Well, I guess we all had a bad case of "Woodstock Fever", especially after the movie came out and we saw a lot of our friends in it.
So when word came out of a festival in Canada, we were more than ready to go.
At first, the four of us were going to hitchike up. God it was great being young and stupid, anything was possible.
But in the end, we decided to take Harry's red VW with the peace signs in the window.
Left Virginia while it was still dark, and crossed the New York state line sometime in the afternoon. As soon as we got into New York, someone said, "You know, you can buy booze at 18 in this state!" (VA was 21 at the time).
So we stopped at the first place we found that sold alcohol. None of us at the time were terribly experienced with alcohol, so we didn't really know what to get. Finally, we decided on a bottle of gin and some beer.
We drank (and smoked) all the way to the Canadian border at Niagara Falls, and when we got to Canadian customs, they told us to get out of the car.
One of the border guards came up to the car as we opened the doors, and between the cloud of smoke, and the smell of stale beer and gin, he screwed up his face and jumped back.
"We want you to step into this office, please." In our stupor we just thought this was a formality... surely they would let us into Canada. Why on earth would they refuse!"
"OK, let's see some ID".
Three of us had drivers licenses, but Harold didn't drive. ALl he had was an expired fishing license from Missouri.
"How much money do you have?"
Between us, we had maybe $30... hey, it was a lot for us!
"What's this?" one of the customs guys was searching out luggage and pulled out a pack of rolling papers.
"Oh, I like to roll my own smokes."
"Well, what's this?" The next item he pulled out of the backpack was a carton of Camels.
"Uh... I'm holding them for him" motioning towards me.
"You guys are drunk, you have no money, you look like this,look at your car (peace signs, bald tires, torn upholstery), you're headed for a rock festival, and you think we should let you into our country?"
Drunk as we were, we thought they were just kidding us, so we returned some smart ass answers to everything the Canadians said.
At some point in this exchange, it suddenly occurred to us that no, they were not going to let us into their country. So we began to leave, somewhat dejected, and as we got to the door, Harold turned around and said "Yeah, well God Save the Queen and all that shit!"
One guy bolted over the counter to chase us while the other two started coming from the other side of the room.
We hauled ass back to the American side, where the American guards, who knew exactly what was going to happen with the Canadians, were waiting for us, laughing, and all ready to bust our balls again.
Which they did.
Fortunately, all they did was toss the cigarette papers in the trash, but not before going through all of our luggage again, taking their sweet time, and enjoying our discomfort thoroughly.
Spent the night in Buffalo with some folks we met, and were ready to try again the next day.
Just in case, our new friends gave us the name of someone that they knew on the Canadian side, so when we got to the border crossing, we could tell them we were just visiting someone for the day.
This time, the crossing went smoothly... until we were about to get in the car and one of the border guards came running out the door and said "Hold it!"
"Which one of you is Charles?"
Gulp. "I am."
"Well, you dropped your library card on the floor."
Five minutes later, we're on the highway, congratulating ourselves for being big-time international criminals, when a Provinicial police cruiser passes us.
We thought they were on to us.
Harry, the driver, freaked, lost control of the car for a sec and accidentally ran the cop off the road.
Naturally, he caught up to us and pulled us over, and as he started to do his cop thing, asking for license, registration, and so forth, he looks in the car, leans in with both elbows on the window and says:
"You know, I don't like gray hair. My wife doesn't like gray hair. My friends don't like gray hair. And it's things like this that give you gray hair."
"Now I'm not going to write you up. Just give you a bunch of shit!"