CA – Point Reyes

Point Reyes National Seashore

We had planned this trip last weekend, but apparently the Beetle wasn’t too keen on the idea and died about 2 miles from home. Good timing, considering the back roads we had been on for the Pinnacles trip the week before. So with the bug back home (a full tune-up can do wonders for an almost 40 year old car), we made a second attempt to reach Point Reyes.

April 19, 2009
Total Miles: 6.6 miles
Point Reyes National Seashore, California
Map Link

Point Reyes National Seashore sits just north of San Francisco along the Pacific Coast. Over 71,000 acres, Dan and I had little hope of truly exploring this seaside treasure. We made it our goal to see the lighthouse and hike along a couple of trails. I’m happy to say that we were successful in both endeavors.

The drive out to the lighthouse is long, but since the scenery is so enjoyable it was well worth it. We were there fairly early in the day (around 10am) and met very little traffic on the road. A scattering of people were at the lighthouse lookout itself while Dan and I made the 300′ descent to the lighthouse proper (via a combination of stairs and ramps). The lighthouse didn’t strike me as particularly photogenic, but we were there so I took a picture. I should note that I was using Dan’s new Cannon Powershot camera and it had come with a very tiny memory card. We reduced the photo quality to “normal” and were promised space for only 29 photos. Therefore any picture was carefully considered before hitting the button. As it was, we didn’t take as many photos as I would have thought and had unused disk space at the end of the day.

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Flowers along the coast

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Down, down, down to the lighthouse

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Looking south from the lighthouse

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Heading south towards Chimney Rock

From the lighthouse we drove to nearby Chimney Rock trail head to where there was a known sea lion beach. Along the way were hundreds of tiny flowers of almost every color. No great mass of color to catch with the camera, but when looking at the individual flowers it was quite beautiful.

After walking around all of the trails at Chimney Rock we drove to another trail head (remember: this is a big park!) in order to enjoy some estuary/marsh scenery. What we didn’t expect was the increased heat and the fact that the trail did not hug the shore as we thought it might. After a short hike in we decided that lunch in Petaluma sounded more interesting and we turned around. We drove to Petaluma (a well-kept town with some very nice houses) and had a leisurely lunch in the park under the shade of some trees. The thermometer in Petaluma read 90F when we left and the bug’s air conditioning (haha) was working over time all the way home.

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Sea lions near Chimney Rock

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Looking across Drakes Bay

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Trail near Chimney Rock along the Pacific

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Flowers!

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Looking back from Chimney Rock (Drakes Bay on right)

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Dan, killing time while waiting for me to take my pictures

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View across Drakes Estero (Home Bay)

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Patterns in the sand

Tell me what you think! I want to know!