Against a stately blue wall, a photo of President Barack Obama watches closely over the room as US Customs Agent, Officer Naylor sits at his desk.
"And what is the name of your boat?" he asks, not looking up from his computer.
We look at each other without a word. After being on trip for 61 days, officially naming our voyageur canoe is something we hadn't done yet. Now, in the United States Customs Office in Beaudette, Minnesota, Officer Naylor is pressing the issue.
"What's your name?" I ask. "We can name it after you!"
Naylor gives a deadpan reply, "You are not naming the boat after me."
"I saw his name on his uniform! It's Naylor!" Marc exclaims.
Naylor is unimpressed. "You are not naming the boat after me."
"Okay," I say, trying to think of a name on the spot. "How about Larry?", thinking of the builder of our canoe.
"Larry Naylor!" Marc adds.
"No. Larry will do just fine." Officer Naylor enters our freshly named boat into the system.
Minutes pass. Wanted ads are scanned, as are checklists of what you can and can not smuggle into the country. More questions are answered and paper work is filed. Since we are travelling along the Boundary Waters between Canada and the United States, we must obtain the I-68 form to allow for passage between the two countries in remote locations. It's a precaution form.
Conversation resumes when we are able to pick up our passports.
"How does it feel having a canoe named after you?"
"The boat is not named after me."
"Well, that's your opinion."
Naylor gives us a deadly look that can politely be described as "the stink eye". He is standing now, and his full 6'3" "I've seen it all" frame says more than his words.
"I'm telling you the name of the boat is Larry. It is NOT named after me."
The attempt at amicable conversation over, we quietly take our leave.
So, with the approval of the United States Customs and Immigration, the US Federal Port Authority and the US Department of Homeland Security - and the Canadians are cool with it - we christian our canoe "The Larry (Naylor)"