Because the border crossing into Canada at International Falls/Fort Francis is one of the busiest in the two countries, I expected a facility sized to handle massive amounts of traffic. We were warned that June was the busiest month, and 3 hour waits were not uncommon.
Instead, what we found amazed us.
The bridge across Rainy Lake is a private toll bridge ($6) owned by Boise Cascade and Abitibi Consolidated. To get to the Canadian side, after paying the toll, we weaved through a manufacturing plant at 5 mph, across active railroad tracks and the narrow bridge to a manufacturing facility on the other side and a one lane Canadian entry facility on the other side. We were there early in the morning, about 7 am, so the line was only two vehicles. After presenting our passports and answering the obligatory questions, we were waived through without delay.
We were told by the toll booth attendant that it, indeed, was a busy port of entry, and we were there early enough to avoid the long lines.
It was an amazing experience, not at all what we expected.