Monday, November 2, 2009

Point Roberts, WA: Finale

Continuation of Previous Entry:

I remember when I was a youngster, we used to come down to Boundary Bay regularly. Boundary Bay is on the Canadian Side and there was another border crossing along the East side of the Peninsula, which has since been removed. This section is comprised of older cottages/summer homes which you will see shortly.

Currently there is only one crossing and the normal route would be to head due south after crossing the border for about a mile then turn right at the intersection where there is a grocery store and gas station.


Marine Drive winds its way along the Western Shore and eventually you will round the corner heading East along its lower edge

(looking straight ahead: East)

(view Right: South)

The homes on the right side of this road are beachfront properties and there is a mix of new and old. Dead ahead, there is a "subdivision" of newly constructed homes that would resemble any affluent area in the country. The mix of the residents are slowly changing from temporary little used vacation/summer cottages to those of permanent year round dwellings. I have now turned right on the loop road and this is what you see

(Waterfront homes are on the right)

I decide to head over to the older populated section on the East side. You travel about a mile or so on a country road passing cottages, homes with larger lots and notice lots of vacant land as well as abandoned homes

(If only the walls could talk)

Unlike the cottages on the West side of the Peninsula which are on the beach, these cottages have a view of the beach but they are on the opposite side of the road

(Typical Point Robert cottages)

Notice that the road winds its way along the water with the beach on one side, and cottages on the other side separated also by a cement wall which is there to minimize ocean surges during stormy weather.

(Point Roberts along Boundary Bay, looking North)

(again a contrast of old and new)

(view looking South)

At periodic places along the way, there are stairwells to allow access to the beach

(Stairwell access to the beach)

There are new condos on the left. There is no parking allowed along this section so I decide to pose my Wee for a photo opp


Notice that left turn sign about a block ahead. That building directly in front is in Canada. Here is a closer view of the corner. There are no barricades to prevent you from walking through that opening into Canada (from the USA).

(Canadian homeowners lounging on their sundeck are only a few feet from US soil)

After you make the left turn you will notice the chain link fence which separates our two countries. The condominiums are Canadian and the road is American.


Looking through the chain link fence at the homes in Boundary Bay (Tsawwassen) reveals a normal subdivision. This was where the previous border crossing was located, since removed.


Notice the contrasts of more recent construction on a densly populated Canadian subdivision as compared to old summer cottages on the American side, all living in harmony together separated only by a chain link fence, and unrestricted access through the border when walking along the beach.


That minivan just ahead of my bike had Canadian licence plates. Presumably the homeowner wanted to park behind his Condo and had to transverse through American customs first.

While the Point Roberts border crossing is at the top of this hill, they changed the access for security reasons


This particular section of road has a likeness to any country road anywhere, but we are only about a mile from the Border crossing. There are lots of vacant land and forested areas on this peninsula.


Heading back to Tsawwassen (Canada), earlier the cars were lined up back to this point. Now the road is clear.

(The Border is approx 1 km ahead)

It's interesting how this section of land has remained in custody of the USA and is only accessible by transversing through Canada. I fondly think of it as the Key West of the North (a Peninsula accessible by only one road) . The next time you are in the area or visit Vancouver, it would be worth a trip to explore for yourself.


  1. Hi Bob

    Great post and pics.
    Wonder how much that old "abandoned" house would fetch......
    Seems strange that Pt.Roberts is attached to Canada but a simple "map line" puts it in the US.

  2. Very interesting Bob and nicely reported and with excellent quality photos too. At the letter carrier spot, on your previous post, it looks like tires are a hot commodity.

  3. Borders can be unusual. I like your thoughts and observations and pictures.
    It reminds me of a post I want to do about a city that is within our city, and always fought never to be annexed. They were successful in their quest never to become a part of Wichita. Their police department is notorious for ticketing Wichita residents.

  4. We will take a ride when I visit. I get the Kymco you get the Suzuki.
    I want a picture of you and me shaking hand s across the cement wall ( me in Canada so I get the health bennies).

