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Thread summary:

Boston to Michigan drive: Niagara Falls, US highways, border crossing questions, speed limits

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Old 01-13-2009, 09:54 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,824 posts, read 6,294,109 times
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I'm coming up on my dreaded drive from Boston to Michigan this weekend. I have checked 2 places for directions, and they both list taking a stretch through Cananda. the QEW near Niagara Falls. I am wondering if there's any advantage to doing this rather than going through parts of PA? I realize that Erie is having some snow, won't Canada have the same weather?
Wouldn't it better to stick to US highways instead of dealing with border crossing questions and unfamiliar signs? Time isn't a factor, I'm not in a rush. also, is there any weather advantage to going through Canada?
thank you for your thoughts!
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Murphy, NC
3,223 posts, read 7,810,556 times
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google map allows u to drag the directions, like if u wanted to avoid canada. canada is different, the speed limit signs are in km so u would want to learn that first if u go that way, i think they accept american money. the weather advantage is canada is colder lol
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,824 posts, read 6,294,109 times
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thanks, I have been on that road through Canada, I know the signs are different, but in the winter, I don't want to deal with that stuff, plus the border questions and unfamiliar terrain that will be snow-covered!
So, I will stick to US roads, take my time, and hope and pray for the best!
thank you for the response!!


Quote:
Originally Posted by dhanu86 View Post
google map allows u to drag the directions, like if u wanted to avoid canada. canada is different, the speed limit signs are in km so u would want to learn that first if u go that way, i think they accept american money. the weather advantage is canada is colder lol
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:40 AM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 14,680,156 times
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Another aspect of attempting to enter Canada, and then attempting to enter the U.S., is having the proper documentation: for yourself, for any passengers, for your car including its insurance, and for any possessions inside your car and in the trunk.
Entering Canada:
Entering Canada • U.S. Consular Services in Canada (http://www.consular.canada.usembassy.gov/enter_canada.asp - broken link)
Entering the U.S.:
Documents You Will Need to Enter the United States - CBP.gov (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/air_travel/documents_needed.xml - broken link)
If you are traveling with a minor child of yours and the other parent is not present, you will need notarized documentation from the other parent (or custodial decree, or death certificate) permitting you to travel with the child, in order to enter Canada, and then to enter the U.S.

In other words, you will be requesting to enter a foreign country each time, and Immigration officials and Customs officials are really, REALLY serious about doing that correctly.

If I were you, I'd plan a route that's entirely within the U.S. I'd also plan to either go a bit south, or stay on 4-lane highways -- to stay out of as much weather as possible. The entire northern 55% of the country has been blanketed with snow, ice, blizzards, windstorms, and so forth. So wider highways, within the U.S., and going out of your way to stay with wider highways, is the way I'd go.

Drive more slowly than you need to, and your mind, eyesight and reflexes will stay more relaxed and efficient. Get plenty of sleep and eat well. Laugh frequently, and enjoy your trip. I wish you well!
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:47 AM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,824 posts, read 6,294,109 times
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thanks! I have no issues about crossing the border, I've been to Canada several times by car. I have a valid passport. I.D, car insurance and registration, etc. It's just that I will have a lot of personal belongings in my car, a full trunk, etc and CO plates, so they tend to ask me a few other extra questionsm which is fine, I've never had a problem, I just am not in the mood to deal with that in bad weather, unfamiliar places to stop if I get in weather trouble, etc. Those are the issues I am most concerned with.
I will just take my chances on I-90 and I-87, if I run into trouble, I will go slow and/or stop and hope to get a hotel and wait it out. the weather is supposed to be kinda bad in the areas I'm going. thank you for the tips!!

*I don't know about the laughing part!! I may be too nervous, I just want to get the trip overwith, it's definately not a pleasure trip but one out of necessity!!!



