with another person waiting at the border; etc.  In the end they agreed I could go back up to take pictures, but I would have to do so in my car (I was not allowed to walk up to the border itself), and would have to go through entry clearance again.  Since I had a lengthy wait the first time (I forget exactly how long, but I think it was close to an hour), I thanked them and left.

Working out this compromise involved much conversation over the telephone with officials elsewhere.  (I gather Rouses Point is treated as a satellite of a much larger crossing, probably the I-87 one.)  This meant I was waiting inside the station itself.  There was a black Honda Fit parked outside with Québec plates, and an elderly Canadian couple sitting with me in the waiting area, looking like they had just been told their lives were over.
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #48 on: July 12, 2019, 10:53:20 PM »

Can't speak for having crossed in that area.  But on my way to Toronto back in 2016, I got quite the interrogation crossing into Canada in Lewiston, but no secondary.  The return trip back into the U.S. at the top of I-81 was quite the opposite.  I literally cleared customs in less than two minutes.  And I was the only car coming through at the time (about 9 pm on a Saturday evening by the time I got there).
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Re: Montreal meet
« Reply #49 on: July 13, 2019, 03:52:40 AM »

Here's the itinerary, at last, after being a lot busier than anticipated the past two weeks. :spin:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/a5ywxwlkg7f8qbf/2019meet.pdf?dl=0

Now I'm off to bed. See y'all at Dunn's.
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