Spouse and I spent Memorial Day driving all over the coastal hinterlands known as Point Reyes and Tomales Bay. If you live in the area or think that a longer trip is in the works, get thee to the same. Wow. What a wonderful way to spend the day. Only an hour from Berkeley, you can spend the day there, grab a bite for dinner at Nick's Cove, and be home before eleven o'clock.
We took a chance on this trip. We've never heard of the area before but it was listed with other daytrips. It's principally rural. Most of the land is protected farmland or ranches. Dairy farms abound. We even had our own close encounter with some cows on our way back from the lighthouse. You can actually stay on some of these farms. Trish and I just may our next time out. Interestingly, these ranches are all lettered...A, E, M, etc. I don't know if there were once ranches named for each letter of the alpabet or not. Many were founded shortly after the American Civil War. Very cool.
The lighthouse is no longer necessary to keep the shipping lanes safe. Radar and sonar keep most ships from colliding with the coastline these days. I'm glad, however, that they kept this one as an historical landmark. It's on such an incredible piece of land. Beautiful. The picture here is one we took with our inexpensive camera. If you go online and look around for photos you will find some beautiful shots of the old place.
I wish we had more photos to share. I'm posting a few here for you to enjoy. The first in this post is the view from the top of the same point on which the lighthouse is located looking back across the peninsula. South Beach is to your left. Drake's Bay (and beach) is on your right. It takes about thirty minutes to drive across from Point Reyes Station (a town of three hundred and fifty residents and home of Cowgirl Creamery) to the lighthouse. As you can see, the landscape is bare except for a few groves of trees that are down in valleys and thus protected from the wind off the Pacific. Cattle and deer roam freely. Birds abound.
Our first stop was at Tomales Bay Oyster Company. You bring your picnic stuff and they provide all the oysters you'll ever want. The place was packed when we got there. The people working the counter told us that the holiday weekend had them much busier than usual. We'll certainly head back and bring a basket. To get our oyster fix we went into Point Reyes Station. Again, it's a small town, but the food was good and the people were friendly. After hanging out there all afternoon we drove to the lighthouse. On the way off the point to get across Tomales Bay we stopped at the Blackbird Cafe (Facebook) for a coffee beverage. I want to go back and play there. They host live music once or twice a week. Inverness is another small town...So many little, little towns. Fifty people? Really? Well, good on ya, Marshall, CA.
We drove up the coast all the way to Tomales. It's a beautiful drive. Hills. Dales. Cows. Lots of cows. Dinner was at Nick's Cove. Let's see...Steamed clams (with an amazing tomato broth), goat meat balls (tastes like lamb, tender and yummy), and dungeoness crab mac n'cheese (happy dance)...these were small plates that we shared and it was the perfect amount for dinner. Go. Now. It was incredible.
We had a good day.