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.