Sunday, September 25, 2011

Peace Arch State Park, Washington, July 2010

Wow. I am now over a year behind in my blog. Oops. OK. So this is a picture of a sculpture (I guess?) called Zoe Garden Wall in the Big Rock Garden Park in Bellingham, Washington. I visited this park in July 2010. What I was looking for was a nearby virtual geocache called Triplin' the Rock Fantastic. I didn't realize it until right now, but the next cache I found after this one, a few days later and well over a thousand miles away from it in El Paso, Texas, was called The Rock Garden. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

The cache that I was really after, though, was the largest cache that was as close to the Canadian border as I could get, which turned out to be the Boox and Bugz cache. Scale is hard to see in pictures sometimes--the cache container is a cooler covered up by a tarp. It's a big cache.

The cache is supposed to be just for books and travel bugs. That was great because I wanted to drop off Big Red, a travel bug I had rescued months earlier. After he had spent so long in one cache (a couple months shy of two years!), I wanted to help him make a big move (I transported him over 2200 miles away!). Interestingly, the first place Big Red went after leaving Washington state was Texas--just like me! How weird is that? Big Red has now traveled over 10,000 miles.

For once there was a sign about a danger faced by something else other than me.

Unfortunately, to get to the cache, I had to ignore this sign about killer feet and go through this.

People do enjoy stacking rocks. I encounter these stacked-up rocks in lots of places.


From there, I traveled to Blaine, Washington. This is your last railroad stop of civilization before you enter the badlands of the territory known as Canada.

Do you suppose these large, grand flags mark the border between our countries? Well, no. They mark the location of the USA Minimart gas station. But you are close.

This is a picture of the Peace Arch from across a small inlet in Blaine. This is where the border actually crosses.

I took some time to visit Peace Arch State Park.

This is a border marker in the park.

Another border marker.

A picture of the U.S. side.

A picture of the Canadian side. I believe at this point I had made entry into Canadian territory without my passport. Oops!

This is a plaque near the border, which proclaims "This unfortified boundary line between the Dominion of Canada and the United States of America should quicken the remembrance of the more than a century old friendship between these countries / A lesson of peace to all nations / Erected April 25, 1936 / Kiwanis International."

This is a border sign along the train tracks that run along the coast--tracks that eventually wind up at that Blaine depot in the picture above, I guess.

A much more colorful sign, closer to the road.

A picture of the Canadian side of the park. Their side was a little more elaborate than the American side. I did not want to wander too far into it, though, because there was a Canadian police officer who was busy doing police-type things nearby.

While I was there, a train went by. I hope all of these people are going through customs somewhere!

Canadians are tired of speeding Americans!

There is a giant rhubarb in the park. Why? I don't know. The sign tells us helpfully that this plant is inedible.

The fence with the border along Canada. Seriously.

The Canadian shanty town built up along the border with the U.S. . . . .

There is also a small ditch that runs along the length of the border here at the edge of the park, one that could easily be stepped across. Or hopped across, as I watched an illegal rabbit immigrant do while I was there taking this picture. I don't have a picture of the Canadian side. Why?

This Border Patrol unit was having fun watching me, that's why. There were really not that many people in the park while I was there. When the rabbit hopped across the border, I yelled, "Hey! Back on your side!" at it. The Border Patrol unit actually came in closer after I did that. I was just trying to do my part to help keep America's giant rhubarbs secure.

Much of the Canadian border appears to be on the honor system. Which, as far as the Canadians go, probably works just fine.

My time in Washington state was coming to an end. These are the luxurious bathroom appointments of the Motel 6 near the Sea-Tac airport. I was leaving the next day to head down to New Mexico.