Day 4, January 31, 2010
Last day of January already…time does fly. The weatherman predicted a beautiful day today so of course we woke up to fog and overcast skies. It was pretty chilly as well. So, we had a slow start to the morning.
We decided to drive out to a place called Limantour Beach. The 8 mile drive was foggy, but eventually the fog cleared and boom there wasn’t a cloud in the sky as we arrived at the beach. When we turned around, we found that the fog was really just covering the rolling hills that we had just come from. The beach didn’t hold our attention for very long, so we drove out and back to the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
Today was the day of the Fungus Show and out back were several tables covered with live mushroom exhibits. It was really very interesting and probably around 100 mushrooms were on display, growing, and complete with names and edibility.
From the center we started out on the Bear Valley Trail to Arch Rock. We were told it was one of the most popular trails in the park and we could tell. Most of the hike was very well maintained…enough that the Ranger’s Explorer could get through. Only the very tail end narrowed down to what I would consider a wide footpath. The hike was all pretty flat and along the valley 4 miles out to the coast. On the coast, the trail ended on top of a high cliff’s edge that apparently was Arch Rock. Only when hiking down underneath the cliff did we find the namesake for this rock. There is an archway down below that is apparently hikeable in low tide. The waves were crashing while we were there, so we just took a look and a picture. The day had turned into a beautiful one for most of the hike out and at the coastline we could see into the ocean pretty far. We could even see around to where we were a couple days ago at the Elephant Seal Overlook. Here is a photo of part of the view:
There was a short side trail that we went up to get more views and we found probably the highlight of our hike. We were surrounded by little rodent holes and the rodents would pop up and back down much like whack-a-mole! It was a blast to watch and one of the funniest things I’ve seen on a hike. They were very much like gerbils in color and size, but with teeth like beavers. In any case they were not very frightened of us and I got some good close photos. I also managed to take a couple videos.
Since we didn’t have anything else planned for the day, we decided to take a different route back which ended up being a few miles longer. The Sky Trail climbed one of the rolling coastal hills and went deep into the dougles fir forest. It was a great hike and definitely less crowded. The fog was rolling in again, so it was overcast and chilly, but that was a good thing because we managed to work up a sweat anyway. =) We would have called this the squishy trail instead of sky trail because of all the mud. The squishy mud just made it all that much more interesting of a hike.
Sunset was at 5:30 and in the forest, the light was fading fast even at 5. We did managed to finish before it was pitch black, but maybe next time we should start a bit earlier. It was fun, though, and as always an adventure to hike out in the dark. Especially with the squishy mud! We hiked a total of 11.5 miles today. After all that hiking, we went to Point Reyes Station and had onion rings and burgers. Mmmm, high calorie and tasty.
I think we’ll skip any long hikes tomorrow and instead perhaps go into San Francisco a bit early. High on my list of things to do in SF is getting a bread bowl with clam chowder. We leave on Tuesday. Point Reyes is definitely a great vacation spot and I would recommend it to anyone.
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