Nowhere, Man

If you’ve ever wanted to look out over farthest ends of the earth but couldn’t be bothered with all that travel, I’ve got you covered. Just pop over to Point Reyes National Seashore on the California coast.

Ninety minutes north of San Francisco where the San Andreas Fault dips into the ocean, a foreign land juts out into the Pacific. Its steep hills and crumbling cliffs are severe, wind-scrubbed and uninviting.

Windswept cypress on the hills of Point Reyes.

Local denizens are few and hardy.

Since 1870, people have tended the lighthouse perched on a high, west-facing cliff. Despite its dutiful warnings, more than fifty ships and too many lives have been lost in the raging surf and treacherous shoals that guard this peninsula.

The Point Reyes lighthouse guards what feels like the ends of the earth.

Several family dairies were grandfathered-in when the park was created. Their cows, inured to the constant biting wind, roam the grassy hills between the few roads that cut across the park.

Dairy cows grazing the windy hills above the ocean.

Returning from the brink of extinction from overhunting in the 1800s, tule elk can be seen roaming this harsh sanctuary.

The elks’ cousins, small black-tailed deer, are also plentiful and share pastures with the cows.

I surprised one hiding behind a hill along the cliffs!

Seals sleep and sun themselves on shores made inaccessible to wandering humans by precarious, sandy crags.

Even with the incessant sea breeze, wildflowers managed to cling to the land, including wild irises!

A telegraph station commissioned by Marconi is here. The art deco building is shuttered today, but the cypress trees lining the drive toward it are alive and well. We found old wires and generators on the grounds nearby.

The cypress tunnel of Point Reyes
The side of the cypress tunnel.

We enjoyed our visit to the edge of nowhere, but we were happy to return to our cozy forest camp nestled in the redwoods in nearby Samual P. Taylor State Park. Here are a few more pictures from our visit to Point Reyes.

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