2022 Sep 25 | Point Reyes Lighthouse, elk, bioluminescent kayaking on Tomales Bay

I have a meeting in Santa Cruz tonight, but Google says Highway 1 is closed.

There was a fire in Moss Landing. That means I'll have to go all the way around.

The meeting is at Shadowbrook, which is fairly upscale. These two teenagers were riding down with me, and the one kept telling the other he wasn't going to be let in because he wasn't dressed up enough. The one kid is in sweatpants, so I'd agree with him, but then again, the other is in jeans and a t-shirt; I'd think both might get turned away.



And the main speaker.

We were in the wine cellar room, which was very nice. Unfortunately, around half of the people who were planning on coming didn't make it because of the highway closure, but that ended up being OK because half of the chairs were facing backwards, so this way everyone could face the speaker.

Sunrise lighting up the bottom of the clouds.

A bit of a double rainbow.

Cookie Crisp for breakfast on Friday.

A sliver moon.

Ogii sending gifts to her sisters.

We are going up to Point Reyes for the weekend. We had planned on a very long hike, so I bought some summer sausage on Amazon to eat on the hike.

Also bought a personal locator beacon in case we need to be rescued. There are also satellite messengers, which let you text and email, but those require a monthly subscription fee, and since we really don't go on hikes in the middle of nowhere that much, this seemed the better option.

You can test it, but they ask that you only do so in the first five minutes after the hour.

If we go around the east side of the bay headed north, it's $7 but ten minutes faster. Going south, it's the opposite; you pay tolls on the west side of the bay. So we took the cheaper route.

Tons of goats.

This woman has a lot of shiny bling in her car.

This liquor store has a statue of a dog out front.

Little plant pots.

Ready for Halloween.

The brick is pretty.

Across the Golden Gate Bridge in the fog.

Looking back south you can see downtown San Francisco.

With just the tips of the buildings above the fog.

A house all alone.

Once we got a bit north of San Francisco, we lost signal. Good thing I had downloaded the area in Google Maps ahead of time.

Google directed us along this little road east of Highway 1. It's a bit faster but less pretty.

We made it to the town of Point Reyes Station at 4:45pm. Since almost all of the shops close at 5pm, that gave us 15 minutes to walk along the little main street and check them all out.

A section on the history of the area.

Nice mural.

Community flyers.

The building is big and brick.

Public bathrooms.

Just some porta potties, but that works.


Records store.

Post office and farmers market.

Photography gallery.



The horse has a mask.

Book store.

Home decor.

This was my favorite shop; a little building set apart from the others.


Grocery store.

Map of the area.


Another restaurant.

Medical clinic.


This store is closed until Tuesday.

Clothing store.

Fun metal alligator.

We bought some ice cream cones at the deli.

They were melting fast because it was warm out, so we held them in the shade.

Maybe we'll come back for dancing.

Clothing and surf store.

Some local photographer prints. We made it through all of the stores on the main street in 15 minutes.

Another small town, Inverness, is on the west side of the bay. There were a few restaurants there.

There is also a shipwreck. Unfortunately, some photographers were spinning steel wool and started it on fire a few years ago.

Buildings way out on the water.

A grove of trees all by itself.

If you see a group of cars, stop; there's probably something worth checking out.

In this case, a cypress tree tunnel.

Lots of flat, empty roads.

Until we hit another bunch of cars on the side of the road.

This time it was some elk up on a hill.

And more on the other side.

Ogii getting pictures through the sunroof.

Me on top of the car.

An elk looking at us.

There were a couple of cows with their babies as well.

Around the bend there were a few more elk. These actually hit their horns together a few times.

A ton more farther down the road.

Elk mixed in with cows.

Baby deer over here.

We hiked to the Point Reyes lighthouse. I love the view of the fog rolling on from the ocean across the beach.

And Ogii liked the deer.

Especially the fawns.

An older one.

Better get there before the sun sets.

The visitor's center is closed.

As is the long flight of stairs down to the lighthouse.

But the observation deck is still open.

Us with the lighthouse.

This branch looks quite heavy.

On the drive back we saw something cross the road.

It looks like a wolf, although it could be a big coyote.

We passed around four small groups of deer on the drive. Good to be careful, although none were on the road itself.

We stayed at an AirBnB. Very nice room.

Gotta conserve water.

This restaurant closes at 9pm, so we got there at 8:30, but they had already closed the kitchen. That's fine; we'll eat the summer sausage for dinner.

As we drive up the east side of the bay to the boat launch.

Where there are already lots of other kayakers.

We asked the ones coming in if they saw the bioluminescent algae, and most did, so that was encouraging.

Me blowing up the kayak.

Ogii putting the seats in.

And we headed out. Make sure to look back at shore every once in a while so you know where to go back; don't want to paddle out into the ocean.

Even though we don't have a phone signal, the GPS still works, so we could use that to figure out where we were. We initially were following another kayaker, but he was going a bit south, and the others said they had gone around the island, so we headed north from here.

We had headlamps, but we didn't need to use them. The algae didn't glow brightly enough to get any pictures of, but we could definitely see it glowing around the oars when you paddled or made waves.

Headed back in. Now was the dock the red lights on the left or the white lights on the right? As long as we get close to shore, it doesn't matter; we can always go left or right. Good thing the tide didn't pull us out to sea.

Most people went out wit these kayak companies, but we had our own kayak. A bit more work, but cheaper in the long run if we use it a few times.

There were still deer out along the road on our drive back to the AirBnB.

We were going to get a sunrise picture, but it was too cloudy.

We had initially planned on going to Alamere Falls on Sunday, but we were both rather tired, it's a really long hike, and we would get home pretty late, so we decided to head home instead and check out the falls some other day. This time we decided to take the prettier coastal route, even if it took a bit longer.

Shells on a post to act as headlight reflectors in front of this house.

This building was almost completely covered with vegetation.

Some more deer in the fields.

Red flowers all the way up this tree.

First there was a large bay to the right of the winding road.

Then the ocean, with some cabins near Mt Tam.

San Francisco art work in the car window.

I was considering taking the panoramic highway along the southern edge of Mt Tam, but we were very low on gas, so that's another thing we'll come back for. There was only one gas station around Point Reyes Station, and the pumps were actually closed down late at night and early in the morning when we drove by. You'd think by now they'd all be 24-hours, but I guess not. Thankfully we had enough gas to make it to the next gas station 20 miles south so we didn't have to wait around until the Point Reyes Station one opened.

Beautiful mural.


And another.

Pretty plants.

Some in the middle of the table at this coffee shop.

Ogii using the hammock stand to wash all of the salt water off of the kayak.

One of the problems with our inflatable kayak is that there are seams at the top of the edges which tend to cut my hands when I'm paddling. I can try to paddle higher, but that's a lot more work, so I think I'll buy some kayaking gloves.