Quote:
Originally Posted by allforcats View Post
Another aspect of attempting to enter Canada, and then attempting to enter the U.S., is having the proper documentation: for yourself, for any passengers, for your car including its insurance, and for any possessions inside your car and in the trunk.
Entering Canada:
Entering Canada U.S. Consular Services in Canada (http://www.consular.canada.usembassy.gov/enter_canada.asp - broken link)
Entering the U.S.:
Documents You Will Need to Enter the United States - CBP.gov (http://www.cbp.gov/xp/cgov/travel/vacation/ready_set_go/air_travel/documents_needed.xml - broken link)
If you are traveling with a minor child of yours and the other parent is not present, you will need notarized documentation from the other parent (or custodial decree, or death certificate) permitting you to travel with the child, in order to enter Canada, and then to enter the U.S.

In other words, you will be requesting to enter a foreign country each time, and Immigration officials and Customs officials are really, REALLY serious about doing that correctly.

If I were you, I'd plan a route that's entirely within the U.S. I'd also plan to either go a bit south, or stay on 4-lane highways -- to stay out of as much weather as possible. The entire northern 55% of the country has been blanketed with snow, ice, blizzards, windstorms, and so forth. So wider highways, within the U.S., and going out of your way to stay with wider highways, is the way I'd go.

Drive more slowly than you need to, and your mind, eyesight and reflexes will stay more relaxed and efficient. Get plenty of sleep and eat well. Laugh frequently, and enjoy your trip. I wish you well!
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Old 01-13-2009, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Cosmic Consciousness
3,871 posts, read 14,680,156 times
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Sounds as though you really know what you're doing! That's great! You're clearly smart and wise.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsfangal View Post
*I don't know about the laughing part!!
But laughing is the most important part of living! When we laugh, we refresh every single cell in our bodies, we loosen any tight, scared grips we have on anything negative, and we open our beings to invite the best in life. True. Absolutely. And "the best" includes relaxed driving.

I wish you laughter!
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Old 01-13-2009, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,824 posts, read 6,294,109 times
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thank you! I will try, but as soon as I see those first few snowflakes, my grip starts to tighten and my body tenses up.
It's from being caught in a couple of storms when I had to drive through the mountains in the NW, I was very scared. This could be different since it's flatter terrain, but the visibility is what worries me the most. If I can't see, I freak out completely and pray "Jesus, Take the Wheel", like the song! ha! ha! but I mean it literally!!




Quote:
Originally Posted by allforcats View Post
Sounds as though you really know what you're doing! That's great! You're clearly smart and wise.



But laughing is the most important part of living! When we laugh, we refresh every single cell in our bodies, we loosen any tight, scared grips we have on anything negative, and we open our beings to invite the best in life. True. Absolutely. And "the best" includes relaxed driving.

I wish you laughter!
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:05 PM
 
6,351 posts, read 18,081,659 times
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AND, Sportsfangal, Tim Horton's has the BEST coffee in North America!!! (But you can get it in MI and OH now, too...) Keep laughing and have a GREAT trip! We're eagerly awaiting a full report when you arrrive!
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Old 01-13-2009, 03:34 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
3,824 posts, read 6,294,109 times
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thank you for saying "when" and not "if"!! , it won't be a fun one, that's for sure! I'm doing this only out of necessity, otherwise I'd be flying!!





Quote:
Originally Posted by Crew Chief View Post
AND, Sportsfangal, Tim Horton's has the BEST coffee in North America!!! (But you can get it in MI and OH now, too...) Keep laughing and have a GREAT trip! We're eagerly awaiting a full report when you arrrive!
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Old 01-13-2009, 05:12 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
12,105 posts, read 39,456,181 times
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I know it's short notice, but I would really suggest joining AAA, both for potential towing insurance, and for the excellent "Trip-Tych" maps they will give you for free.

Offhand, I would avoid going through Canada, just an additional complication you don't need crossing the border twice. But I have never taken this route either.

Easy for me to say, but try to avoid tensing up when driving in snow, it does not help anything. If you are due for tires, I'm assuming you are using "all season" tires, what ability these tires have in snow is largely dependent on having close to new tread depth.

Take a quarter, put it into the tread of your tire, top of George Washington's head pointed into the tire. If the tread is not that deep, while the tire is still *legal* in most states, it won't have much ability in snow.

Leaving your job right now you probably don't want the added expense of a set of tires. But it is less costly than the problems worn tires could cause you.

Remember, tensing up only slows your reactions. You are not strong enough to "wrestle" the car anyway.
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