Next destination was Point Reyes National Seashore. Particularly, its lighthouse got me excited in the first place to pick this point of interest as part of my road trip, and I couldn’t wait to get there and take some sunset photos.
POINT REYES NATIONAL SEASHORE
I drove across the desert for hours and arrived at the park in time for sunset. However, what I didn’t know was that the day I was visiting was one of the two days per week when the lighthouse was closed to the public. So, unfortunately I didn’t get near the lighthouse for the sunset shot that I was hoping to get, and the result wasn’t something that I had been picturing.
Besides the lighthouse, however, this park offers something ecologically unique!
If you haven’t read my Yosemite trip posts, check them out. You will love the photos that I shared there! Tunnel View offers so much photo opportunities, and Yosemite Falls are pure adrenalin pumping hike. I must say it isn’t an easy hike. Also, Yosemite Half Dome offers an insight to why I made this trip, and Glacier Point is one of the best places where Half Dome is observed.
MILKY WAY AT POINT REYES
I had no idea how windy it gets at Point Reyes at night. And I sure learned it the windiest and coldest way possible while shooting the Milky Way. Of course, I bet it would be a lot colder and even rainy in winter, but it was quite blistery.
I climbed one of the high hills to get a better vantage point, and it was one of the windiest part of the park! I’d guess that the wind was blowing about 40-50 MPH. I had to be extremely careful not to trip or fall off the cliff in the dark.
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However, the clear night sky gave way to the Milky Way. Although the light pollution from the nearest town Inverness was quite bright, it was still dark enough to capture the most beautiful galaxy that the human kind has ever known.
POINT REYES LIGHTHOUSE
Next morning I entered the lighthouse perimeter and explored the old lighthouse inside out. But because it opened at 10 am, it was a bit late for best lighting, to be honest, and I took some photos but they weren’t anything other than I-was-here kind of photos.
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The marine layer had been rolling in and burning off throughout the morning, but at this particular moment, I caught the fog slowly smearing out the ocean and letting the fog signal building with the decades old textures of its own stand out. I just loved the juxtaposition.
Once done taking photos of the lighthouse, I was walking back on the long driveway/road and saw this view. I really liked how these pine trees have grown over the road, laying nice shadows across the portion of it.
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My next stop was Chimney Rock, which was located on the opposite side of the end of the peninsula from the lighthouse. I drove to the Chimney Rock Trailhead, which had been shrouded in another marine layer earlier that morning, and that fog was burned off by then.
The trail basically runs along the end of the peninsula shoreline all the way to the cliff end. Of course, it is an easy hike and offers the ocean views from left and right since this portion sort of jutted out, which closes in a bay – Drakes Bay.
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Chimney Rock sits at the end of the stretched part of peninsula. It works as a breakwater, which would protect the bay from high waves. Particularly, now I know that how windy it gets at Point Reyes, I could see that it is an important landmark.
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CALIFORNIA SEA LIONS
Before returning to the parking lot, I made a stop at the sea lion overlook, which offers a view of Drakes Beach where all the sea lions sun bathe.
What got me interested in this view from the start though was the distinctive landscape of the shoreline. It resembled something that of what you would expect to see in Ireland. Especially, while part of the marine layer was still lingering over the hills as the sun was shining in the foreground and middle ground.
The word drake, draca, Old English, originated from draco, meaning dragon, and maybe how stretched out these hilly cliffs were along the cove gave that name, I wondered. Just like the constellation Draco.
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And of course, I couldn’t forget about the California sea lions.
Have you been to Point Reyes National Seashore? If you have, what was it like? If not, are you planning to visit here sometime soon?
Thanks for reading.