Friday, August 28, 2020

Point Roberts in the Time of Covid

I had a project along the West Bluff of Point Roberts. The West Bluff continues to the Canadian border with the bluff near the border called Boundary Bluff. All in all a nice beach walk.

Boundary Bluff and the shoreline along the west side of Point Roberts

Point Roberts is a high bluff point of land that sicks down south of the 49th Parallel from the lower mainland of British Columbia. The point of land is part of the United States. Walking north there was nothing on the beach indicating the border with the exception of a battered sign facing north warning about the border and laws. 

A navigation marker denoting the border is located well out in the tidelands. 

While Boundary Bluff is a fairly natural setting, there are two 4,000 feet+ causeways on the Canadian side of the border extending out to deep water. Both are visible in the above picture. The near causeway leads to the Tawwassen ferry terminal with sailings to Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. The larger causeway terminal is more visible with a large container transfer facility that transfers containers from ships and trains as well as coal export facility. 

The top of Boundary Bluff is accessed via a road, Roosevelt Way, that is just on the south side of the border with the back yards of Canadians on the north side of the border.  

A trip to Point Roberts and back requires four border crossings: into Canada at Peace Arch, then into the U.S. at Point Roberts and then back again. With Covid travel restrictions the border is closed for all non essential travel including between the main part of the U.S. and Point Roberts. Assessing geology hazards for a project is deemed essential, and I was allowed entrance into Canada with no stops. So I had to pass on a stop at Tim Horton's. The above said and knowing that the border was mostly closed it was still a shock to be the only car crossing at the typically backed up Peace Arch crossing. 


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