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Author Topic: 2012 meets?  (Read 26830 times)

pbrisebois

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #25 on: December 30, 2011, 02:23:08 PM »

All these tales about crossing the border (plus the inevitable anal exam i'd likely undergo because of all the electronics I carry on trips) just serve as another reminder of why I'll probably never get to visit Canada. Can't "sightseeing" suffice as a reason to cross the border?

It is a shame isn't it? Last year I went down to drive US-219, and also to visit some family in Pennsylvania. It was a pain to get the officer to believe me I was going to visit family. He actually said "why would you want to visit your aunt?" This was all while I was using my NEXUS card to cross the borded. So much for being a "Trusted Traveller".

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #26 on: December 30, 2011, 02:37:53 PM »

I'd be interested in going up to Ottawa basically any time between mid-May and mid-August. I would just need--ideally--a good 2 months heads-up so I can clear my schedule for several days.
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #27 on: December 30, 2011, 02:44:16 PM »

All these tales about crossing the border (plus the inevitable anal exam i'd likely undergo because of all the electronics I carry on trips) just serve as another reminder of why I'll probably never get to visit Canada. Can't "sightseeing" suffice as a reason to cross the border?

Yes.  Just be prepared to answer a few questions.

Listening to American's gripe about crossing the border is actually a little bit annoying.  The American media was so quick to point fingers at how supposedly lax the Canadian border is in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, and yet I hear so much complaining about how much of a pain it is to cross.  Which is it?
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corco

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #28 on: December 30, 2011, 04:27:45 PM »

Couldn't you just say "I'm meeting up with a few friends in (not from) [city] to go sightseeing and explore the area" ?  That seems like it is entirely truthful, plays up the non-sketchy aspects, and exposes you as a tourist who will spend money, and since you're meeting other people the lone traveler aspect is diminished.

If pressed as to why you're not carpooling, you can say "We're coming from all over- it was easiest for us to meet here"- which is once again entirely honest, and logical, especially if you're in the Ontario/Quebec part of Canada- no sense in a roadgeek from Kentucky to drive to Maine first for a Toronto meet!

It is an annoying barrier though- I've been having trouble convincing myself to clinch highways in southern Arizona just because I don't like hassling with the checkpoints- I've never had any issues with them, but I always worry that next time will be the time. I don't really know how to truthfully explain to CBP why I'm on SR 286 right by the border in a really rural area along a major drug smuggling route- "Well, officer, I'm only here because I'm driving every mile of state highway in Arizona, and this is a state highway in Arizona." In fact, I'm not even really sure how I'd lie about it- there's just no good reason for a middle class white kid in Tucson to be in Sasabe at this point.

As far as meets go- I can try to make any that might occur in Texas or Oklahoma, but anything else is probably too far out. Come 2013, I'll be in the road meet game. In fact, 2012 looks pretty bad for me on the driving front- I'll probably concentrate all my resources on finishing the AZ state highway system and getting the hell out of this place as soon as I graduate next December.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 04:56:09 PM by corco »
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Duke87

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2011, 04:49:23 PM »

Despite all my running about, I still actually have 40 hours of vacation time leftover that I haven't used. 40 more are instantly mine on January 1st, with another 80 gradually earned over the course of the year... so, 2012 looks good for more travel. :biggrin:

On the menu:
- inevitable trip to Montreal again, probably Memorial Day weekend (-8 hours)
- not inevitable but likely trip to Georgia again (-40 hours)
- trip to Chicago and possibly also Milwaukee (-40 hours)
- Ottawa road meet (-16 hours)
- Port Huron road meet (-16 hours)

Beyond that, attendance is probable for any meet that I can make a day trip or Saturday-Sunday trip out of (Delaware Valley, Manchester, others?).

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2011, 05:29:40 PM »

Couldn't you just say "I'm meeting up with a few friends in (not from) [city] to go sightseeing and explore the area" ?  That seems like it is entirely truthful, plays up the non-sketchy aspects, and exposes you as a tourist who will spend money, and since you're meeting other people the lone traveler aspect is diminished.

