Heading back into Québec was… unexpectedly odd. We expected the “full meal deal” of several border lanes, Nexus lanes, duty free shops, big glass buildings with loads of parking, dogs, border guard vehicles with bull-bars on the front, questions, and lots and lots of cars.

Instead, we arrived at the border (an intersection), drove across the street, and parked at a corner store. Yep. The border crossing near Stanstead is a corner store. There was a moment of confusion as we struggled to figure out where to go and what to do. A small CBP sign was on the building so we pulled into the lot.

We waited until someone came out of the building (eating a sandwich). “Crossing” was very cut and dry and in less than a minute we were ushered along. I’m not sure how it works going into the US because there was no gate that I could see… but a backcountry road.

About 5-minutes down the road is another unexpected surprise: the le cercle de pierres de stanstead or Stanstead stone circle.

This point is exactly halfway between the North Pole and the equator: the 45th parallel. The site was designed to honour numerous things: the equinox, the relationship between Canada and the United States, and the Anglophone and Francophone cultures that live side by side in the community.

It’s a nice little roadside break after the border; a great place for kids and dogs to stretch their legs in the midst of a long drive.