  5. Beautiful shots. It's been a long time since I've been out to the coast there. I still get to visit some Seattle waterfront homes once in a while, but it's a different lifestyle on the freshwater lakes.

  6. Bev:

    It would probably be less expensive to just rip it down and build a new one but I would prefer to have a lot on the water.

    Point Roberts is an analomy. Most of the services come from Bellingham but they have to travel through Canada to get there.

    Originally the US wanted the border at a much higher lattitude. Remember the battle cry 54'40" or fight ? , but they eventually settled on the 49th parallel.


    There are two private postal outlets down there to service "Canadians" with their eBay purchases, plus a US Postal Service. All of us travel down there to eliminate the excessive UPS charges.

    Tires are much cheaper in the "States". They just store them outside. It is very hard to steal them as couldn't get them accross the border with invoices/paperwork


    Wow, you mean, you have a unmwalled city within a city ? It's as bad as Cantrelle. So much hatred with people against people


    These signs are everywhere on the coast. We saw a few of them on West Coast Vancouver Island too. Anywere you could get wave surges from Earthquakes the signs lead you to higher ground

    I'm surprised you haven't noticed any of these signs in Colorado ?

    Mr Conchscooter:

    Ready, willing and able. In order to do this legally, one of us has to stay in Canada and the other has to go through US customs and drive the 8 miles to the other side and loop back.

    There are surveilance cameras all along the border and severe penalties for "just crossing" (the border.) I posted a wording of these signs on my previous post "Tsawwassen' a couple of months ago.

    The Kymco is just sitting there waiting for you to take the controls.


    If only . . . I could afford one of your homes down there. You should take a trip up here to see our exhorbitant prices.
    I would believe Point Roberts to be an undiscovered GEM, but development is progressing and prices are creeping.

  7. It's photos like these that awaken the urge to live in a coastal setting. Then I think about how most of the year the weather isn't quite so cheerful. The urge subsides.

    Living on the border of two countries would be an interesting experience. Which reminds me, I need to finish my passport application.

  8. Gorgeous! I've been to the west coast only once - I'm an east coast girl. But I love the water - east west - south - it's all good.

  9. Bob, I really enjoyed your post and pictures. Regarding those Canadian condo owners enjoying the sunny day on their deck - do they also serve as border officers for that unsupervised gap between our countries???

  10. beautiful pics bob. i especially dig that boarded up home, i agree, if walls could talk. thank you for the great tour of the area. this was very cool.

  11. It's a beautiful ride you've taken us on today. Of all the wonderful places you've shared, it the abandoned house that would lure me inside. But, you probably guessed that.

  12. Irondad/Dan:

    Yes, go and get your passport. With the way of the world it is inevitable, then you can ride up to Canada. Only 5 hours from Portland the fast way, or 10 hours via NF25.

    The weather in coastal towns is usually very breezy and unpredictable. Even Tofino is cool when it is hot in Vancouver. I like coastal towns too


    Well, what are you waiting for ? Time for your next visit. Now you have friends here and I get a chance to finally meet an East Coast Girl


    NO, they are ordinary citizens just enjoying their sundeck. The border is unprotected and you can just walk back and forth as you wish

    Ms M:

    I like historic places, abandoned buildings, Ghost towns. I always think that this was once new, and whatever happened to these people who used to live there.


    Yes, if there was a way to get inside, I would be first to go in, but I don't like to trespass. I noticed that it was boarded up so perhaps the owner will do something with it, eventually. I always wonder about the previous residents and their shattered dreams

  13. Dear Bobskoot:

    Great pictures of an interesting locale. I would have thought that Alaska was the only US state that driving in and out of would have required a passport for residents. There is something about open water that touches all of us. I used to think that I would never get tired of looking at the ocean. But it is the ability to look at it, while hearing the action of the water that haunts me.

    Telling people on the internet where they can cross an unprotected American Border is likely to get you a visit from the RCMP and the DHS. My guess is they'll use their nightsticks.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads