We had a nice early start with a stop at Peet’s on Geary in the city for our wake-up beverage. North of the Golden Gate Bridge, we took Sir Francis Drake Blvd towards Point Reyes. The views after driving through Fairfax were really pretty, especially with the sun just starting to lighten the sky. Along the sides of the road wildflowers were beginning to appear. The hills are still winter green and everything looks fresh.
(Click on the images for larger versions)
Just before San Geronimo, I noticed some hand painted signs on my left. Some were advertising a country dance, which was held last night. One said ‘Fiddle music makes you smile’. How charming. There were other signs inter mingled with those and I got the message that someone is not too happy about a tank tearing up the ridge. The last one said ‘Thanks, but not no tank’. Hey, this is Marin County so it goes with the territory.
At Olema, we turned right on Highway 1 and then left onto Bear Creek Road. We drove past the Visitors Center and then turned left again onto Limantour Road. Neither Tom nor I have been here before, so this will be a new experience for us.
There is nobody else around at all. We have the road to ourselves. And what a drive. Quail were abundant and darted across the road, with their necks outstretched and their fussy little steps. We stop at a lay-by with a view down to the south end of Tomales Bay.
We passed Sky Trailhead and there were some cars already parked. A little further on we had a spectacular view to the south. On the ridge we
could see some of the damage caused by the Inverness Ridge Fire 14 years ago but the forest is regenerating. Next we caught sight of Drakes Bay to the north.
The road dead ends in a large car park. There was just one other car there. As we got out of the car, we felt the bite of the wind but we had come prepared with our fleeces.
At the start of the trail, there is a noticeboard with information about the Coastal Watershed Restoration Project. Before the Point Reyes National Seashore was established. Limantour beach was privately owned and there were 20 homes there. Now it is being restored to its natural estuarine habitat and endangered species, like the California red legged frog, will be protected.
We follow the trail towards the beach, walking over a fairly new bridge. The trail then bears right but we decided to investigate the beach before heading down the trail. The path was sandy and crested a low rise range of sand dunes and then we were on the beach. And what a splendid beach – long, sandy and clean. The wind was a little fresh but the sun was shining. We were the only people on the beach and the only footsteps were ours. It was so peaceful to sit on a convenient driftwood log and write, with the soothing sounds of the gentle breaking surf.
Away to our right the pseudo white cliffs of Dover marched towards the lighthouse, which we couldn’t see because it was around the corner. No wonder Sir Francis Drake was reminded of England when he saw the cliffs. This is definitely the place to bring the kids but, be warned, there are no fast food restaurants or ice cream stands for miles and miles.
Back on the trail, we were on the look out for wildflower but we were almost out of luck. There were some wild iris’s but they were past their best and the lupine bushes were on the verge of blooming.
The trail is along the Limantour Spit. To the right is a marsh with a host of sea and shore birds. To our left are the dunes. The ocean can also be seen but not the beach.
A hawk suddenly flew over my head but I did not have time to identify it through my binoculars before it dipped out of view again. Tom was not able to get a shot of it either.
The trail became narrow and the marsh grass was partially covering the path. The fresh wind whipped the grass against my legs. I could feel the
sting of it through my my thin pants. I thought it was just me but Tom commented on it too.
The trail peters out though I am sure it is possible to get right to the end. We did detour down towards the marsh on what I think was an unofficial rail but did not venture too far in case it became boggy.
We turned to go back and gloried in the absolute solitude of the place. Far from the sound of traffic with not even the vapor trail of a passing aircraft to mar the blue sky. Then we spotted the hawk again and Tom took some photos – hope they come out OK. I identified it as a Marsh Hawk.
After our bracing walk and all that fresh air, we were ready for breakfast.
April 07 2009 05:14 pm | Special Places