Surf's up! (not really) Feb 22-26, 2015
Don't really think the surf is up, but I know the days are still fine in NorCal. That means one thing to us retired people: Road trip! Neither Jimmy nor I had ever been to Point Reyes National Seashore, on the Pacific Coast roughly three hours from our house in Nevada City. We researched campgrounds and found only one -- Olema C/G. Not cheap, but for this neck of the woods, camping costs are probably the best deal. We signed up for four nites, and arrived Sunday afternoon.
Such warm days we're having this winter, even on the coast. High temps in the low 60's, with abundant sunshine. This national seashore park is huge, over 100 square miles. That being so, our first stop after getting set up, was to Bear Valley Visitor Center. Friendly park rangers were thrilled when we told them we had three full days to explore the park, because so many of their visitors come from metropolitan San Francisco or Santa Rosa and only have one hour or three hours or less than a day to look around. The rangers recommended trails and birding hot spots and the lighthouse, and so on. As usual, we'd need a week ... or a lifetime to see it all!
Across the road from the VC is the popular half-mile Earthquake Trail, a nearly flat paved loop. Seems like Point Reyes peninsula is a well-defined area, geologically separated from the rest of Marin County and almost all of the continental US by a rift zone of the (notorious) San Andreas Fault. Those blue poles in the above photos mark the active fault trace. The fence post Jimmy is standing next to once joined the fence post I'm standing behind while taking the picture. As the sign above says, "During the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, one side of the fence jumped 16 feet. It all happened in less than a minute." That is so freaky to see. Well, nothing moved while Jimmy and I stood there! (thank goodness)
Gorgeous mature trees in Bear Valley.
When we wrapped up the uneventful Earthquake Trail walk, I saw a sign pointing up a hill that said Morgan Horse Ranch. Naturally, we ended up there. Morgan Horse Ranch is run by the National Park Service; rangers use the Morgan horses to patrol the back country and wilderness areas. We walked around a bit by ourselves till a ranger spotted us and offered to open the gate for us to visit with Rosie (above) and 35-year-old Lance (below, being petted by Jimmy). Poor ol' decrepit Lance only has one molar left in his mouth and they have to grind his feed for him. The ranger was full of info, and gentle with the horses -- it was a nice little visit for us. The park is winding down the Morgan horse element of Point Reyes park. Our day was winding down, too, and time to return to Tergel and our dinner.
And this handsome feller is Dante. He was sleek and obviously well-fed. He followed us as we toured around the horse ranch, and he talked quite a bit, too. Bet there aren't too many mice around the horse barn!
So ended our first half-day at Point Reyes National Seashore. Tomorrow? Oh yeah, we have it all planned. It's a good one!