Tuesday, 14 August 2007

Zero Avenue

Today was another glorious summer day.

I decided to go south of the Fraser River, similar to my ride to Glen Valley, but this time continued south towards the US.

My first stop was Bradner. Bradner is one of those little communities that have been around forever but are now part of a larger town or district (in this case, Abbotsford). I took a photo of the general store - and there isn’t much else. There’s a school a couple of other rural looking stores, a police station, and a bunch of houses.

I discovered that the village of Bradner was founded in 1910 and was named after one of the first settlers. Apparently, it is known as the daffodil centre of the Fraser Valley and has hosted a flower show since 1928.

I continued south, taking a detour at the Lotusland Winery. Lotusland is one of the nicknames for the Vancouver area and describes the relaxed, laid back, attitude of many people here as well as the temperate climate. Some say the name also has to do with our fairly liberal drug policies.

Anyway, I liked the name a lot - so I tried a couple of the wines. The rosé was a bit harsh - it definitely had a raw tinge to it. After nibbling frantically on a cracker, I tried the pinot noir. It was a lot better (although I think that, in comparison to the rosé, anything would have tasted better) and I bought a bottle. That night, the bottle was OK, just nothing to write home about. Still, the wine is organic and I am pleased that the wine industry is responding to public demand for organic and eco-friendly wines.

I then continued south until I reached Zero Avenue. This road runs parallel to the US border - literally inches from the border. On one side of the border is Canadian road, Zero Avenue. On the other side of the border is the US road (West or East Boundary Road) that runs parallel to the border. In the middle is a ditch about six inches / 15 cm deep with some bushes in it. In the above photo, Canada is on the right and the US is on the left. There’s no red line, no lasers, no barbed wire, just some bushes in a ditch. Lots of houses have the border as the end of their back yard!

I took a quick photo of one of several metal markers. I was careful when I took my photos that I didn't stray across where I thought the line was. I was tempted to creep around the marker to take a photos of the words “United States” on the other side, but something stopped me from taking a chance. With my luck, a rookie border guard with something to prove would spot me and chase me down, even on my Vespa!

It’s been said that Canada and the US have the world’s longest undefended border. Post 9/11, it’s nice to see that this part of the border hasn’t changed a lot. There are few steel towers on the US side that apparently have high powered cameras and I’m sure there are some other measures that people aren’t aware of. Still, it is heartening to see that, as two countries, we can still trust each other, at least along Zero Avenue.


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Susan@dyasnet.com said...

Hello Dave,
I love your writing style. You say so much in so few words. I thought I'd just skim some of your writings but found myself reading every single line. I was particularly caught up in the entry about your beautiful dog and it's passing.

I'm currently riding a Honda Helix but I'm getting a Yamaha Morphous soon. It sure looks like lovely country where you are. Matter of fact, when I get off the PC I'm going to Google Vancouver and see what I can learn. Do you get much snow?
Safe Scootin',
New Jersey, USA

Dave Dixon said...

Camiseta Personalizada
Thanks, but I'm not really interested in adding advertisements to my blogroll. You are welcome to read my blog, though!

Thanks for the compliment, Susan. I guess I try to make the words count as I don't know how long a prospective reader is going to be looking at an entry.

As far as snow goes, we get about a week's worth a year but it often gets washed away by the rain - which we get a lot of. Think Seattle and the climate's pretty similar. It gets wet but stays green!

Good luck in getting a new scoot!

CodyandMichelle said...

I just got educated. I didn't realize that part of the border was like that. Hmmmm, the US or Canada as your backyard, how cool is that!
My wife would of stopped at the winery and that would be the end of the trip lol. She's a Cali girl and loves her wine. We try to hit wineries any chance we get when traveling.

Anonymous said...

It isn't that Canada and the U.S. don't trust each other. It is the problem of other countries sneaking in through Canada to do harm to the U.S.

Joe said...

First time I've ever heard of a Zero Avenue.

Dave Dixon said...

It certainly is a pretty cool thing. I spoke to one of my friends who grew up in Langley near Zero Ave. ON occasion they would drive a pick up truck through the ditch to go down to the states to pick up cheap beer! Not anymore....

I love wine, too, and always take the opportunity to discover a new winery.

I disagree - it's a lot more difficult going through the border - especially from Canada to the US. 9/11 certainly has had an effect but there is a feeling of mistrust that wasn't there ten years ago. Personally, I'd like free movement within North America (much like Europe has).

Different, isn't? I wonder if there are other places like that along the border...

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