California is not all fun in the sun

Out here in Sonoma County we get a fair amount of fog. In fact all week it was overcast and gray until the sun broke through for a few hours in the late afternoons. Of course Saturday was gorgeous, but I was more interested in working on my random image blog plugin than actually getting outdoors.

Thankfully Mark and Monica scooped me up that night and took me to a cookout with their friends and family in Graton (a town smaller than Sebastopol and a bit further north). I had the loveliest time out by their homemade (I should say home-welded) firepit, eating, talking, and watching the stars. It’s worth noting that my marshmallow roasting technique is unstoppable. Or so I was told.

So this morning I was eager to get out before sunset, given that I was treated again to sun and blue sky through my bedroom window. Santa Rosa is about 40 minutes from Bodega Bay (the closest ocean access) and an hour or so from Tomales Bay (between the mainland and Point Reyes). I decided it was time to take advantage.

map of Point Reyes National Seashore

So I called up a kayaking company and got the lowdown (they only rent open face kayaks until you’ve taken their class), signed up for the class next weekend, and got Marcia on board for a kayaking adventure on Tomales Bay this afternoon. We got there about noon, they supplied the kayak and wetsuits, a few pointers, and we were off.

Kayaks on the shore of Tomales Bay

Kayaking is always harder and less comfortable than I remember, probably because I’m not used to locomoting with my arms. I’m pretty sure the last time I was out in a kayak was the Outward Bound trip I took in Maine four years ago. But after a while I got into a groove, and it seemed like the most natural thing. We spent about two hours on the water, did a little exploring of a coastal cliff area, and ate the excellent sandwiches we’d picked up at Perry’s Deli in Inverness Park.

Not wanting to limit our adverture to upper body exertion only, we took the drive out to the Point Reyes Lighthouse with hopes that we might get a good view with the sun still out. The lighthouse is perched low on a cliff (to get below the fog) which requires a 300 step (or 30 story) descent in order to reach. Though no longer operational, it’s really quite something to see.

the Point Reyes Lighthouse

Of course what comes down must go back up. All 302 steps up.

Steps leading up from the Point Reyes Lighthouse