Road diary: September 16-19

    Tuesday, September 16

Leave Oakland around noon.
Miss turnoff from Highway 101 to Lucas Valley Road (construction in area), sail on to Petaluma.
Take Petaluma - Point Reyes Station Road instead of LVR - fortunate serendipity - quiet uncrowded country lane into PRS.
Stop there, walk around town, get coffee and pastry ("fancy scone", it is enormous), sit in little park and refresh selves.
Then walk around town some more, to west side and edge of marsh.
Point Reyes Station still has a touch of magic for us, we love to pause there whenever we pass by.
Back to car, drive across the Rift Zone (San Andreas Fault holds still while we traverse it), up to Inverness on Tomales Bay, find our B&B.
Check in, lie down, get up, explore village.
Later, drive around looking for Mt. Vision Road; and fail. It turns out there are two entry points on the map but one has been converted to a hiking trail. We will try again another time.
Vladimir's Czech Restaurant is having some sort of crisis and the door is locked, so we go to PRS and Osteria Stellina; a wonderful Italian restaurant.

    Wednesday, July 17

Up ~8; very filling B&B breakfast; waddle to car and drive up to Pierce Ranch, historic dairy farm and trailhead to northern end of peninsula.
Hike about 3/4 of the way to the end, where the trail descends to sea level.
Have lunch (apple and food bar) and return past herds of tule elk, about twenty in all.
Drive up to Mount Vision, walk around some more; back to car and Inverness
During dinner, it starts to rain, surprising everyone.

    Thursday, July 18

Rain off and on overnight.
Has stopped by 7 AM; I go out to photograph Tomales Bay shoreline: vernacular architecture (like shingled dacha with onion domes on stilts over the water), picturesque wreck of fishing boat (put there by the tourist board, do you think?), etc. Return to B&B just as it begins to rain again.
Breakfast again very good, though less massive.
Change into hiking clothes and drive down to Limantour Beach.
Walk for a few miles on the beach and a trail behind barrier dunes.
Sand very wet; get quite filthy. Not going to wear these pants and shoes till after laundry time.
But the views are awesome; low gray mist highlights distances, and ocean waves appear to come out of nowhere and break on the shore.
Back to trailhead; set out on Muddy Hollow Trail, which paradoxically is dry and hard after the glop of the beach trail.
Return to Inverness, change into respectable clothes, have lunch at B&B dining room; mostly pizza left over from last night's dinner; good.
Then back into our vile garb for a trip out to Pt. Reyes itself, the southwest tip of the peninsula where the lighthouse is.
Walk out a mile to 300 steps down to the lighthouse, decide not to descend to it. (Light was set low on cliff to be below the level of the fog, otherwise not visible to ships.)
Geology of the point, indeed the whole peninsula, is interesting; we speculate that it must be a fairly coherent mass, to have remained in one piece on the edge of the Pacific Plate as it was pushed NW from southern California over the ages.
Then out to Chimney Rock; take a short stroll out to the sea-elephant viewpoint.
They are below us on the beach, where they pass the time by rolling over and belching; their version of the good life, I suppose.
Return to Inverness, take showers, burn clothing (not really), return to Saltwater Cafe for dinner.
(Hint to visitors: Wednesday is pizza night there; very good, and cheaper than the other nights. No wonder it was so crowded then.)

    Friday, July 19

Up early, have coffee and breakfast.
Walk around Inverness, then pack and begin return trip.
Stop and visit Point Reyes National Seashore visitor center in Bear Valley, where we used to go hiking way back when.
Then on to Pt. Reyes Station; get giant scones at Bovine Bakery, copy of Star Wars in Shakespearean iambic pentameter at Pt. Reyes Books. No, really, it's a hoot.
Over the hills and back to "civilization"; home about 1:30.

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