Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Point Reyes

1a

We left Bodega Bay and headed for Point Reyes around 10:30.  It took us nearly 2 hours to drive the 40 miles.  One thinks that highway 1 will get better….well, it had been a LONG time since I had driven this route, and I forgot that once you get part way that highway 1 gets narrower, and the condition of the road deteriorates too.  In other words, Marin County is not up on the road work as the other counties have been…and since the state expects a match to do highway work, well…

1b

We are at the Olema RV Resort and Campground.  We had planned to stay at Samuel P Taylor State Park, but the more I looked into it, the more I felt that we would have problems fitting into a slot there.  So we popped for $53 a night, which includes tax and Good Sam discount, for this full hookup spot for two nights.  There are not a whole lot of choices around Point Reyes…we feel lucky that we are in this nice park.  Nice in that there is distance between spots, and you get to pick the slot you want to camp in.  Different in that they have so many full hook-ups, many more electric and water hook-ups, and they are all the same price.  Tent campers get a whole $10 off from the RVer’s.  But I’ll bet the price puts most of the crazy people over at the State Park.  Also, there does not seem to be many, if any, life-timers here…you know, those who seem to camp out for a lifetime….like I did in Pine Bluff for my final six years as director of the Public Library there.  So I don’t have anything against life-timers, but after visiting this many parks, I can see where they can be a problem.

1c     1d

As you can see, the park has a lot of room.  I am sure in the summer it can fill up, but even then I think there is enough room to feel somewhat comfortable.  There are a few quirks….one the road can be dusty despite the 5 mph signs.  Second, there is no cable and no over-the-air TV.  Despite being closer to San Francisco by some 40 miles (30 direct miles), there are tall enough hills/mountains between us and S.F. that we cannot get over-the-air TV.  Oh well, we had troubles getting CBS last night for the NCIS / NCIS-LA season premiers, so we are watching them over the Internet as I write this.  And thank goodness I am getting a free public Wi-Fi (it says Olema Public) so it isn’t going to use any of our Verizon data to watch it.

1e

After we got settled, we drove the 21 miles out to Point Reyes Lighthouse, after a quick stop for cheese in Point Reyes Station.  We went there for some Blu-Cheese, but when Marcia tried their Feta Cheese…well, she bought a pound of it.  This was at the Cowgirl Creamery and I have a feeling we will be back tomorrow to buy some more cheese.

2a
.
When we got to the lighthouse parking lot, I decided to go up this small trail first.

2b

Which provides this view above to the south-east with the San Francisco shoreline in the far distance, hard to see with the ocean mist.  And this view south of the open ocean below.  As you can see, we were around 500 feet above the ocean floor, not a comfortable feeling for one (me) who has a bit of problems with height, especially when looking straight down.


2d
On my way to the lighthouse is this view to the north (above).
3a  3b  3c
So I walk half a mile down this road (left), past this white fence which goes by the trees and the housing for the lighthouse workers (middle), and past this old visitor’s center which is closed on T/W/Th (right), just to walk around this large rock (below) to the steps leading down to the Lighthouse just to find out that…..
3cc
…the stairway is closed!!!!!
3d

So they are not going to allow me to walk the 300 steps down to the lighthouse, and 300 grueling steps back up before walking the half mile back to the car?  Geez, just how unlucky could a guy get?  Laughing out loud

4a   4b
4c    4d

On the way there and back we saw a number of these Tule Elk, an Elk which is found only in California.  Once thought to be extinct, a pair of breading Tule Elk was discovered in 1875, and now they number over 4,000 (they once numbered around 500,000).  Well, they are doing well here on Point Reyes.

5a

Of course, we could not leave Point Reyes without a look of Drakes Bay.  In 1579 it is believed that it was along this area that Sir Francis Drake landed along the California Coast on his trip around the world.  He is the first Englishman to have landed along the American Western Coast…..and proclaimed this land to be the land of the Queens…a lot of good that did.

Note:  Point Reyes Station, where we picked up the cheese, is a small unincorporated town of around 350 people….with at least that number of people passing through the town each day.  There are numerous places to eat, shop, and spend your money, but not in that big touristy type of way.  It seems to be a very comfortable little town.

7 comments:

  1. That is ad ice park. And oh my, the views you had at the lighthouse! Your pictures sure are crisp and clear.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. It has been a very nice trip down the coast. Now we can we have been from San Francisco area all the way up to Portland when we put last year and this year's trips together.

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  2. We have explored around there lots of times. I really like the area. I have never hit the right day to be able to walk down to the lighthouse. Did you find the bakery on the main street?

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    Replies
    1. I am assuming this is my brother.....We have seen many a bakery, cafe, cheese outlet. I know you like this area. See you again when we get back to the area I hope. --Dave

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    2. I'm not your brother, I'm the ex-archaeovagrant.

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    3. Oh, my good friend and fellow Library Director (though I have the distinguished "retired" in front of mine) from Arizona. Sorry my friend, this was an area that my brother Roger liked to visit, got confused. You need to leave a clue next time, like a Dewey Call number or something like that...Nice to hear from you. Hope all is well.

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  3. Once again, Dave, magnificent photos! I love the Tule Elk. A new one for me, thanks!

    So glad you found a cheese shop:)

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