Jan 312010

Day 3, January 30, 2010

Today was supposed to be rainy. We figured that we’d have to find something to do inside, or maybe a nice drive for the rainy day. Instead, we woke up to an absolutely gorgeous day! There was some low lying fog over the water outside our room which made for some beautiful views. I took this photo from our room:

We decided to drive to the north tip of Point Reyes called the Tomales Point and hike there. I’ve heard good things about this hike. First off, this is the only area in North America that the Tule Elk live. They are actually fenced into this area mostly to keep the separated from the cattle on the farms to the south. They are fenced in by the Pacific Ocean on the north, west, and east, and then a 3-mile long, 10-foot tall fence to the south. They thrive here as there are no predators.

So, off we went to Tomales Point. The hike was a little over 6 miles roundtrip, so we packed in our lunch. The hike stayed high on the cliffs. we could see the Pacific Ocean down below hammering what small shoreline there was. We could also see across the bay. It was a beautiful hike. We encountered many herds of elk. One herd was particularly close to the trail and they didn’t mind if we stopped to watch. We also found a herd of elk that were all male. Some of the racks on these guys were magnificent. We had marvelous views, sun the whole way, and plenty of elk to keep us satisfied. Here’s a photo of the view:

On the way out, we only encountered maybe 6 other people, however, on our way back in, we encountered too many to count. I guess the weekend and the beautiful day drew all the people out. There were a few large groups and we didn’t see as many elk on the way back to the car.

Back at the trail head, the remains of a dairy farm from the 1800s stood waiting to be explored. The NPS has labeled all the various buildings with information and we spent some time learning about dairy production at the turn of the century.

After a rest and a snack, we took the 0.4 mile hike down to the beach and sat for a long while watching the waves crash on the shore. We were highly amused by some people who ventured out a little far and had to quickly run back in or else get soaked by the incoming waves.

Finally, we ended up coming back to the hotel early in the day so we could spend the evening relaxing and eating some leftover pizza from the night before.

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