Friday, September 11, 2009

Day trip to the edge of the Earth

Today was a great day.

I like that sentence.

I am trying to live up to my vow to explore the immediate world around me. I am making the effort to seek adventure in my own backyard. I am keeping my camera closer by my side. I am stopping for that picture instead of ignoring it and continuing on the way.

Today was an adventure.

I like that sentence, too.

This weekend, I set out to have one of those adventure. I had a general direction, but not a route, and not a final destination...which is how things in life should be. It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. I knew my day would be long, so I slept the extra hour and arrived at just about noon to pick up my navigator and friend Carrie. We barely made it out of the city limits without being t-boned by a old pickup with probably an even older driver rolling through the intersection, and then, again, almost came to our big-rig induced demise along I-80. Needless to say we took a moment to pray. I prayed to all the gods just in case. I think I prayed to Oprah Winfrey and Tom Cruise too.

After the adrenaline from near death experiences settled, we set off to see a light house and go to the coast, maybe the city. Maybe all of the above. I love California. No...really, I love California. Born and raised, I still am in awe of the vast landscape that is within hours if not minutes from my house.

The Pacific Coast is dotted with lighthouses, with nearly a dozen just in the Bay Area. As we turned from the highway to the back roads through Olema and Inverness, we could feel the temperature drop from the near 90's to a more reasonable mid 70's.

Winding through back country roads over grafitti-art covered bridges with lunch on the brain, our first stop was Point Reyes Station, pop. 370. We parked and set off down 4th St towards the renowned Cowgirl Creamery. Out with the traditional sandwiches and cafe sit-downs, we opted for locally made, organic cheeses, fresh bread, and fruit.

Had I have known what was in store, my guilt at consuming so many carbs wouldn't have been a second thought. Our next pinpoint on the day's map was the Point Reyes Light Station, which is in fact, 21 miles away from the small town of Point Reyes Station. 21 miless of twists and turns through bramble bush dotted hillsides occupied by dairy cows and wild deer. As you appraoch the coast from the inlands, you can see the fog wafting down over the tree tops and over the water of the still clear inlets. Watching the climate change before our eyes was the first clue that adventure was in store. The drive was beautiful and tretcherous all at once. Driving along the coast on the edge of the world is harrowing enough on a clear day when you can see the demise you may be in for, but when there is limited sight in the blanket of fog, it is downright scary. I drove slow. We were in no rush.

Upon arrival, the fog seemed to get a little thicker and there was no hope that we would see much of the water. The cypress tree lined .4 mile hike through the fog and the cold to the lighthouse seemed much longer than .4 miles, but the steady stream of tourists of all ages wearing I Love SF tshirts and Golden Gate Bridge parkas told us we could handle it just fine.

Finally with the last set of stairs to go, covered in sea-mist, damp in humid layers, the firs sight of the lighthouse could be seen about 100 steps down. Water or no water, looking at this building that's stood since the late 1800's, it is an awesome sight to imagine that someone, some living, breathing, daily stair climbing person used to light this thing day in and day out to keep sailors and vessels safe and out of shallow water.

As I trudged back up the 308 steps, huffing and puffing, wishing my lungs not to explode, and my knees to stop shaking, I thought of the fact that 8 years ago exactly, there were thousands of men and women running down flights of stairs to safety, and hundreds of men and women running UP flights of stairs to save others. It made me greatful that I had a day like today to take a daytrip to the edge of the Earth.


  1. i love your writing and your pictures. where are you? it's been two weeks! :)

  2. I've just been busy with stupid, blah, blah. But I have been gathering plenty of material. I just got to get to writing. :)