2005 April 10th
Tomales Bay Oyster Company and Limantour Spit
Sunday morning found us driving north listening to Car Talk on NPR with visions of fresh oysters dancing in our heads. Just minutes past Point Reyes Station we pulled to the left off of Highway 1 into the Tomales Bay Oyster Company and as luck would have made it just in time to secure one of the last picnic tables with associated grilling stations.
We brought with us two loaves of bread, one levain and one just white Italian, a bottle of Macon-Villages, bacon, spinach and a frying pan. I had made a little ramekin of mignonette before we left and brought a couple of lemons with us as well. On the way we bought two small bags of charcoal which came in handy for the grill. Once at Tomales Bay Oyster Co., I bought one dozen extra-small oysters and one dozen of the small. Only the extra-small were small enough to be shucked and eaten raw. All the other sizes were definitely for barbequing. As I rendered the bacon, and then sautéed onions and spinach with it, a man from the table next to us glanced over and said, "That sure looks good!" We talked to him for a while and offered him some of our bread and he in turn offered us some wine. A good time was had by all.
After our feast we gave away the remainder of our food to the other picnickers then headed south to Point Reyes Station where we strolled around in the warm sun and perused the shops making up the small downtown area. Still feeling the effects of our large meal we had choice between a nap or a nice stroll; selecting the latter we headed to the Limantour Beach parking lot and walked to the tip of the spit. It was quite a bit further than I imagined, however we were in no rush and the area is quite beautiful. On the way back we explored the Estero side of the spit, and meandered in and out of the dunes. We found a little lean-to that someone had built, complete with bleachers and a shell covered plate.
From the Limantour parking lot to the tip of the spit is slightly less than 3 miles. The sand close to the water is hard enough to ensure that walking is a pleasure, not a chore. On our trip we followed the coast to the tip and then explored the Estero de Limantour and dunes for a while before heading back to the coast for the walk back. This is a spectacular area but I found the dunes to be an unexpected pleasure.