On December 29, Jim and I decided to drive over to Point Reyes Lighthouse and see if we could see any whales. It was a mild sunny day, the Friday before New Year’s, and he thought there might be a smaller crowd than on the actual weekend, when we’d have to park well away and ride a shuttle bus in.
We drove over in the late morning and were stunned to find very light traffic – on Interstate 80, on 580 over the Richmond Bridge, and almost no traffic at all on Lucas Valley Road, which we took out to Highway 1. We planned to have lunch in Point Reyes Station. As we got to Highway 1, we saw the first serious traffic of the day – apparently everyone else was going to Point Reyes Station too. We parked and started to look for a restaurant, and were stopped by an older woman who was standing on the corner marveling at the crowds. “I’ve never seen so many people here,” she said. She then turned to us and asked, “What are you two doing here?” We laughed and said we were on our way to Point Reyes. She wasn’t hostile, merely amazed; we chatted briefly and she recommended a restaurant. Point Reyes Station is a very small town.
After lunch we drove on out to Point Reyes. If you’ve never done it, it’s a long drive, through farm country – you do the entire trip on Sir Francis Drake Blvd West, turning off Highway 1. The directions on the park site say turn off Highway 1 onto Bear Valley Road, but that shortly becomes Sir Francis Drake West. At several points the road ran through the inhabited areas of local ranches; once we had to stop and wait until the cattle finished crossing the road. It’s very beautiful and very far from anywhere else.