Point Reyes Hiking

So I am quite aware that I have not been posting quite as frequent as I should. Things have been somewhat busy, and this is perhaps the only opportunity I will have to actually update my blog before finals. I’ll probably save the academic post for it’s own dedicated post, after finals so I can take my time. After exams, I also hope to have quick blog updates of my travels with my family around California and Nevada. For now however I really want to share my experience hiking at Point Reyes National Seashore with the Davis Hiking Club. This was such an amazing experience and convinced me to hiking more often.

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Arrival at Bear Valley meets us with low clouds rolling through the trees.

Arrival saw us at Bear Valley car park (parking lot for the Yanks reading), in a foggy forest. The fog was visible for a good portion of the drive through the hills, making the hills feel very ominous, but extremely beautiful. As we set off hiking, the hills were still going in and out of cloud coverage, and as we ascended Mt Wittenberg, we eventually ascenced into the cloud. This made for some quite enchanting scenes, that one would unlikely wish to be alone in. But another side of me kind of wished to be isolated in this forest, and just completely detach from civilisation. I’m sure that this feeling would not have lasted long, before becoming increasingly concerned for my safetly. Either way I was loving it.

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Makes me feel like we’re wakling through a rainforest.

The ascent was quite amenable to me, although I’m sure that’s due to approaching crags and rock faces with steep approaches. Still it allowed me to enjoy the surroundings more and take photos every so often,  catch up with friends and make new ones. The trail is ideal like this, with ascent for about 2 miles, and then a steady descent to the shoreline and then flat back to the cars. Once at the summit, cloud was all around us, in a complete whitewash. Only the nearest trees could be seen before quickly dissapating into white. Somewhat underwhelming if you were hoping for a fantastic vernanda, but special in its own way.

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Summit group!

The descent now began, and is a gentle slop down to the shore, and this is where the hike really came into its own. The forest became a mystical place that felt completely at home in a fictional novel by the likes of Tolkien or Rowling. Stripped trees steadily fade into white, the monolithic redwoods creating a tall canopy. I felt humbled to be trespassing on this alcove of nature, which seems completely alien to the Californian landscape.

The fog was steadily clearing as we descended and the day went on. By the time we had a view of the coast, the fog was completely gone, and we had clear views all around. We continued out steady descent over rolling hills, the forest to our back and sea to our front. We appeared to have hit particularly lucky, as there were whales just off the shore, surfacing regularly. It was my first time seeing a whale, and it was a very cool experience. Now I need to see one up close, not from near enough a mile away.

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Thar she blows!

We continued along the shoreline heading southwards towards the cars, and just enjoying the coastal scenery. This was a good time for conversing, because the paths were wide for large stretches, allowing 2-3 abreast. This was a great part of the hike, being able to meet new people in a fantastic biome of wildlife.

As we were on the final stretch of the hike, at mile 13 or so, we walked alongside a river, which provides water to a dense jungle of trees and ferns, giving way to some fantastic creations. It challenged what I thought could exist in California, let alone in a location 30 minutes from San Francisco. Point Reyes is definitely a place to visit and explore, I would say most importantly for the residents to realise the diversity of the state wildlife.

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