Joe and Debbie Gryniuk from Auburn, WA arrived at the Point one Saturday afternoon this month with an interesting landing. Crossing the border into Point Roberts has been extremely difficult for most people, but the circumstances that brought Joe and Debbie are unique, even for pre-Covid times.
They left Auburn at 4:30 p.m. and an hour later were sitting on the patio at Kiniski’s Reef Tavern. How did they make it here so fast, you may ask. Well, Joe is a retired professor and one of his passions is flying. He’s so passionate about it that he is part of WSDOT Aviation Department’s program known as Fly Washington Passport Program. In an effort to encourage pilots and aviation enthusiasts to use the state’s public use airports and support local tourism and economies, the Fly Washington Passport is given to participants and after landing at each airport they receive a stamp on their passport. The more stamps you have in your passport means you can receive certain prizes. By visiting all of the airports in a certain region you get a patch. After visiting all of the participating seaplane bases you receive a pin. Once a pilot has visited 90 percent of participating airports they can get a flight jacket and once their passport is filled with every stamp they get a gold pin!
There are over 100 participating airports in the state of Washington so Joe and Debbie have been working on one region at a time. The Point Roberts airport was on the map and they had never been there so they were eager to get their stamp. Depending on the size of the airport, the stamp might be in an obvious spot or hidden in a bush or a mailbox like it was in Point Roberts.
Participating members can access directions for finding the stamps at each location. Joe and Debbie landed at our small but welcoming Point Roberts Airport and after stamping their passport they decided they would grab a bite to eat at the Reef before heading back to Auburn.
Around 6:30 p.m. they had to head back to their plane in order to get back to Auburn before dark. And just like that, two out-of-towners were in and out of Point Roberts with another kind of passport stamped.