It was a 7:30 AM departure under sunny skies as we drove the one hour scenic route to Point Reyes to do the five star rated Tomales Point Hike. The drive was so scenic with the multi toned rolling brown hills punctuated with herds of dairy cattle and old scenic farmhouses and barns. The road is a twisty roller coaster in every sense of the term! 20 mph curves are frequent. Occaisional brave cyclists share the narrow macadam road. One passes in and out of shadows and into canyons lined by tall cypress. Point Reyes Peninsula is a preserve about 40 miles NW of San Francisco and sits out in the Pacific where nature works its magic. We hiked 10 miles and did 1600 vertical feet(up and down). The terrain is rolling hill crests covered entirely with endless acres of flowering plants. Mother Nature has used every color in her pallete. I have never been on a hike of such incredible beauty. The backdrop is the pounding blue pacific which melts imperceptively into the blue sky. We walked through forests of lupin as tall as we. The aroma was a sweet scent which filled the air. The songs of meadow birds mingled with the whistle of the wind and the distant roar of the pacific surf. Our senses were keen as we spotted a huge herd of the endangered Tule elk grazing upon the hill just a few hundred yards away. This whole area used to be a dairy ranch at the turn of the century and was famous for its cheese and milk production. The state realized the public value of the area and now owns the land. It is here at the historic Pierce Point Ranch that we hiked the 10 miles on the rolling vegetation covered sand dunes. The vistas of the pacific and the rocks below from the cliff heights were incredible. We finally reached Tomales Point and lay in the grass well spent but satiated as we munched our snacks with the scenic vista of surf pounding the rocks 500 feet below us while gulls soared effortlessly above us. We then retraced our path back to the trailhead. We were exhausted. We spent six hours total on our expedition.

Lunch followed at Point Reyes Station in Point Reyes. I had fabulous Tomales Bay clams,lentil soup and salad. Barb and Nancy had Point Reyes blue cheese burgers. Bill had an oyster Po Boy. A perfect ending to a perfect day.

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