Sunday, March 7, 2010

My latest adventure!

Good morning! I don't understand why on the days I can sleep in I wake up at 7am. I guess my body is rested enough which is good because I have a lot to accomplish today and extra time to get it done.
This last week was a bit stressful. It made for having headaches every day which was unpleasant. I decided that yesterday was going to be a day just for me to go to :my happy place." I've been wanting to explore some of the area north of the Golden Gate Bridge for a while now and had hoped to go two weeks ago but the weather was pretty bad and I didn't want to chance it. I'm glad I did go yesterday because the weather was completely fabulous! Everything was green and fresh due to all of the rain we've had.

I drove to San Francisco and crossed the bridge, which is when I realized my camera battery was dead, so I couldn't take any pictures. Serious bummer for me. I did manage to take a few with my phone but it too is dead now...from taking pictures. I need a new phone. Anyways... the adventure started when I turned left to head out to highway 1. I have never been out in that direction before so it was all new to me. I love that feeling of excitement as I explore a new place. The drive was great for the most part. I was probably a little unsafe but there was nobody on the road and I sort of learned by observation how to have some fun on roads like that.  My car was probably wheezing but I felt like a race driver... in a honda civic.

I'm a smells person.  I notice smells and when I go on a trip somewhere cataloguing the smells in my memory is part of what makes the trip special. If you'be been reading my blog for a while you might remember early last summer I went to Sea Ranch, the smell there is intoxicating for me. Yesterday wasn't quite as good but the scenery, the drive and the smells did sort of remind me of Sea Ranch. There were a lot of eucalyptus trees along the road which smelled good. I drove through several small towns and I could smell things cooking. When I got to the beach I could smell it which just makes me giddy and excited.

I stopped at the Muir beach lookout spot and it was amazing! I've never seen the Farallon islands before but I could yesterday! I've seen many a special  on the nature channel and such over the years so I was somewhat familiar with them. It was interesting to look south down the coast and be able to see where the SF bay starts and not be able to see the GG bridge. It made me think of how it may have looked before the bay was discovered. Sutro tower kind of throws a wrench into that though. I drove up highway 1 until I reached Point Reyes Station. I saw some beautiful scenery along the way including Bolinas Lagoon.
The reason I wanted to go on this little day trip started with wanting to visit Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station. I probably read about it in a Sunset magazine at some point and just catalogued it in my brain for a later trip. I pulled into Point Reyes Station and found the place pretty easily. It's a pretty small town, and it has a pretty famous cheese making company in it's midst. I tried five of the cheeses. Mt. Tam, Red Hawk, Wagon Wheel, Fromage Blanc and Devil's Gulch. I liked all of them except red Hawk. It is definitely a stinky cheese. It's interesting though to hear why they make it there and why it's so special. I bought some of the fromage blanc and I'm looking forward to having some smeared on some bread later today.
I had lunch at a little diner across the street from C.C. It was such a cute little place, The Pine Cone Diner. It was so beautiful yesterday I sat outside and read my latest book while eating and soaking up the sun. Afterwards I got some super yummy all organic locally made vanilla ice cream and sat outside and read some more. So lovely.
The other purpose of my visit was to try and see some whales. Now is the time they head back up to Alaska with their calves. They tend to swim closer to shore on their way back so it's an excellent time to try and see them. I drove out to Point Reyes with the intention of going to the lighthouse. Only to find that you can't just drive out there on your own anymore. You have to pay to take a shuttle. I was a little annoyed by that but whatever. It was worth it. While I was out on the peninsula I saw deer, elk, cows, elephant seals, red tail hawks, and last but not least, whales! They were right off of the lighthouse! I think I saw at least four or five different ones, it was awesome! Some were close enough to actually hear when they spouted. In addition to seeing the whales I got to learn about the old lighthouse. It's the last remaining one on the coast I think. It's pretty cool to see. It made me think of Pete's Dragon. Did you know that every lighthouse has a different light pattern? It's so a sailor at sea can tell which lighthouse he's looking at if it's a nasty night and his instrumentation has failed.  Getting down to the lighthouse is not for the faint of heart. It's a climb, first down then back up 300 some odd steps. The ranger said it's the equivalent of climbing a 30 story building. It's so worth the sore calves I have today though, it's like being at the edge of the world. 
After my cllimb back up I took the bus over to Chimney rock. A short walk later I was able to see the elephant seals. February and March is their mating season. Up to 500 of them were on the beach a couple weeks ago but when I went there were maybe 100.  It started getting cold so I caught the buss back to Drake's Beach and headed home.
I managed to take a different route back without getting myself lost! I didn't want to take the coast road in the dark so I drove through the mountains and came out at San Rafael and dropped right onto 101.
All in all it was a great day. I got to listen to my favorite radio show on the way home and it was "the joke show" so I laughed and guffawed myself all the way home.  Hey do you know why God made farts smell?  So that deaf people can enjoy them too!

Once my phone is charged I can send myself the pictures I took and upload them  later.

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