Small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.

1/21/15

Point Reyes National Seashore, Part 2 (The Beaches!)

If you missed part 1 of our adventures at Point Reyes National Seashore you can read about it HERE. I had to break it into two posts and could easily make a post about each of the beaches we've visited As they are all great beaches.

We visited two beaches at Point Reyes, South Beach and Drakes Beach. South Beach is more of the standard beach that you will find in Northern California. Very long with a wide sandy beach, it is a great place to relax, have a picnic, or play a few games. We spent some time walking the shore and exploring it a few weeks ago. Its one defining feature is the large drop off at the end of the fields right onto the beach.



The height of the drop off varies at different parts on the beach. Sometimes it may be over 15 feet while only a few feet in others. The low spots provide a beautiful window that allow you to see the vast fields of color off into the horizon.



One of my favorite parts of these mini-cliffs are how the drop-off leaves these plants clinging to the edge of their world, seemingly being crowded out by all its relatives with its roots hanging off completely exposed.



Adam has taken up a new love of photographing pelicans so he did just that...



...while Landon ran around like a crazy person kid and had the time of his life. I swear I could leave this kid at a beach for a few hours, run a few errands, and when I came back he would still be playing in the sand, completely unaware of anything else.



Although, I may have joined him at one point in an epic sword fight.



South Beach is great, but it is not in the same league with Drakes Beach which has a little bit of everything. It’s signature white rock cliffs remind me of the White Cliffs of Dover in England (on a smaller scale).



These cliffs curve around in a semicircle and create a visually stunning beach, perfect for a stroll in either direction.



There are also a number of shallow tide pools and moss covered rocks along the beach which are perfect playground for kids.


 

Seriously, look at the fur on these rocks! It’s amazing. I think I’m going to start documenting trees and moss/lichen of Northern California. I could probably make a nice coffee table book when I am done.




Yes, I did pet it and it feels just like a horse. Along the beach, we also found a few crabs and this tiny little sand dollar when playing in the tide pools.



The best part of the beach though is the seals. Say cheese!



Last weekend, we got to witness this large male making his way back to the ocean after laying out all day in the shallow pools. 



It was pretty amazing to be so close. We captured some video of his little journey (It's actually a number of short videos put together). Every time we thought he was done, he was actually just taking a little break. Eventually, he makes it all the way to the water.



Both times we've visited Drake Beach, we've gotten up close and personal with the seals. They seem to give no cares about humans and although they ask that you stay 100 yards away from them (which we did...for the most part...), we saw a number of people taking pictures just a few feet from them. 



In an attempt to be respectful of the animals, we admired them from a distance and all enjoyed the beach in our own little ways. I sat in my new chair, reading all about the Elephant Seals, and learning a ton of neat facts that I was able to share with my boys. My favorite was the fact that the seals can dive a mile deep! Pretty impressive for animals that can also lay out in the sand all day.



Adam of course took more pictures of our beautiful surroundings.



As the sun starts to fade the temperatures quickly drop and that is our cue to start heading home. 



And despite our best attempts, it never fails that Landon gets all wet. We've just resorted to bringing his swimsuit with us no matter what the weather. He's also getting a wetsuit for his birthday so we can all rest assured he wont be getting hypothermia.



On our way out a few weeks ago, Adam stopped at Drakes Estero to grab a few pictures of the sun fading against the beautiful backdrop.  Like all of the coast, this area has beautiful sunsets.



This weekend, I stopped to grad another iconic Point Reyes picture of the tree lined street which appears out of nowhere in the vast expanse of open farmlands.


Each time we've visited Point Reyes, it's gotten better and better. I’m so glad I didn't write it off after my initial visit. There are so many more places along the seashore we still haven’t visited, but even if we don’t go to another new place, I know that these spots are worth visiting different times of year. In the Spring, the whales may be more visible, the baby Elephant seals will be on the beaches alone, and the wild flowers will fill the fields. I'm looking forward to going back then. Right now, I'm still in love with being able to visit a beach in January. 

3 comments:

  1. Wow, gorgeous photos! I love those seals - so cute!
    www.simplysaratravel.com

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    1. Thanks Sara! My husband deserves all the credit for the good ones. I was reading a bit of your blog on my lunch...cannot wait to read more about all your travels. I am especially interested in Iceland!

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  2. That's a huge seal!!! What an experience seeing a seal that close...

    Also, I love the shot with the trees. Pretty cool :)

    www.perksandgrumps.com

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