Monday, December 13, 2010

Pt. Reyes Lighthouse

Even trips close to home counts as an adventure and there are so many great options in the Bay Area.  Point Reyes National Seashore is a really great example of the Northern California coast.  Growing up my image of California came from the tv shows of the time (CHiPS anyone?!) so I thought that all of the coast was warm water and sandy beaches.  Wow, was my move to the Bay Area an eye-opener.  The norm is rocky edges at the base of cliffs where the ocean crashes spectacularly and if you get in you better be wearing a dry suit!

On the Friday after Thanksgiving E-- and I met up with a couple friends and her folks who were visiting from Michigan.  We met at the original Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station.  It is a tiny little town that lots of folks love because it is quaint.  That means that it has a a couple of restaurants, a few small stores selling whatnots and some artist studios.  Not actually the type of place I visit a lot because I get bored with that after an hour.  But Point Reyes Station has cheese and that is awesome.  We purchase bread and cheese and head on out.  If you plan ahead though you can get tours of the cheese making process.

To get out to the lighthouse you have to drive the tiny winding roads that pass by historical ranches-huh, who knew that ranches can be historical!  Once out there though it is worth it-the ocean view is amazing.  First we take some time to see it from the top from a couple of different vantage points.  Then we head down to the lighthouse.  They warn you that you will have to walk back up the 300 steps, but that is really no reason to stop you as put in some nice little benches along the way.

The lighthouse itself is interesting and there will be a ranger there to answer questions about the Fresnel lens, the foghorn, etc.  But the amazing thing to think about are the men who ran the lighthouses-what a harsh lifestyle.  They have some neat documentation about the rules and regulations they had to follow.  They were in charge of keeping the light going even in the stormiest weather.  But at least stormy would be interesting-consistency was the most important attribute in a lighthouse keeper.  You can't just take a 'mental health day'.  I'll keep that in mind the next time I feel like whining at work :)

1 comment:

  1. Upon returning to Michigan, my parents asked some friends (somewhat younger than themselves)if they had heard of the Pt. Reyes lighthouse. Two of them had actually been there before and commented that they would never go back now at their age, "all those steps would kill them!". I think this is before they realized my 73 year-old father had in fact conquered the steps with little problem. My mother asked me later, why I was trying to kill them by taking them to this place!