Muir Woods National Monument, Stinson Beach, & Point Reyes National Seashore
Day Sixty Three. Continued north to spend the morning in Muir Woods National Monument, then further on to Stinson Beach and Point Reyes National Seashore to see the Point Reyes Lighthouse. Muir Woods, as always, failed to disappoint. The size of the ancient Redwoods is simply awe inspiring. There are quite a few of them with charred ash still very present on their bark. I was wondering if they did controlled burns in the forest, but after talking to a park ranger, it turns out that the scars are from natural fires two to three hundred years ago. Walking through this forest really is like stepping into a time machine. If I try hard enough (oh, who am I kidding? It takes almost no effort at all) I can imagine dinosaurs walking through the mighty Redwoods :). Being there in the early morning provided for a couple really nice instance of the sun beams coming through the canopy of leaves. It took me (more than) a few exposure to figure out how to shoot them properly. I had to trick the light meter into exposing the image how I wanted it. The best results were achieved when overexposed by four to five stops. Stinson Beach was beautiful and I wanted to go play in the water until I reminded myself that 50 degree water is not friendly. Point Reyes National Seashore literally took my breath away. It is, by far, the straightest beach I've ever seen. The straight line of the beach literally went off to the vanishing point on the horizon. I almost couldn't believe what I was seeing, given how craggy the rest of the California coastline is. The lighthouse was cool ... from a distance ... we got there just as they were closing the walkway to get down to it :(. Oh well. Spending more time in Muir Woods was definitely worth not getting to go in the lighthouse. The rock around the lighthouse was interesting though. It's a sort of soft rock that almost looks more like hardened sand than real stone. It reminded me of the rock at Point Lobos. To finish off the day, we hiked around to the point on the inland side of the seashore, where a raft of sea lions were enjoying an afternoon siesta on the beach :). Also got to see a whale! But he was way too far away to capture anything worthwhile. Probably would have needed 800mm+ to get close enough, but I have neither the $12,000 to buy it nor the personal assistant to carry it around for me. There's no way I'd hike around with an 800mm lens hanging off the front of my D800 ;).