In 2006, I spent the month of September exploring Vancouver Island, British Columbia…and I do mean Exploring with a capital E. The bottom half of the island was quite hectic with traffic and visitors. I really enjoyed the northern half much more because it was calmer and prettier with lots of trees and comfortable travelling. Then I got on to the logging roads with my 27’ MH and…well that’s an old story already written but do put Vancouver Island on your RVing itinerary. There is a lot to see and do and although I didn’t visit Butchart Gardens at Victoria, BC that trip, I have been there many times and certainly if you go to Vancouver Island, make that a day’s trip at least.
What I really wanted to tell you about was taking the ferry to Tsawwassen, BC, and driving down to Point Roberts, WA. Point Roberts is not a place you bump into on your RVing travels around the US. You have to go there deliberately and this was my chance. On June 15, 1846, Great Britain and the United States established the 49th parallel as the border between the United States and Canada. In wandering this five square mile piece of peacefulness that hangs out on the very tip of British Columbia, 22 miles below downtown Vancouver, I found an obelisk commemorating the western terminus of the Canadian / US border, the world’s longest undefended border, and a nice ending to my Canadian exploration. Also was a sign placed on June 15, 1996, marking 150 years of peaceful coexistence between our two nations.
Point Roberts lives within a cradle created by the mountains surrounding Vancouver, BC and the North Cascade Mountains that includes Mount Baker that you can see across Boundary Bay. If it is inconvenient for school children beyond the third grade to cross into a foreign country before getting to school in Blaine, WA, it is more so for others seeking hospitals, doctors, dentists, pharmacists, veterinarians or general needs in Bellingham, WA, there are compensations. Point Roberts residents have a very low crime rate due to crossing two international borders to get there. It is purported to be the “best gated community in the United States.” Another plus is some of the Pacific Northwest’s mildest weather with about 40 inches of rain per year with mostly sunny days.
Let’s face it, the roughly 1,300 year-round residents who live there, “want” to live at Point Roberts. In desperation they can reach the rest of Washington and the U.S. via their small airport or the large marina that provides water access across Boundary Bay. As with any small town dynamic, everybody knows everybody…and everybody knows everybody’s business. But then there is the natural beauty, the sea creatures, the peace and the tranquility. God Bless until next week.
Minshall’s RVing Alaska and Canada (A “How to” and “Why not” book) is available thru Amazon.
At 45, Widow Minshall began 20 years of solo full-time RVing throughout Alaska, Mexico, and Canada. Sharlene canoed the Yukon, mushed sled dogs, worked a dude ranch, visited Hudson Bay polar bears, and lived six months on a Mexican beach. She lectured at Life on Wheels, published six RV-related books and wrote a novel, “Winter in the Wilderness.”