December 29, 2007 10:01 PM
National Park - North Bay
Reading a fellow blogger's post about national parks in California inspired to me write about my experience visiting one of the parks on her list--Point Reyes National Seashore/Tomales Bay (nps.gov). It's a very cool place. It's right on the coast and the drive is just as fun as the scenery once you get there. My girlfriend and I took the 580 across the bay and went up the 1. If you want to check out our route click here. We made a couple of stops on the way. It took us about 3 hours to get to McClures Beach, though, from Berkeley, google estimates about 1 hour and 54 minutes.
Our first stop was along Fairfax Bolinas Road along Alpine Lake (Click for map):
A couple of shots from Alpine Lake:
Click to view
That last picture is of Fairfax Bolinas Rd. Although it looks nice in that picture, parts of it were less than adequate...in other words, you'd spill your tofu (Initial D "joke"). The lake is dammed and you "get to" drive across it. Past that, you drive through more forest (very cool).
After driving up the 1, we took Sir Francis Drake Blvd up past Inverness (which is, coincidentally, the name of a really cool city in Scotland) to Pierce Point Road. Here's a shot of what Pierce Point leads to:
To get to McClures you'll have to park at a parking lot at the end of Pierce Point Road. It's a short hike out to the beach and it's very well worth it! I hadn't seen much of the California coast (at least up here) before this, though I had been up around Mendocino/Fort Bragg twice, so I was amazed when I finally saw it's splendor. It was a lot more beautiful than I expected. We stayed at the beach past sunset taking pictures and enjoying the scenery. I don't even know how many hours we spent there, but the time flew. It also got VERY cold (we went on Dec. 1). I really recommend this place. Going to McClures Beach was actually free, though there are other places to go that charge. There's also a lighthouse around there. I'm so glad we got the chance to go out there. I hope you can one day experience it as well!
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