Freeway Free in California: Exploring Pt. Reyes Seashore (Day One)
We fled the South Bay expecting a foggy few days on the Marin coast. To our surprise, the fog held off on our arrival, so we took advantage of the sunshine before we even checked into our lodgings. Our first stop was the Visitors Center at Point Reyes National Seashore, and to clear the cobwebs from our two-hour drive we decided to hike the Earthquake Trail which heads off from the Center parking lot.
The Earthquake trail follows the natural escarpment where the San Andreas Fault skirts the edges of the California coastline before disappearing into the sea towards Alaska. It’s a shady stroll through pastureland and underneath gian twisted bay trees. Along the trail are interpretive placards explaining earthquake geology, plate tectonics, and the effect of the Fault on California geology. A line of blue posts marking the center line of the fault marches along the ridge above the trail. The high point of the walk is a point where two halves of a fence have been offset by almost 15 feet – the result of the ground movement in 1907, when action on the Fault caused the disastrous San Francisco Earthquake and Fire.
After checking in at The Cottages at Pt. Reyes Seashore, we decided to head for the beach. The brochure from the Visitors Center promised sea lions hauled out on the spit at the end of Limantour Beach. We decided to walk on the beach rather than on the Limantour Spit Trail along the ridge, allowing us to admire the endless stretch of almost perfect tubular rollers coming in and breaking in one thundering roar, one after another.
We didn’t make it to the end of the beach, nor did we spot any sea lions (or even hear them.) But we did enjoy the traces of human artistry in the sand dunes by the beach.
Feeling exhausted by the overwhelming visual and audial of sun and surf, we retreated to our quiet cottage and a supper from the grocery sack. We somehow could not feel too badly about having missed the fog, though we did regret the sea lions.