Caspar Institute logoitinerary   < 11 September to Pt Roberts, WA   13 September to Mazama >

Point Roberts 12 September 2019

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Pat, our host at the Gingerbread Cottage, insisted that we "Forest Bathe" – take a good long walk in the forest just to the east of our cottage. Expecting rain later today, we got off as soon as we could, and took a good long ramble.

Point Roberts is a bit of an anomaly, a little appendix of US territory stuck onto the south edge of the Fraser River delta that forms the slurb south of Vancouver. To get there, you go through a little slice of Canada (Tsawwassen) and then through a fairly relaxed border crossing (don't tell the Donald; we might be rapists and terrorists!) and then out onto this broad alluvial tongue that's most likely what's left of the glacial moraine  left behind when the ice cap receded at the end of the Ice Age some millenia ago. Here's a link to what Pat points to as the The Lily Point Story.

And here's a link to his Lily Point Trail Map

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Here's the view southeastward to the Washington mainland and the San Juan Islands from the southern tip of Point Roberts, Lily Point. Mouse over for a rough estimate at what you're seeing. What you are seeing is the Strait of Georgia on a just about to rain day.

Rochelle caught me (below) coming away from taking pictures. That's Mount Washington on Orcas Island, framed through the bushes.

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After discussing the fact that walking down the steep switchbacks to the beach was optional, but that returning up would be mandatory, we went down to the interesting beach. The trail goes back and forth across a partial cliff slip, more broad-leaf trees than the Cedars, that take longer. Himalaya Blackberries along the trail at the bottom -- they're everywhere! – but not as large and sweet as ours.

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The beach is relatively protected, on the east side of the moraine that slopes up from sea level on the west. Here you can see the clay and sandstone structure, and the neat bands of driftwood and sea wrack along the beach.


Below: I was fascinated by the stratification of the beach, and photographed a transect from the high tide mark out to the sandy verge at low tide. (Read the images left to right, top to bottom, to follow the transect. The scale of each photograph is the same, about six inches square.)

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Also enjoying the beach: a Great Blue Heron, much less skittish than the ones we saw on the Pacific side ...and, below, one of the Northwest's lovely black Slugs.


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Back on top – going slow is the answer to the mandatory ascent – we finished the loop trail, passing along the line of cabins on the west side of Lily Point Park. This one has the unmistakable mark of architecting. I think there is a special circle in hell for people who design buildings in the rain forest with flat roofs. Although it's true their clients (often themselves) may reap their reward here when those roofs fail. As long as the rain comes from the sky, buildings are not meant to have flat roofs.

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After our walk, we treated ourselves to a strikingly large Peach Cider, a deliciously greasy hamburger, Onion Rings, and a Caesar salad at the Breakwaters Bar & Grill, apparently a local hot spot, where our server regaled us with tales of his youth growing up in Point Roberts. Then we went looking for the Canadian Border, where we found handsome stainless steel boundary markers (I forgot to look on the other side, but I presume it said "Canada") and these signs. Apparently this is all it takes to keep Canadian murderers and rapists out of the US, because most of the houses along the border had gates in their walls ...and, indeed, it was obvious that they'd built those walls. (I think it's probably to keep the rapists and murderers from the US out of their back yards.)


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