Prelude: Point Reyes

This (June 17, 2013) was our first full day (we had arrived the night before) on the trip, and it would be a prelude of what was to come (we would work in San Francisco for a week). What better place to go than Point Reyes then?

It was my third time to Point Reyes, but I will never get tired of going there. How can I ever? Even the drive through the Coastal Ranges gives me thrills.

(Click on each image to see the high-resolution version)

After a brief stop at the Visitors Center, we went to Mount Vision. From the top of the mountain, the Tomales Bay, a stark manifestation of the San Andreas Fault:

Tomales Bay

In fact, if you look at the map or sattelite image of the Point Reyes Pennisular, you can see the entire pennisular is being peeled off, starting from the northwest and diagnonally toward the southeast:

Point Reyes Pennisular and San Andreas Fault
(map curtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

Being a "headland" (meaning jutting out from the mainland to the ocean), Point Reyes is one of the windiest place in the world. The incessant wind blowing from the Pacific sculpted -- and slanted -- the trees in high places, such as the cypress tree shown below. We were at the headland in dense fog, and witnessed how the trees capture the nourishing moisture from it (notice the wet spots on the pavement below the tree).

Cypress at Point Reyes

In some places, such as near the Point Reyes Marconi Station, towering cypress trees formed overarching "tree tunnel":

Tree Tunnel

Near the beach, wildflowers are in full bloom on this late spring day. Most conspicuous are the yellow California Poppies:

California Poppy

Wild animals are abound too -- birds of many species and mule deer.

White-crowned Sparrow

Western Scrub Jay

Mule Deer

Later the fog cleared out a bit, and we looked back at Point Reyes on a stop at North Beach.

Point Reyes from North Beach

But alas, eventually we had to leave. At dusk we stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge to take some night pictures.

Golden Gate Bridge

Golden Gate Bridge

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