If pressed as to why you're not carpooling, you can say "We're coming from all over- it was easiest for us to meet here"- which is once again entirely honest, and logical, especially if you're in the Ontario/Quebec part of Canada- no sense in a roadgeek from Kentucky to drive to Maine first for a Toronto meet!
"Meeting with friends" works fine.  Just don't volunteer details, and be prepared to answer any questions about lodging reservations.  I got the lodging question at least twice in about a dozen border crossings.  The last time I got away with "somewhere between Montreal and Mont-Tremblant, depending on how much progress I make," though in high season that might not work so well if Customs Canada thinks you're heading into a place where lodging is tight.

I've never been asked crossing into Canada "why not carpooling?", and wouldn't expect it if you say or imply that your friends live near your planned destination.  I did get offensive questions about why I was driving by myself from Sault Ste. Narie back into Michigan, and how come I wasn't married, though I don't know whether the U.S. customs agent was trying to rattle me or was just being a jerk for the heck of it.
« Last Edit: December 30, 2011, 05:32:10 PM by oscar »
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #31 on: December 30, 2011, 05:49:04 PM »

Dan Garnell is considering Port Huron MI as a possible summer meet, one that Duke87 and I may go to. He won't decide for a while though on whether or not to host it. I have a friend in the Detroit suburb of New Baltimore that I'd like to visit while up there.

I'm not announcing mine till January 15 or so, but HB did give the official date.
Port Huron? There's a bridge. What else?

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Quote
(Disclaimer: This trick worked in 2008, but it may not work now. This is not legal advice, so please don't quote me if your attempt fails.)
Answer: They discontinued the program a couple of years ago, I found out.

Quote
Since Ottawa has some of its own tourist attractions (Parliament building, a large university, several museums), an excuse of tourism would work. If the focus of the road meet is not near a tourist center, however, such an excuse might not be plausible.
I would plan to see some of the major attractions along the route. It would be a good opportunity for a long weekend for newcomers to the city who can use the Friday or Sunday to sightsee.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 11:00:57 PM by Master son »
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corco

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2011, 06:03:07 PM »

Quote
"Meeting with friends" works fine.  Just don't volunteer details, and be prepared to answer any questions about lodging reservations.  I got the lodging question at least twice in about a dozen border crossings.  The last time I got away with "somewhere between Montreal and Mont-Tremblant, depending on how much progress I make," though in high season that might not work so well if Customs Canada thinks you're heading into a place where lodging is tight.

"Don't volunteer information" can't be emphasized enough- the one time I volunteered lodging information crossing into Canada my car was searched and I had to go into a back room and empty my pockets and pull down my socks

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #33 on: December 30, 2011, 06:40:41 PM »

I'm still debating trying to do a Texarkana Regional Meet, but everytime I start to make plans, other crap gets in the way.  :banghead: :banghead:
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #34 on: December 31, 2011, 06:58:59 AM »

Intending on doing a DC area meet before I transfer (which itself will likely be September).  Expecting to see good progress on the Beltway projects in Virginia, plus the 11th Street bridge in DC.
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #35 on: December 31, 2011, 11:17:49 AM »

Intending on doing a DC area meet before I transfer (which itself will likely be September).  Expecting to see good progress on the Beltway projects in Virginia, plus the 11th Street bridge in DC.

That would be a great opportunity for us, who missed the meets of November and December, to check out the Inter-County Connector. :)
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #36 on: December 31, 2011, 11:33:06 AM »

Listening to American's gripe about crossing the border is actually a little bit annoying.  The American media was so quick to point fingers at how supposedly lax the Canadian border is in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, and yet I hear so much complaining about how much of a pain it is to cross.  Which is it?
The latter; the mainstream media takes its orders straight from the national security state, which used 9/11 as an excuse to become more totalitarian.  The truth is, the only security issue we had in 9/11 is that our officials are idiots.
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Brandon

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #37 on: December 31, 2011, 01:01:16 PM »

I don't have intention to host any in Wisconsin this year.  There are two possible meets - one in Joliet, IL and one in the Michigan UP.  When - I don't know.

I was thinking that the Joliet, IL meet (aka "Bridgegeeking") would be in mid to late April.  The snow would be gone, but the foliage for some of the sights would be easier to see around/through.
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #38 on: December 31, 2011, 03:36:34 PM »

Regarding the Ottawa meet, "meeting up with friends" and/or "sightseeing" will usually work as an excuse. I've also simply talked about roadgeeking once or twice, mostly when I already knew it was going to take more time (car being searched...).

