When a Weekend Getaway is Wild, Wet, and Beautiful

A Pacific Northwest adventure of the normal kind

Tiny droplets of ocean spray hit my face as I turn into the wind. I am bundled up warmly from head to toe; knit hat, quilted jacket, gloves, and warm socks inside my shiny red rubber boots.

The sun is at a quarter slant in the sky, for it has been up for hours. But we chose to rise leisurely before venturing out on this late winter morning. My partner and I have come up to Semiahmoo Resort for a long weekend and rejuvenation get-away. Literally sitting on the edge of the Washington/Canadian border, this wild, wet, and beautiful area is a sanctuary in m home state. We don’t drive far or for hours but once we arrive, we feel transported to an easier, slower time, leaving the urban lifestyle behind.

Semiahmoo means “half-moon” in reference to the crescent shape of the bay which surrounds this spit of land. Originally occupied by the Semiahmoo First Nations tribe, they shared much of their rich culture and lifestyle with other Salish sea tribes along the inland Northwest coast. Living off the sea provided them with a rich bounty, salmon being the biggest staple in their diet.

We meander along the beach, walking our way down to what was once one of the old, salmon cannery buildings on this piece of land at the turn of the 20th century. Today, there is no longer a Cannery or a thriving fishing industry, only the buildings remain as our historical reminder, for now, the prosperous industry is, tourism. The building we head towards is now a historical museum, rich in tales and lore of the area and its colorful industry.

As we maneuver through the sand, rocks, and driftwood, we pause occasionally to watch flocks of shorebirds land, looking for their lunch. I walk a little closer to the lapping water and let the waves of Semiahmoo bay reach out and kiss my red rubber boots.! On the horizon, I spot a couple of crabbing boats bobbing up and down, and directly over my shoulder, in the opposite direction looms the majestic silhouette of Mount Baker. There are a few cumulous clouds floating around her peak and against the steel-colored sky, but her snow-covered crags are brilliantly white in the filtered sunshine. A sight to behold and a constant reminder of the natural beauty found in the Pacific Northwest backyard. If I fix my gaze northward, across the bay, I look directly at the city of White Rock, B.C., truly just a leap across the pond and the 49th parallel.

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