Sunday, June 21, 2009

What's the Point, Roberts?

Heather and I spent the day yesterday in Point Roberts, WA. That's the part of Washington that can only be accessed via British Columbia. It's a roughly 2 mile by 2 mile parcel of land that is cutoff from the rest of the state. Back in 1846 when politicos decided on the 49th parallel as being the international boundary-they didn't make an exception for this little piece of land. So, what we have now is an exclave of America in which 1,300 people call home year round costing the federal gov't a mint to keep the customs station open for this place to keep it American soil. How about just giving this piece to BC and saving the treasury some cash? After all, over 70% of the people who live on Point Roberts are Canadian! And you need Canadian money at many of the establishments- and the gas stations sell petrol by the liter-but in American dollars! Yep-this place is odd-matter of fact other than Alaska-which is definitely an odd place too- only two other areas in the United States are similar exclaves-both in Minnesota.

So what did we do in Point Roberts? We ran an 11.2 kilometer run around most of the community. An odd distance indeed for an odd piece of real estate. The race was great-called Jog for Jug--it was sponsored by Tsawwassen BC based Run Inn and almost all the race's participants were from BC. I counted only two other WA license plates at the event. We were foreigners in our own country! But we quickly adjusted! All race participants were awarded -get this- a jug of beer! Now, I thought that would be a glass or mug-nope! A full pitcher! Heather and I of course joined in with our fellow runners-boy those Canadians can drink- and of course after consuming our jugs of beer- we needed to walk it off. So, we ended up spending all day at Point Roberts-finding out that this parcel of land has some lovely public beaches. Matter of fact Point Roberts is quite lovely overall-and if it was part of nearby Tsawwassen it would have probably been covered in high density development. S0-I'm glad it is part of Washington and we're keeping it-it's worth it! After all-just ask the Federal government about throwing money at things to keep them going-at least with Point Roberts I get to enjoy some great public beaches-even if I have to cross the international border 4 times in one day to visit! Anyhow- definitely check this place out-and check out my upcoming feature in Northwest Runner about the very unique running scene in Point Roberts!

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