Give yourself, say, half an hour on your schedule in case the border business takes more time, but it's not that likely. Tourists are clueless by definition (and you are one after all) and many don't have plans and stay with friends, especially if alone. If your records are clear, then you are clear. Of course, just make sure you don't have anything illegal in your car, then you're fine. (A friend of mine can't travel without pot. I NEVER travel in the same car as him, and I expect everyone here to be smarter than that.)

And if you're coming back home with stuff, make sure you have the receipts and that you are allowed to import it. And expect to pay tax on it if you have too much.

I have never ever been close to getting denied (despite all the hassle), and I honestly don't expect it to happen anytime soon. And I cross the border 15-20 times a year.

That said, I'm looking forward for the Capital Region (Ottawa/Gatineau) meet. :)
« Last Edit: December 31, 2011, 03:41:33 PM by Dr Frankenstein »
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SSOWorld

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #39 on: January 01, 2012, 08:40:22 AM »

I don't have intention to host any in Wisconsin this year.  There are two possible meets - one in Joliet, IL and one in the Michigan UP.  When - I don't know.

I was thinking that the Joliet, IL meet (aka "Bridgegeeking") would be in mid to late April.  The snow would be gone, but the foliage for some of the sights would be easier to see around/through.
What snow? ;)
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #40 on: January 03, 2012, 03:58:05 PM »

I've been thinking of holding one in Pittsburgh, for the first time since the National Meet, on the PA 28/East Ohio Street conversion.  Logistically it would be a pain because unlike at meets in the past, there are no cross-roads from which to view the work.

Another one was possibly going back to the abandoned Turnpike, which was the focus of the Breezewood Meet back in 2004, and doing a bike tour of the old ROW.
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #41 on: January 03, 2012, 06:06:50 PM »

I've wanted to check out the abandoned Turnpike for awhile now, so I may come up to that one if it happens. The most likely one for me to attend that's been discussed so far is the DC meet.
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #42 on: January 04, 2012, 09:38:47 AM »

now THAT sounds very tempting, Steve.

INS offcer: What's your purpose for entering Canada?
me: a road meet.
INS officer: ...

:-D ;)

I did something almost like that in 2003 entering the UK:

Customs lady: "How long will you be in the United Kingdom?" [It was Saturday morning]

Me: "Until tomorrow afternoon."

Her: "And what is the purpose of your journey?"

Me [with big grin]: "To fly home on Concorde."

Her [eyes go wide]: "LUCKY YOU!" [stamps passport and sends me on my way]

I've done the "visiting friends" thing twice on weekend trips to the UK in the years since then. Both were SST forum meetups, one in Edinburgh and one in Bristol. Passport control never batted an eye either time in either the UK or on return to the US through Dulles Airport.


froggie's suggestion of something to explore the progress of the Beltway construction in Virginia seems like a good one. The HOT project won't be finished by late summer, but the progress ought to be advanced enough to give visitors a pretty good sense of how it will look when it opens. They've really been progressing pretty quickly these last few months. The other Beltway project in Virginia (completion of the quad-carriageway setup on the Virginia side of the Wilson Bridge) looks like it ought to be done by then, based on how it looked last Friday anyway. Might be something interested parties could view en route from the 11th Street Bridge to the HOT project, or vice versa.
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #43 on: January 04, 2012, 01:09:18 PM »

My annual "preach about the evils of cellphone use" conference is April 25-27 in Loserville, so meets on the weekends on either side of that timeframe are out for me.

H.B. - you'll have to tell me about this conference. Sounds interesting. LOL

Post Merge: December 31, 1969, 07:59:59 PM
Listening to American's gripe about crossing the border is actually a little bit annoying.  The American media was so quick to point fingers at how supposedly lax the Canadian border is in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks, and yet I hear so much complaining about how much of a pain it is to cross.  Which is it?

As an American, it's very easy crossing from the U.S. into Canada. It's a lot harder getting back into the U.S.

