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Life and Times of an itinerant slacker in Sacramento. Thrills, Spills Galore coming soon. Not to mention lots of opinions.

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Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Tomales Point, A Real Hot Tamale

Fortunately, our Labor Day hike to Tomales Point was only a mildly warm tamale.

Tomales point juts out the north end of Point Reyes National Seashore.

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You can manipulate this map to see the entire hike, which goes from where the road ends at an old complex of ranch buildings to the tip of the point. Sometimes I love the modern world. You can zoom in and out to see the terrain. For the geologically motivated, Tomales Point is where the San Andreas Fault leaves the continent.

We wanted to take a longish hike with lots of ups and downs before we hit the Sierras again. We took this hike several years ago in the spring. I recommend this hike for spring and not fall, since most of the walk is surrounded by gigantic wild lupine bushes. Yes, I remember the critical role of lupines in British literature.

Vegetation was brown for the most part. We saw a few cool looking plants. I don't know how these flowers find water when the neighboring plants go brown (in California,we call that Golden).

These beautiful Lilies were standing alone in a field of brown.

This weird and several similar plant were scattered around the area.

What's a hike in California with out a poppy or two?

Tomales Point is home top a large herd of Elks, which is as well as herd of large Elks. One of the stage was kind enough to give us his million-dollar pose. Something about this Elk reminded me of Barbie's Ken.

The last two miles before the point were pretty difficult. The slopes were not as steep as the first half of the trail, but everything was overgrown with lupine bushes. The entire peninsula was full of Elk trails. Most of the last two miles was a bushwhack.

When you see something like this,which way do you go? A note to hikers - try to follow the ridge. When in doubt, veer East.

We stopped for lunch at the point. We could see lots of fishing boats on both sides of the point. The waters around Tomales Point are renowned for Great White Sharks. Good fishing, bad swimming. We were always hundreds of feet above the water. i opccasional scanned the western horizon, since this has been a great year for blue whale sightings. I guess the whales have been hanging around Monterey Bay to the south.

On both our visits, we were able to find a private perch to enjoy lunch and the view. I think the overgrown trail and the length of the walk prevents the point from getting crowded. This is a typical lunchtime view.

The hike back seemed a little bit like a chore. It was a warmish afternoon, with no clouds, no real fog and temperatures near eighty degrees. I got sunburned. K took this picture in front of very cool windswept trees. The trees are about one-half mile behind me. We had to go up and across the hill behind the trees to finish the walk.

We stopped at Marin French Cheese Company on the way home. They have a picnic area surrounding a pond and great cheese shop by their factory near Point Reyes. My favorite product is Schloss, a cheese I can only describe as a more pungent and smoother Limburger cheese. I had a sample of Schloss, but we bought lots of brie and Camembert. They offered 10 half-pound rounds for $20. Now we need to figure out how to dispose of all that mild, creamy cheese.

We took a different route home, since Rt 37 was a disaster (long causeway and traffic not moving). We drove through Napa and Sonoma Counties. It was pretty pleasant. We got home feeling pretty tired, so we had bread and cheese for dinner.

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

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