“It is no longer a question of whether or not we should set aside some more of the yet remaining native California landscape as ‘breathing space’…If we do not, we will leave our children a legacy of concrete treadmills leading nowhere except to other congested places like those they will be trying to get away from.” – Former Congressman Clem Miller, author of legislation to create Point Reyes National Seashore
We left San Francisco early in the morning, as we had a grueling 300 mile drive up CA-1 to the city of Eureka. On our trip north, though, we made a slight detour to Point Reyes National Seashore, located 50 miles northwest of San Francisco on the Point Reyes Peninsula in Marin County.
One of the first things you will notice about Point Reyes is that it is inhabited by cows. A lot of cows, most of them looking quite content to live on some of the most beautiful real estate in California. The cattle ranches and dairy farms within the National Seashore were established in the mid-1800s, and produced renowned butters and cheeses that were used in high-end hotels and restaurants in San Francisco. When the National Park Service created Point Reyes National Seashore, the agreement allowed many of the remaining dairy farms and cattle ranches to continue operating.
This is why happy cows come from California.
An escapee. Be careful when driving through Point Reyes, as there are many cows on the loose.
It was foggy, of course
Point Reyes is the windiest location on the Pacific Coast and the second foggiest place on the North American continent. The Point Reyes Lighthouse was built in 1870 to warn mariners away from the treacherous rocks that define the Point Reyes Headlands. Due to the high fog that plagues the Headlands, the lighthouse had to be built very low so that mariners would be able to see it.
It’s a tough climb, but it’s worth it. And you won’t feel as guilty when you dig into some tasty fish and chips with a pint of beer later in the day.
Drake’s Bay, named after the explorer Sir Francis Drake
. According to many historians, Point Reyes is the site where, during his circumnavigation of the world, Drake landed in 1579
, claiming a portion of the North American Pacific Coast for England.
Point Reyes beach. Beautiful, with good surf, but pretty sure the water is teaming with Great White Sharks.
More photos are here.