Monday, August 22, 2005

Hiking at Point Reyes Seashore

Point Reyes Seashore in California is an awesome place to trek. I'd been there last weekend, but didn't have time to post the pictures and write-up here because Independence Day took up both my mind and blogspace.

This trek was truly wonderful and very different from most treks I'd been to.During the first part of the trek, it was extremely foggy - it was hard to see even a few meters ahead at times, making it difficult to navigate slopes either upward or down. Probably because the whole forest there stays so foggy though, a lot of the trees are without leaves on their branches, and some of the tallest ones only had branches at the very top. Combined with the fog, this generated a near dream-like effect in that area, something I had not experienced before. Occasionally I was reminded of the area filmed as Lothlorien in the Lord of the Rings. At other times, the twisted and slightly dark and swampy nature of the environment was reminiscent of Dagobah in Star Wars Episode V.


As we started downwards from the hill slopes toward the coast, we saw huge spider-webs dripping with moisture, another new sight for me. It took me a few tries to get this photograph with my only-automatic zoom camera, but finally I did manage a decent shot.


Getting to the coast meant hiking along hilly paths that were basically kissing the shore. Panoramic views on both sides showed the sea for miles on end - it was still cloudy but the fog had cleared up enough to have a good view.


Of course, the main attraction of Point Reyes is Arch Rock - a cliff jutting into the sea which gives a spectacular view of the seashore directly below.


All day's photos are here. The whole thing was quite strenuous - 15 miles of trekking in about six hours - but yet left the mind wonderfully refreshed by a whole day of beautiful views and closeness to Nature. After coming to California, I'm starting to get addicted to these nature treks a lot. Today I did not go anywhere, but by evening I was pretty restless and went for a walk around Lake Lagunita in Stanford, a short trail of a mile or so just behind my hostel. Somehow no book, music or other entertainment can quite match the pleasure that pure nature lends.