A Whale of a Day! Monday morning, 2/23/15
During our four-day stay at Point Reyes Nat'l Seashore, the only day the Lighthouse would be open was today, Monday, so we hauled out of bed early to be there by 10 am (it's a 45-min drive from the c/g). We were surprised at how cold the nite was (icy 27.7° low temp!), and appreciated having hookups -- our little heaters kept us warm. The c/g has many large, mature trees, and we were "serenaded" by owls talking half the nite ... whoo, whooo. Kinda neat. It may have been a cold morning, but the sun was shining brightly, so off we went.
The historic Point Reyes Lighthouse began operating in 1870 and remained in operation till it was decommissioned in 1975. Point Reyes is one of the windiest and foggiest places on the Pacific Coast. Throw in treacherous currents and offshore rocks, and many ships foundered before the lighthouse was built.
Built on a headland jutting into the Pacific, the tower didn't need to be built high, like many you see. You drive to the top of the headland and walk down to the lighthouse. 308 steps down. Concrete steps, not a spiral staircase. We weren't sure if Jimmy's "bum" knee would tolerate this activity, but he said, "Let's do it!" The steps were well made, inasmuch as the risers were short and the tread was wide, so we both did all right. The views were outstanding! Even with all these steps down, the lighthouse is 300 ft above the ocean. Jimmy is heading down to it in the picture below.
Below the lighthouse is the foghorn building, which is closed, but it can be viewed from where Jimmy is standing. The new operational fog signal is located on the ocean-side of the building.
So, those 308 steps down? There is no elevator! Climb 'em back to the top. Jimmy and I are waving to the camera (a kind gent offered to take our picture) and we're not even close to the midway point! See us?
These two were funny. We had a lot of photo ops with them ... they seemed to follow us about!
Luckily not today!
Looking at the Monterey Cypress trees on the path back to the car from the lighthouse, can you tell the direction of the prevailing wind? Makes me wonder how they stay anchored in the soil. Well, we did it, made it 308 steps up to the top. No harm done! With the morning gone, it was time to think about eating our sandwiches, but we wanted to save lunch for our next destination.
We saw no whales today; northern migration season hasn't quite begun yet and southern migration is finished. Not to worry, tho, we saw plenty of critters today. I'll tell about Monday afternoon's activities in my next post ....