|Sunday, 03 October 2004 00:00|
Last night, after leaving White Rock we decided to drive to a tiny little piece of US soil, nestled on the tip of the west coast accessible only through Canada or by boat. Point Roberts consists of five square miles of coastal land, which at one time was the site of a US salmon canning operation and probably the only reason the US has held on to it. We had to go through US Customs to get there and Canadian Customs to get back. There is even a chain link fence along a portion of the border separating the Canadian homes on one side from the US homes on the other.
We drove through the "territory" out to the coast, passing a couple of questionable bars, a couple of unattractive restaurants and several inviting gas stations posting cheaper fuel prices for both litres and US gallons. We followed the sun as it was preparing to set, out to a small, run-down coastal park where we got out to walk and sit on some driftwood to watch the sun disappear across the water behind some hills in the distance. Most of the dozen or so other vehicles in the parking lot carried BC plates so it was evident to us that other Canadians find this a nice place for such a view. As we drove around the rest of the area, we came across a woman walking along the road and we stopped to ask her some questions. It was from her that we learned about the now defunct canning factory and that this was at one time a thriving fishing town. We learned that Point Roberts boasts of having the most days of sunshine anywhere on the west coast in the US or Canada, a major draw for its citizens. There are 1300 full time US residents and many more from California and other places now building "cottages" here. "Why?" we asked and to which she responded, "Because they feel safer here!" Interesting...
Before we left we took up one of the gas bars invitations and filled up the car for a lot less than we would have just 5 kilometres up the road, which was an added bonus to our day. Between our busy day, full bellies, gorgeous sunset and cheap gas, we'd had a pretty awesome day.