Pt. Reyes

I know I know- it’s been a long time.  And having watched Julie and Julia last night, I feel even worse to those of you who actually occasionally read my blog.  I feel as though I have let you down.  But should I be that egotistical?  I mean, are you really out there waiting for me to publish something all the time?  Most likely not.  Still, I should be on my game a little better, and dammit I have!  I’ve been photographing and conjuring ideas daily.  I am just a little behind with actually getting it to “press.”  But what are New Year’s resolutions for anyway!  So onwards and upwards for this New Year.
After a fine visit with the family out in FL, several mosquito bites and canoe paddles later, I returned to the Golden State.  Right back into it with a renewed vigor to get out there (and to work off the 5lbs of excess that I accumulated thanks to mom), I headed up to Pt. Reyes a few days ago for an overnight camp.  Crazy that it’s just outside of the greater SF Bay Area.  I was surprised by the diversity of land and how it’s utilized. 
Obtaining my permit for a backcountry site, I hiked up 1.5 miles to Sky Camp to set up the tent, drop the gear, and head back down to the car for a drive.  Heading out to the beach and the fading light, I walked along Drake’s Estero for about an hour.  Scouring the land, gorgeous sea grass flowed back and forth in the wind while the tidal mud popped and bubbled as the water recessed.  Wildlife was abundant, from the sea lions in the surf to the egrets pinning minnows with the lance like beaks.
As the last dregs of light began to settle, I headed back to the car.  Making my way into town, I opted for a burrito at a market just outside if the entrance, where I killed a bit of time before heading back up into the hills.  Reaching my turnout at 8PM, it was truly pitch black.  I slung my photo gear on my shoulders and made my way up the hill and through the darkness.  Oh man, it’s creepy slogging through the hills at night.  I kept an eye on the uphill slope for mountain lions, angry bears, and the possible Orc.  Once at camp, I was a, uh hum… happy camper.
Not sleepy at all, I tried a few photos while doing a bit of light-painting.  I was pretty happy how they came out after just a few tries of exposing for the sky and then splashing some light from my headlamp on my tent.  My oh my the Milky Way is a pretty cool thing!
Up the next morning, fog was the name of the game.  I have never seen such thick pea soup in my life.  Driving out to the lighthouse, I was denied any such photo opportunity due to the dense stuff.  On my way out there I passed by several dairy farms, and one image just stuck with me; I had to get it.  
This cow was just doing its thing, but it was backlit and so spooky with the fog.  I don’t think the images captured the total feeling, but it’s pretty close.  Just imagine weird noises, pumping milk from the utters in the background, 20 knot wind, fog blowing, and creepy halogen lights and you get the picture.  
Needing a second option, I headed to a beach with a small clearing of sky.  Drake’s Beach was totally empty of humans with glassy little waves pulsing in as the morning feeding frenzy was on.  It was a gorgeous beach, and if the wave had just a little more shape, it could have been pretty fun.  Still don’t know if you could get me in the water though, knowing what patrols just offshore.
Cruising around for the rest of the morning I photographed what I could: Whatever presented itself.  I got up-close and personal with a red-tailed hawk and a turkey vulture and gave a scare to a cow or two.
I just tried to get close, but they didn’t seem to like me much! 
After the decision was made to head home a day early due to approaching weather, I took the coast home.  I was lucky enough to pull over and watch the last few minutes of the sun setting.  Man, they just don’t get better than this. 
See you down the road.
Todd              
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