Our first sightseeing day in this area!

Our first stop was west of Novato at The Cheese Factory in Petaluma. They are the oldest cheese factory in the US and were founded in 1865 (when Lincoln was in office!). They specialize in soft ripening cheeses, such as Brie and Camembert, producing 35 different cheese. According to their website, they offer tours sever days a week. But they told us that they only do tours Monday-Wednesday. So no tour, but we did sample a few of their cheeses, Very Good!

From there we headed to Point Reyes National Seashore, with our first stop at their visitor center. We talked to one of the rangers, picked up a park map, and were on our way to Limantour Beach.

This beach is in Drakes Bay, so the waves aren’t bad. It’s also a very clean beach, not a lot of debris washed up.

Next, we drove to the Point Reyes Lighthouse. On the way, we passed many diary farms in existence since the mid 1800’s. It seems so strange to think of cows being so close to the ocean. We’re also not used to the green rolling hills. Our beaches back east aren’t like this.

It was a 1/2 mile walk from the parking lot to the lighthouse visitor center.

The 300 steps down to the lighthouse were closed. They close the stairs whenever winds exceed 40mph. They’re certainly above that today 🙁 Very strong onshore winds.

The shape of the trees tell us that this isn’t uncommon.

The plants/flowers growing on this point make for such nice scenery overlooking the Pacific, hundreds of feet below. What a neat rocky shoreline.

We could just barely see Sea Lions as small dots in the waters below, so we drove about a mile down the road to the Sea Lion Overlook. As we pulled up, we caught sight of a few “Black Tail Deer”. We got a few pictures before they wandered off.

We walked down to the overlook and could now see the sea lions as large dots, instead of small dots 🙂 We were hoping to be closer, but this will have to do.

We drove east a bit, parked the car and then walked to the Elephant Seal Overlook. We could hear them long before we ever saw them.

We could see these much better than the sea lions.

They mostly looked like dead seals lining the beach, LOL, but we did see them moving around, as well as some swimming in the bay.

So many new animals seen in one day, as well as the Pacific Ocean (which we’re going to ‘touch’ next).

To do this, we drove to Point Reyes Beach South.

We’re now in the direct path of the high onshore winds. VERY windy! And very BIG waves. When you’re right up to the water, the waves seem many stories high and stacked one on top of another. Anyone going out in these conditions would surely drown. But it was great to see, smell, taste, feel, and hear! Now if we could just find some blue crabs out here, LOL!

That not being an option, we left the National Seashore and headed north to Tomales Bay Oyster Company. We picked up two dozen ‘medium’ sized oysters and headed back toward home. We made another quick stop at The Cheese Factory and bought some of their “Triple Creme Brie”.

Once home, we kicked back for a bit before firing up the grill to cook the oysters. That, combined with a bit of Tabasco sauce and a salad on the side made for a nice end to a great day!