The Northeast

Fronteras | Borders


The Maine - Canada Border: From Calais to St. Andrews


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July 22, 2015 —
After four days on the road, I drive into Calais, Maine on a beautiful breezy day. Calais is Maine's northern-most international border city between the U.S. and Canada.

I don't know why, but I find myself feeling a bit nervous and apprehensive at the thought of crossing this border line that separates here from there - aquí y allá.


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Unlike the crossing in the southern border between El Paso and Juárez, here they require that you show ID. I pull out my passport card and hand it to the Border Patrol guard at the booth. Also unlike the southern border, he asks several questions before letting me cross: my name, where I live, what reason do I have to cross into Canada …

I feel slightly relieved once he finishes his questioning and I get to pull away to cross into St. Andrews.


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The first thing I notice is that everything here is bilingual French-English: signs along the highway, on storefronts, historic markers and public telephones .


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Everywhere I look, I see the Canadian flag proudly displayed and I notice that it flies first or above the American flag when on a pole or lining a building, which I'm not used to seeing. That makes sense, however, because I am no longer in American territory and Canada now rules.

I spend the rest of the day driving around, exploring and enjoying the beautiful scenery. This is my first time in Canada and I soak it all in.



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Before I left for this trip I read up on this part of New Brunswick and discover that this spot is where the sun first rises in the entire Eastern region of North America. I decide in advance that I must witness this and so I awoke early this morning to watch the first sunrise of the day.

I have no words to describe the beauty of what I witnessed this morning.



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At 8 a.m., I walk over to the wharf across from the hotel where I am staying and notice a farmers market setting up. I decide to watch the vendors to get an early peek at the goods for sale, looking for a local bakery where I can get a biscuit or scone and a cup of coffee. While doing that, my eyes lock on this woman (above) setting up a table where a sign for "Pico de Gallo" is written just below the base of the table. When I look closely, I realize she indeed looks like a Latina. I walk over.

Her name is Isabel and I couldn't believe my ears when she told me that she is from Matamoros, Tamaulipas in Mexico! I speak to her in Spanish and she lights up. I spend the next 45 minutes listening to her amazing story.

Go here for more about Isabel

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