Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Point Reyes Hiking

Have you ever been in a  situation like us? Let me tell the situation. On a narrow mountain road, with the inclination toward the cliff, sharp turn, without any guarding fence beside the cliff, a child who was throwing tantrums from backseat, a bunch of bicyclists who were climbing the mountain in front of your car, amid all those my husband drove the car towards our destination. When he was driving on Lucas Valley Road, I was just cursing myself for asking him to take us on a hike at Point Reyes Lighthouse. After driving more than ten miles on Lucas Valley Road, when we entered the Nicosia Road, I sighed in relief. At least there was no such cliffs. Rather we were in between two mountains, without any fear, though the cyclists were present through out our journey.

The cyclists on the road


Anyway, we started from our home around 8:30 in the morning, on a day trip to Point Reyes Lighthouse. When we started it was hot. I had been hesitating taking jackets. But Mr. Man told me to take the jackets. Still in mind I didn’t want to them. However, I was proved wrong, when I came out from the car after reaching there. When we entered Lucas Valley Road, leaving behind the freeway, the scenery changed totally all of a sudden.

the scenic road


 From unappealing freeway we entered on a narrow mountain road full of trees. The amazing part was, the both sides of the road was covered by the trees, but the nearby mountains  were gray and barren with little desert bushes here and there. So, I don’t know whether the road side trail of trees planted by men or not. I didn’t realize that we were moving slowly upwards, until I saw the cliff on a sharp turn. Then we faced turn after turn without any place to pullover, and we faced the situation what I told earlier. There was no place turn around like other mountain roads. Till date all my journey on mountain road was not so much problematic like this one. 

Cypress trees


I always watched that a single road was going upwards or downwards like a serpent. But, here, through out our journey we had so very many left turns, AND RIGHT turns, that sometimes I feared whether we had been going on wrong route. It seemed that the journey was endless. At last when we entered the Nicosia Valley Road, I sighed in relief. There was no sharp turn, or cliff, rather the road was strangely flat, with beautiful vast Nicosia reservoir on left side. Then we entered in dense red wooded lane. It was also just a little patch. Then the road was barren.
Point Reyes was the tip of the land. As we proceeded towards the point, the weather started changing from shiny to cloudy, and foggy. We drove through many historic ranches, which were established back to early 19th century. It was really amazing how the ranches were established, after crossing so many rugged mountains. I last few miles before reaching our destination we could see the ocean on the both side of the road. 
When we got down from the car, I realized the need of jackets. The weather was foggy, and on the top of that it was so windy, that I could hear the sound of wind through the hood of my jacket. I never heard such sound of wind through my hood. Our plan was to see the Point Reyes light house at the tip of the land. It is really amazing, that these lighthouses had an immense importance in life of pre-radar era. 


Point Reyes Lighthouse


This historic Point Reyes light house was established in 1870, at the windiest place of Pacific ocean, which is also one of the foggiest place. From history, which was written on a board near the lighthouse, I came to know that, one employee’s wife of the lighthouse once tried to plant vegetable near it, but failed miserably due to foggy weather, and salty wind blows from the ocean. Due to dense fog, specially during summer time increase the danger to the ships to enter to the San francisco peninsula.

The cliff near the lighthouse


 This light served more than hundred years to the mariners  to enter the bay without danger. The job was very monotonous at the lighthouse. On the top that life was extremely lonely. The employees had to work on sun, rain, snowstorm, frost without any fail. The Point Reyes Lighthouse lens and mechanism were constructed in France in 1867. The light house was built, below 300 feet of the cliff. The place was made flat by blasting with dynamite. The lighthouse endured many hardship including earthquake in 1906. 

Splashing waves


I came to know many interesting facts by reading the boards where the history was written. Though the area was surrounded by water, the Point was never had any spring or wells to supply fresh water. “The light-keepers were forced to devise the elaborate system for catching and storing rainwater. They piped the cistern water to the residences and to the fog signal for making steam.”
While coming back from the lighthouse I saw big dome. Out of curiosity I went to read the board, where it was written about the dome. I came to know that the big dome which was the cover of the cylindrical concrete cistern. “The catchment area around the cistern extends far up the hillside and capture runoff from natural rock formations.”
As the Lighthouse was 300 feet below the cliff, we had climbed down a steep narrow stairs to the reach there. Going downstairs was easy, but climbing up was a real challenge. When I reach the top of the cliff, I was out of breath. That warned me how much unfit my body was. It was already 12:00 at noon, but the weather was still foggy and cloudy. Though we could see the beach, but there was no way to access the beach. So, just standing beside the road we watched the beautiful deep blue water of the Pacific ocean, which splashing the deserted beach exerting its presence to us.

Near the Light house


6 comments:

  1. Lovely post Krishna! I have actually been here, and had completely forgotten about it :)

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  2. Fantastic shots. That is a exciting trip to light house.

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  3. Hello Krishna, great photos especially of the cypress trees making an archway along the road. It is beautiful.

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  4. I loved the pic with the cypress trees.
    Beautiful.

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