Overnight the sky had dropped and waking in Yosemite was to wake in a different world. The sheer walls were robbed their grandeur by a low lying grey cloud cover. Clothes are packed, rain jackets donned, and the car loaded up. We drive to the West, to the sun, and not to stop until an ocean forces us North.
We emerge from the clouds, shake the raindroplets off our jackets, blink in the sunlight. We find Highway 1 and head up to Muir Woods, a quiet and tucked away grove of giant sequoias. In the hushed woods we tread as lightly as hiking boots allow along the wooden boardwalk between soaring trees, splattering of clover, and a persistent and burbling stream. The sun is setting and the muted dark of the woods begins to deepen. We find our way back and again to Highway 1, searching for the sunset on a short expanse of beach.
The Pacific gleams in the setting sun as the waves do their best to jewel the sun. The rocky coast is battered and we leave before the sand loses it’s sheen.
We wake to the threat of rain, the clouds crowd around Stinson Beach in eager anticipation, though their restraint is admirably as they hardly do more than swirl around looking formidable. We leave Stinson to again head north to Point Reyes National Seashore.
And it is here that we become the only humans on earth. For a time at least. The roads wind through wind-swept and cow spotted landscapes. It is a rugged and tough land. A land that is pounded on either side by waves. A land that lays low to shelter itself from the wind. And we arrive at the outermost point to find a squat lighthouse deep at the bottom of a hill. Thrust into the ocean and wind and forever willing to send out it’s signal. Saying, “I am here.” Saying, “I will protect you.”
More photos of California (and beyond) can be found here.