Sept 1, 2009 was our departure date from Canada. Bijan (my boyfriend) and I were together for about 4 years and I had fully talked him into my adventure. He was hesitant but I reasoned that if we didn’t like it after the first year we could come back and get jobs, buy furniture and restart our Canadian lives again. That idea seemed to help him to think this does not have to be permanent and we are ok to change our minds. No failure, no blame, just change our minds. Our Chev Blazer was fully packed with items we did not think we could buy in Mexico and items we could not live without. We had a bbq, a big flat screen tv, many kitchen items and personal items. We were also bringing a cat. Ziggy, a male tabby cat, that I found on the street in Regina, SK. He was about 4 weeks old when I brought him home, cleaned him up and made posters to find him a home before we left Canada. He was so cute with dark fur and big blue eyes but no one called to take him so we decided to bring him with us. He was a great travel companion. He was quiet during the ride and when we stopped to gas up I could find some grass and open my door and he would step out to do his business and then come back into the truck.
So, early Sept 1 we headed south to the border of Canada and USA. On purpose we went through a very small border crossing so that we didn’t have as much eyes on us. As we left we felt like fugitives and we were not sure what our story was to the authoritative people that would ask us along the way. We were simply headed south to our little Mexico house and we really had no idea how long we were going to stay but that could not be the story. People needed to know where? how long? doing what? with what? How are you doing this? Where is your income from? And some envious attitudes at borders that would say “well, aren’t you lucky” “well, what did you do to be able to do this?” We learned very quickly that we needed a clear, strong story and to stick with it all the way through our drive. Our story was we were headed to our house in Mexico to vacation for a while……possibly 6 months to a year.
We left Regina, Saskatchewan and went through the Weyburn border and into North Dakota. We planned on getting to Rapid City or Sturgis as we were wanting to see Mt. Rushmore park and the Heads. But it turned out to be a long day and we rolled into Sturgis a bit weary and in the dark. Our one rule was to not drive in the dark and once we passed into Mexico we would be very strict with that rule. During the day, our Blazer was giving us some troubles. We stopped to take pictures at the BadLands and take a walk around. We went back to the truck but it wouldn’t start. Bijan got frustrated and mad and I got quiet and worried. I had done some smooth talking to convince him into coming and I didn’t want it to start off with problems. We finally got the truck started and headed to our next stop. The truck continued to have weird power surges and we quietly drove along to Sturgis.
We rolled into Sturgis around 9pm and found our first challenge… finding a hotel that would accept our cat. This didn’t take long. We found how friendly our American neighbors can be. The first hotel wouldn’t accept cats and they were a bit more expensive than we were planning to pay for just a night of sleep. But the nice lady called around and found us a hotel that would accept our cat and was affordable. We lucked out that night. It was a motel and the room was at the end of a row of rooms. We let the Ziggy out to stroll a bit. He’s an outside and we didn’t want to keep him captive. He was out a couple hours and then he came back to the room. Day 1 was a long one and Yahoo the Adventure Has Begun!!!!!!!