Monday, February 16, 2015

Photo Monday: Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Our recent rain (something rare enough here this winter to cause rumination) made me think about another wet February weekend, when we went out to camp at Pt. Reyes National Seashore. We have actually done that a few times, and many dayhikes there, as well as a couple of epic bike rides (including one where we did the last 10 miles in the dark, with one working headlamp for two of us, and temps dropping to the low 40s). I thought I'd share a few cool facts about the park--part of our National Park system--and some pictures to show how much fun camping and hiking can be, even in the rain.

The Scoop:
The Park is 71,000 acres of Marin County, California, and almost all of it lies not on the North American Plate, but on the Pacific Plate. Go back far enough, and Point Reyes was off Los Angeles. . In any case, the San Andreas fault separates it from the mainland, and is the reason for the long inlet called Tomales Bay. The park is big enough and wild enough to have black bears, as well as a thriving tule elk population (though I've only ever seen the latter), as well as marine mammals including elephant seals. Woods, mountains, seashore, waterfalls, and a lighthouse are some of the features.

The Camps:
The park has 4 campgrounds--and you have to hike to all of them. In February of 2010, we decided to celebrate my husband's birthday by hiking to Coast Camp for the night. We had camped at Sky Camp when the boys were very little, because we could push the jogging stroller up there, but decided the beach would be nice this time.

We got a very late start, and picked up our permit about 30 seconds before the Visitor's Center closed at 5 p.m., so made camp after dark. It was, at least, dry then. Next morning, things didn't look so dry.

Lots of green says that there's been rain all winter. The Park Service provides food storage lockers, as there are some bears in the park--and plenty of coyotes, racoons, and mice who would be happy to eat your breakfast for you.
By the time we'd had breakfast and packed up, the rain had started. On with the rain jackets and pack covers!
Rain or not, we are ready to hike.
Having approached by the shortest route (a bit over a mile, I think), we determined to return via the beach, a two-mile walk.  All the photos from here out have water on the lens...
Contemplating the leap across the raging stream. 
Once you are wet, a little extra exploration doesn't really change anything. When we saw what amounted to a slot canyon in the coastal cliffs, we had to explore. Yeah, a little muddy. What did it matter?

And at the end of the slot canyon, we found something cool:
On a hot day, it would have made a nice shower. Of course, on a hot day, there probably wouldn't be any water.
It wasn't the first rain of the season. When we left the beach, the trail followed a stream inland. Unfortunately, the stream also had decided to follow the trail to the beach.
Anyone bring the water wings??
And because this is California, in the middle of February, there were flowers. Wild iris is one of my favorites.
See? Rain is good! Water droplets make the flower even prettier.


  1. I think you'd feel very at home hiking in our Lake District :)

    1. Well, most of the time around here lately it has been far too dry! But I grew up in the middle of Puget Sound, so yeah, I have a certain familiarity with hiking/playing/walking home from school in the rain, if that's what it takes!

    2. And someday I would like to hike your Lake District, if only because of all the Wordsworth I read in University :)

  2. Rebecca, I just love the family/travel pictures you share. Your kids must learn SO much on these trips :)

    1. We have such a great time, and I think they have learned a lot...enough that my younger son signed up for a trip to Monglia this coming summer!


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