Post Merge: January 07, 2012, 11:03:35 PM
I'm not really one for hosting meets, but I'd love to attend these meets if they all happen:

-Port Huron, MI
-Marquette/Houghton, MI
-Dayton, OH
-The tri-state (WV, OH, KY) meet
-Joliet, IL
-Pittsburgh, PA

This was actually the first time I'd heard anything about a Port Huron meet. That's awesome! I do recall talk of a possible meet in Flint, MI that I'd be up for attending as well.

Is anyone still interested in hosting a meet in the Twin Cities?
« Last Edit: January 07, 2012, 11:03:35 PM by Master son »
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #44 on: January 04, 2012, 07:01:21 PM »

Would anybody attend a western Arkansas/eastern Oklahoma meet?  We could meet at Fort Smith, drive north on I-540 in Fayetteville to see the Hopper tunnel, drive back on US 71, then drive southwest into LeFlore County, OK to see some old stretches of US 59 and US 271, then check out I-49 construction.  There's also a great stretch of old US 71 south of Greenwood.  I'm sure US 71 could come up with some other things to see in the area. 
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #45 on: January 04, 2012, 09:33:07 PM »


H.B. - you'll have to tell me about this conference. Sounds interesting. LOL

It's the annual Kentucky Lifesavers Conference. The last several years, much of the discussion has been about prohibiting cellphone use by drivers. The agenda will be posted at http://lifesavers.ky.gov. The conference is held every year in the armpit of Kentucky: downtown Louisville. Every year I ask that it be moved, if not to some other city, then at least to a suburban hotel. Every year my pleas fall on deaf ears. Every year I threaten not to go, but I usually end up going because it's a few days out of the office.

I'm not really one for hosting meets, but I'd love to attend these meets if they all happen:

(list omitted)

Hosting a meet really isn't that difficult; at least not as hard as some people seem to think. Find something interesting and roads-related that can be seen in two to three hours, find a decent restaurant nearby, and put out the word. If you host it, they will come.

Is anyone still interested in hosting a meet in the Twin Cities?

Wasn't Dan Garnell talking about hosting a multi-day meet there a year or two ago?

Would anybody attend a western Arkansas/eastern Oklahoma meet?

Yes.  :clap:

I've been through the area on I-40 and south into the next county below I-40 on I-540, but this would be an opportunity for more county-collecting.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 09:41:40 PM by hbelkins »
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #46 on: January 04, 2012, 09:37:59 PM »

Depending on when it is, I'd definitely do my best to make it

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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #47 on: January 04, 2012, 09:49:14 PM »

Would anybody attend a western Arkansas/eastern Oklahoma meet?  We could meet at Fort Smith, drive north on I-540 in Fayetteville to see the Hopper tunnel, drive back on US 71, then drive southwest into LeFlore County, OK to see some old stretches of US 59 and US 271, then check out I-49 construction.  There's also a great stretch of old US 71 south of Greenwood.  I'm sure US 71 could come up with some other things to see in the area. 

You already mentioned I-49, but there's an abandoned railroad grade around Mansfield with a few abandoned bridges. We can also watch 71 crumble north of Mountainburg  :-/
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #48 on: January 04, 2012, 10:24:13 PM »

I am interested in the tri-state (OH-KY-WV), KY I-69, Joliet, would likely attend, pending scheduling specifics.   Also, anything in Michigan.  Maybe DC and/or Wilmington.  I look forward to hearing more about the Delaware Valley meet.  Birmingham and Memphis are both possible, but it would have to be one or the other, probably not both.

I’m less likely to attend (but would if I could) Texarkana, western Arkansas/eastern Oklahoma or New Hampshire.

For those considering travel to Canada (road meet or otherwise), don’t let the prospect of grumpy customs/immigration officers scare you.  Crossing the border is not an ordeal.  Unless you have firearms or drugs or a checkered criminal past, you have nothing to fear.  I agree with A.J., it’s usually less pleasant returning to the US than crossing into Canada.
 
Froggie, where does your transfer take you?
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Re: 2012 meets?
« Reply #49 on: January 05, 2012, 01:19:58 AM »

We could also throw in the Talimena Scenic Drive.  I don't want to have it in the middle of the summer, so I would want to get started early so we would be sure to have plenty of daylight.  We would be doing a lot of driving, and not a lot of stopping.
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