Point Reyes with Em

2006 February 10 to 11

Point Reyes

  • Day 1 - 5.5 miles (not counting side trips to Bass Lake and north of Wildcat Camp)
  • Day 2 - 9.7 miles

Day 1

Due to unusually warm weather Em and I took a day off and headed to the Palomarin Trailhead Friday morning. During the drive over we feasted on a cheese scone, a bialy, x-bread, and coffee from the CheeseBoard; the bialy and x-bread were superb! After stopping at the ranger station to get our permit we headed south to the trailhead, arriving at 11 am and parking next to the only other car in the lot.

Our first stop was at the rope swing at Bass Lake; alas the swing was gone. Instead we found Billy and Eric with a rope trying to fashion a swing but without a means to get it over a branch. We promptly volunteered our roll of dental floss and in no time Billy had tied a rock to the end and thrown it over a branch. The rope was tied to the floss but after hoisting it up a bit the friction became to great and the floss broke leaving a rock suspended from a branch way up in the tree.

Leaving Bass Lake we headed to top of Alamere Falls and had lunch with the entire area to ourselves. Prior to eating Em had wondered aloud how we were going to get down to the beach so I showed her the slot in the cliff just north of the waterfall. Lunch and relaxation was a short affair as the slot made Em nervous and she wanted to get if over with as soon as possible. The descent gave Em the uncontrollable shakes but was otherwise without incident. After viewing the falls from below we headed north along the beach, my favorite part of the entire trip. The tide was low, the beach was wide and pristine, the sky was blue, the sand was easy to walk on, and there was no sign of anyone.

After about a mile on the beach, collecting translucent rocks, we found the path up to Wildcat Camp, found it empty, and set up our tent around 3:30 pm. With the tent up we went back down to the beach and again started walking north. During this trek we found an inflated yellow balloon, gazed at amazing cliffs, found a ribbon waterfall that was at least 3 times higher than Alamere Falls, and discovered a natural arch.

Back at camp we made our usual dinner of chili-mac, found it quite tasty but couldn't quite finish it, then hit the hay.

La la la, we are so happy. This photo was taken with the camera on our new mini tripod!

Stay back fog or Em will give you the old ONE TWO!

One of about 30 "sally-manders" we saw and, on many occasions, almost stepped on.

It was a good day to see Alamere Falls. The weather was perfect (suitable for shorts and tee shirts), the quantity of water was large, and no one was about. The people at the top of the falls showed up while we were climbing down the chute.

My favorite part of this trip was the walk along the beach north of Alamere Falls. Here I have used the mini tripod again to get my favorite shot of the entire trip.

North of Wildcat Camp the cliffs not only tower above you but are a real treat for the eyes with their elaborate layers and folds.

Day 2

We both slept very well and found, upon emerging from our tent, that 3 other groups showed up after we went to bed. Since we were not in a rush I took the fly off of the tent, climbed back in, and we both waited for the sun to come over the ridge before breakfast. When that time came I made oatmeal and hot chocolate at the picnic table at our campsite but we ate it on the bluff overlooking the ocean. Before striking camp we broke out the mini cards, played a game of spite-n-malice, then hit the trail around 10 am.

We could have followed the coastal trails back to the car but instead opted for a walk up to the ridge, mainly through dense forest. It was very nice but I'm a bit spoiled as I at one point remarked to Em that it looked a lot like the trails around my parents house.

A bit after noon we found a great spot for lunch, a grassy knoll bathed in sun overlooking Mud Lake. Not long after lunch, perhaps halfway down the Lake Ranch Trail we encountered a solo hiker with nothing but a 1.5 liter water bottle who asked if he was almost to the falls. As gently as we could, we got him turned around although he refused to look at our map. We made it back to the car around 2:40 pm, having walked pretty much non-stop the entire time but without rushing. Back at home we had dinner at Vick's and spent the remainder of the night watching our current Netflix selections: Roswell and Nero Wolfe. It was a good two days!

Whether you are at here for breakfast (see above) or watching the sunset at dinner (see Point Reyes trip in February of 2004) you will be hard pressed to find a nicer place to eat.

Mini tripod plus 10 second timer plus slow Casey equals action shot! Note the shorts worn over the delicate rain pants.

This was our first game of spite-n-malice while backpacking. Poobie won.

Lovely patches of nettles were everywhere but this one was particularly nice.

Hiking through the forest with sun filtering through the trees is a nice way to spend a Saturday.

A grassy knoll overlooking Mud Lake was a fine spot to eat our lunch.

Back on the Coast Trail, heading south, just north of the Palomarin Trailhead, which is east of the ocean, that is of course to the west of Emily.