Skip to main content

Disaster Tourism Trip Part 6; Point Reyes National Seashore and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard

After making my way over the Marin Hills via the Panoramic Highway I was finally within close proximity of Point Reyes which was my big destination for the second day of the Disaster Tourism Trip.


Interestingly while at the end of the Panoramic Highway past the closure of CA 1 in Stinson Beach I snagged a picture of a street blade.  I ended up purchasing an almost identical Panoramic Highway street blade later in 2017.



The community of Stinson Beach dates back to 1866 along the the Pacific Coast and Bolinas Lagoon.  Back when the Mount Tamalpais-Muir Woods Railroad opened in 1896 a stage route between Stinson Beach and Mount Tamalpais was opened.  I believe this stage route eventually became the western segment of the Panoramic Highway.


CA 1 north of Stinson Beach on the eastern edge of the Bolinas Lagoon was actually flooded in various places from heavy rain water. 








In Olema CA 1 enters the the Point Reyes Peninsula and meets the eastern segment of Sir Francis Drake Boulevard which goes all the way eastward to I-580.  Olema apparently has been around since at least the 1850s and might have been the epicenter the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake.






I took a turn on Bear Valley Road to meet the western Sir Francis Drake Boulevard which is used to access the Point Reyes National Seashore.





The western Sir Francis Drake Boulevard swings northwest following the shores of Tomales Bay.  Tomales Bay is generally thought to have been found in 1603 by the Vizcanio Expedition.  The first community encountered on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard is Inverness which has been around since the 1890s.  There is a neighboring community called Seahaven but I don't know much about it.






West of Inverness Sir Francis Drake Boulevard swings inland and enters the Point Reyes National Seashore.  After fording a flooded creek (I took a picture on the way back) I met the shore of Drake's Estero.  Drake's Estero is the likely landing place of the 1579 expedition of the Californian shore by Sir Francis Drake.





Sir Francis Drake Boulevard begins to swing south past Drake's Estero towards Point Reyes.  The road is in rough shape and has several ranches on it.  The views of the hills and ocean landscape are absolutely spectacular as they tend to draw out to wide vistas.


















Approaching Point Reyes Sir Francis Drake Boulevard begins to make a steep westward uphill climb.  The roadway has large sand drifts on it which need to be crossed.





About a half mile from the western tip of Point Reyes the road is closed to through traffic and Sir Francis Drake Boulevard must be walked the final half mile.  There are two overlooks at the parking lot; the Sea Lion overlook to the south and South Beach overlook to the north.






Sir Francis Drake Boulevard ends at the Point Reyes Lighthouse.









The Point Reyes Lighthouse is actually located on a low point at the bottom of a large staircase.  The Point Reyes Lighthouse was built back in 1870 and was automated by 1975 thirteen years after the Point Reyes National Seashore was created.










Heading back on Sir Francis Drake Boulevard to CA 1 had more roadway vistas.






Point Reyes has Tule Elk, all I got was run of the mill deer.






A couple more vistas before hitting Drake's Estero.






Luckily the flood waters had subsided somewhat east of Drake's Estero.  On the way back I could see a clear path through the mud and water unlike when I was heading to Point Reyes.






After reaching CA 1 I headed north towards Point Reyes Station and back eastwards from there inland.








Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Midway Palm and Pine of US Route 99

Along modern day California State Route 99 south of Avenue 11 just outside the City limits of Madera one can find the Midway Palm and Pine in the center median of the freeway.  The Midway Palm and Pine denotes the halfway point between the Mexican Border and Oregon State Line on what was US Route 99.  The Midway Palm is intended to represent Southern California whereas the Midway Pine is intended to represent Northern California.  Pictured above the Midway Palm and Pine can be seen from the northbound lanes of the California State Route 99 Freeway.   The history of the Midway Palm and Pine The true timeframe for when the Midway Palm and Pine (originally a Deadora Cedar Tree) were planted is unknown.  In fact the origin of the Midway Palm and Pine was referenced in California's Gold Episode #608 during which Huell Howser examined numerous points claimed to be the Center of California.  During Episode #608 Huell Howser interviews Caltrans employee Bob Thompson who emphasizes there wa

The Smithtown Bull in Smithtown, New York

  Before I moved to Upstate New York as a young man, I grew up in the Long Island town of Smithtown during the 1980s and 1990s. The recognizable symbol of Smithtown is a bronze statue of a bull named Whisper, located at the junction of NY Route 25 and NY Route 25A near the bridge over the Nissequogue River. Why a bull, you may ask. The bull is a symbol of a legend related to the town's founding in 1665 by Richard "Bull" Smythe, with a modernized name of Richard Smith. It also so happens that there is a story behind the legend, one that involves ancient land right transfers and some modern day roads as well. So the story goes that Smythe made an agreement with a local Indian tribe where Smythe could keep whatever land he circled around in a day's time riding atop his trusty bull. Choosing the longest day of the year for his ride, he set out with his bull Whisper and went about riding around the borders of the Town of Smithtown. As legend has it, Smythe t

Erie Canal: Little Falls and Moss Island

  Little Falls, New York is a small city in the Mohawk Valley that has been shaped by the forces of water throughout its history. Nowhere in Little Falls is that more evident than at Moss Island. Representing the Industrial Age, this is home of Lock 17 the tallest lock along the Erie Canal, but there is also evidence of the Ice Age in the form of 40 foot deep glacial potholes from when there was an ancient waterfall that was even larger than Niagara Falls at this spot, once draining Glacial Lake Iroquois when other outlets (such as the St. Lawrence River) were blocked by retreating glaciers. While Little Falls does not have the amount of industry around the river and canal than it once had, checking out what Moss Island has to offer is a great way to see what the city has to offer. Visiting Moss Island allows you to experience the engineering marvel that is the Erie Canal plus the wonders of nature by taking a hike around the island and seeing the glacial potholes. A