On a sunny day, the route to Tomales Point is breathtaking. The roar of the Pacific Ocean crashing against the cliffs. Cool breezes all the way from Japan. Elk the size of stallions grazing on a hillside.
Yesterday wasn’t one of those days. It was foggy, misty, rainy, muddy. Sane hikers stay home and watch football on such days. People like me say "hell, I drove 90 miles, I might as well see what I can see."
Didn’t see much through all the fog and mist beading up on my glasses. But I did experience the joys of hiking four miles in "waterproof" boots so wet the water was sloshing around in them.
This is pretty much what the day looked like, except when the fog was thicker.
I was meeting people from an outdoors club who were leading the hike, but I got there an hour early so I had time to walk down to the ocean. The trail goes down this valley and the ocean’s just beyond.
Saw a few of these large organisms along the way.
A couple people were fishing from the shore off in the distance.
The waves were huge, but I didn’t see any surfers. Just lots of seagulls that took flight as if on cue.
It was an easy walk back up to the parking lot. I had heard there were supposed to be elk around here, so I took a picture of the first antler-looking thing I saw, just in case I didn’t see any attached to large hoofed beasts.
This green stuff grows everywhere. If you stand still for more than 10 minutes it starts attaching itself to your shoes.
OK, so about the actual hike. The Tomales Point Trail goes for five miles to the tip of Tomales Point. The Tomales Bay is on the right; the Pacific Ocean is on the left. The finger of land is perhaps a quarter mile wide and narrows until it runs out of continent. The trail has mild ups and downs, and the ocean’s roar serenades all who pass through.
The prime attraction at this time of year is the herd of Thule elk that have been reintroduced to the point. It’s mating season, which means the biggest, toughest bull elks duke it out (antler it out?) with lesser males for dominance over harems of fetching females. It’s like high school with hooves: the dominant males get all the babes, and the loser types wander the hallways wondering if they’ll ever, well, get any.
The guy with the big horns lords it over his harem.
My hiking companions gaze in wait for a Discovery Channel moment. You know, when the creatures start doing the nasty. No luck this time, though we did see the big bull throw dirt in the air with his antlers. Must’ve been tired of hearing his whole harem bitching about male-dominated patriarchy behind his back.
There’s an overlook about a half-mile from the point. We looked, had a quick lunch and decided to get back to someplace dry as fast as humanly possible.
Chocolate-chip cookies manufactured by elves in a hollow tree were essential fuel for a soggy 4.5-mile dash to the parking lot.