January 20, 2013
I finally made the drive up to Point Reyes. I got gorgeous weather. It was 75 and sunny. I had a nice lunch at the visitor’s center cafe. It was delicious and sitting out on the patio offered a great view of Drake’s Bay.
Since it was peak season, we had to travel by bus down to the lighthouse. We had a nice view of the Farallon Islands, which the driver said is a rare sight, due to the typical fog. It was a more strenuous day than I counted on (and hotter, too) so the uphill climb to the lighthouse steps was a little tiring. Little did I know that was barely the start of the workout. The views were pretty incredible, though.
All the people I met on the way down to the lighthouse were huffing & puffing their way back up. A few said, “Enjoy the easy part (going down the stairs)”. If I were that lighthouse keeper, I probably would have never left knowing those stairs were always between me and civilization.
I finally arrived to the lighthouse and walked around a bit, reading about the history. I had lugged my binoculars down but had zero luck spotting a whale. I did stop at the viewing platform halfway up the stairs where there was a park employee helping spot whales. Luckily I asked if they’d seen any and there were two in view. With my binoculars, I was able to make out the sprays from their spouts but that’s about it. I semi-technically saw whales haha.
From there, it was back on the bus and off to Chimney Rock, a bluff that extends out into the Pacific. Sadly, it was too early in the season to have wildflowers about but the view was still amazing.
The trail goes along several steep drop-off’s, one which I was tempted to look over and was rewarded by seeing a family of seals lounging on the sand. Watching the baby seal scoot its way around over to his mother and the large bull sort of do his own thing was pretty unique. It was just me & them. A much different experience than Pier 39 or a zoo.
I passed the Historic Point Reyes lifeboat station on my way back. Didn’t go down for a visit, just snapped some photos from the trail.
I was unfortunately stuck waiting for a return bus to my car for a really long time so I didn’t make it to my other planned stops for the day. I caught sight of the horse barn but it & the other visitor’s center were already closed for the day. With the sun riding low, I did a quick walk of the Earthquake trail which crosses over the San Andreas fault, which is marked with blue poles. It was sort of eerie to be walking on a fault line. There was a fence line that was pulled apart by the 1906 quake.
Really beautiful day and the drive was really fun, winding through wooded areas, which were almost completely dark due to the tree cover. I have to make it back when the wildflowers are in bloom and the whales are swimming back closer to shore.