Day 4: Bikes, Bridges, and Bordering Crossing No. 2

Task Number 1: Get coffee, connect to wifi, plan the day. (We are not all that off the grid.)

Task Number 2: Assemble the bicycle (from here on out, referred to as “Daisy”), the BOB trailer (or “Bob”), and load them up. 

Task Number 3: Ride 

Assembly of Daisy and Bob went swimmingly, although not so quickly. We set her up next to a park bench, which also served as a meeting point for the park’s resident recycling collectors. They chuckled at our spectacle, took swigs from mysterious flasks, wished us luck, and moved on.

To get our legs and pedals rotating, we biked around the Vancouver waterfront. This area was beautiful, and well designed for both pedestrian and cyclist thoroughfare in separate lanes. Jackie learned a great benefit of occupying the stoker seat: as my dad painstakingly navigates Daisy, I can take photos, consult the map, and even sleep. Just kidding. The photos below of the Vancouver Waterfront and a Kite Festival were taken mid-ride.

At 3pm, we begin our route to Sunday night’s campsite. Soon we found ourselves biking through sprawling tree-lined suburbs that got greener and more Montecito-like by the minute. It is truly a blessing to live amid so much green. 

And then suddenly, the scene changed. Vancouver, Lulu Island, and Richmond are separated by river, bays, and 6 lane bridges. Foliage was replaced by concrete, bike friendly boulevards replaced by steep steel overcrossings. We had to dismount frequently to push Daisy and Bob up monolithic pedestrian sidewalk onramps. 

By 7pm, we had traversed 30 miles, crossed 6 bridges, and finally found ourselves cruising through beaucolic (Steve’s adjective), lonely (Jackie’s adjective) farmland. We had been so anxious to get moving in the morning, that we had failed to fill up our water bottles or eat. At the first gas station we saw, we stopped for provisions of water, trail mix, and a banana. Food tastes so good when you really need it. 

At 9 pm, we were recrossing the border at what felt like a purely symbolic Customs and Border Patrol Station. Point Roberts is a strange geographic anomaly: the little toe of a Canadian Peninsula that happens to just cross the 49th parallel. So we find ourselves in a 5 square mile island of Americanness – here we use the American Dollar, we’re connected to our national cellular data plan, and we can buy beer at the grocery store (a woman at a Canadian grocery mart was utterly scandalized when Jackie asked about the beer aisle – “Only Canadian wine here!”).  Further evidence that borders and the benefits of citizenship on one side or the other are so often so arbitrary.

We finally rolled into Point Roberts County Lighthouse Park at twilight. We pitched the tent and cooked a proper meal: stirfried veggie and tofu tacos, with the Chinese 5-Spice and Mexican Blend Spice Kits that Judy had lovingly prepared for us. (Another blessing!) 

Note from Jackie: I’ve never slept so well in a tent.
Below: Pictures from bridges

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