The early morning overcast was clearing up very nicely as we headed back down by the side of Tomales Bay (also known as the San Andreas fault) intent on investigating Point Reyes Station. Keeping a careful eye on the rear view mirror so as not to impede faster traffic, I managed to cruise totally silently at about 30 mph on the hybrid Camry’s battery power for several of the very twisting, mostly flat stretches of road. It’s fun to see what you can do provided the road is otherwise deserted and you are not in a hurry.
We called in to a parking area at Nick’s Seafood beside Tomales Bay to let Carol wander around with her camera. I dawdled around the parking lot, again entirely on battery power for some fun but mainly to avoid the $5 parking fee. Cheapskate! When we eventually parked in Point Reyes Station, the car was kind enough to congratulate me on “excellent” fuel economy: about 43 mpg (equivalent to over 50 mpg on an imperial gallon).
Point Reyes Station lies at the southern extremity of Tomales Bay. Apparently, in the days of a former railroad in these parts, it did used to be a station. Now it seems a very pleasant, sometimes sleepy centre for tourism of the Point Reyes National Seashore which includes Drake’s Bay, as in Sir Francis Drake. To quote the literature:
This is thought to be the most likely spot where Drake would have landed on the west coast when he circumnavigated the globe in 1580.
Let’s pretend that the literature knows what it is talking about.
The Point Reyes National Seashore is disconnected from the mainland by the infamous San Andreas fault. The disconnected chunk of land on the west of the fault line is drifting north by approximately 2in/5cm per year. We would have expected that rate of drift to do some interesting things to the roads which cross on to it but, thus far, we haven’t seen any evidence of disruption.
We spent a pleasant two hours or so wandering around looking at the old western-style buildings, eating a spinach, mango and black bean salad for lunch, and buying a walking trail map and guide book in case we started feeling energetic.
Taking a different cross-country route back through some very rural countryside, we stumbled across the Marin French Cheese Company. Being a confirmed, certifiable cheeseaholic, this was like a red rag to a bull so I made a U-turn and stopped. It looks like a good venue for lunch as they have provided a small lake/large pond and some picnic tables in the shade of a few surrounding trees.
During our initial investigation of the grounds, one of the locally plentiful turkey vultures was kind enough to present itself within range of some half-way reasonable shots. Turkey vultures seem to be to California what buzzards are to France; they cruise around all over the place. Their curiosity is that they apparently hunt by smell whereas most raptors hunt by sight.
Wildlife interlude over, we bought a chunk of Marin-made Camembert-shaped Brie before continuing home. (Note: American Brie seems to be shaped like Camembert whereas American Camembert is shaped like Brie. Go figure!)
The Tomales regular late afternoon/early evening fog rolled back in to stop us eating our barbecued rib eye steak out on the deck. The American Camembrie rounded it off quite nicely.