I went the opposite way today - after driving east up into the Sierras yesterday, first thing this morning, after I finished the hotel's free continental breakfast, I got on I-80 and headed west, determined to keep driving until I reach the Pacific Ocean.
Oh, did I mention? I stayed an extra day after the job out here ended to enjoy a little California on my own time.
I-80 takes you to San Francisco, but before I got there I turned off the highway and followed some back roads and worked my way west by northwest until I got to the Cape Reyes National Seashore.
Several folks at the job site this week recommended Point Reyes as a good day-trip destination, and gave me a lot of useful advise about routes, restaurants and bars in the area to check out, etc., but no one told me about the one defining feature that will forever dominate my impression of the Point: the constant, gale-force winds coming off the Pacific. A sign at the ranger station said the winds were 30-40 mph today with gusts of up to 50 mpg. This person was actually not overdressed:
The trail from the observation deck down to the lighthouse was closed today due to the risk of people getting blown right off the trail and into the ocean below. But despite the winds and the risk, several brave souls and I made it to the deck, about a half-mile hike from the parking lot.
Point Reyes is known for the gray whales that swim past on their annual migration from Mexico up to the water of Alaska.
Don't get excited - the picture above is of a mural at the ranger station - here's some old man that stepped in front of the mural to prove it was a fake.
I snapped lots more pics on today's trip, but the upload speeds over the hotel's wi-fi leave a lot to be desired, so expect more in the future. The point of this post is that after a hard week of field work under the hot Sacramento sun, I rewarded myself with a little sight-seeing and a day off before flying back home tomorrow. I would have hated it if the only thing I saw after a full week in California was the ass end of a junkyard and one quick peak up into the Sierras. Life's all about enjoying the journey, so to speak.