Pt Reyes Lighthouse

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

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Michael and I head to west Marin for a club ride out to Pt Reyes Lighthouse; it’s whale migration time so there are some possibility of some sightings today. I even have a small pair of binoculars in my rear pack.

The ride begins at the Bear Valley Visitor Center parking lot near the Earthquake Trail.

The 1.7 miles along Bear Valley Rd to Sir Francis Drake Blvd begins with a very short climb followed by a nice quiet stretch of flat terrain to the turn at Sir Francis Drake Blvd.

Sir Francis Drake Blvd runs north along Tomales Bay to Inverness.

The climb out of Inverness towards Pt Reyes National Seashore begins at the intersection with Camino Del Mar; it’s less than a mile with gradient ranges of 8-11%.

At the bottom of the descent at the Y intersection, we continue left to stay on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. The flat terrain on this road goes along a creek that flows out to Schooner Bay at Drakes Estereo.

The road winds along the bay pass Historic G Ranch, circa 1869.

The short pitch up from the ranch takes you out to the open grasslands and coastal scrubs out to Bull Point Trailhead.

The road continues with a series of climbs and descents towards the Historic E Ranch. The thick fog doesn’t deter the dairy cows from grazing throughout the open pastoral lands.

The road winds up, down and around to Historic C Ranch; watch out for the cattle guards-they’re a bit slippery! Sir Francis Drake descends quickly towards the stock pond followed by a bumpy stretch over the cattle guards to the Historic B Ranch.

Passing through B Ranch, you’ll see small white plastic veal calf shelters; it’s used to restrict the movement of the calf to either lie down or stand. This wouldn’t happen if there wasn’t a demand for veal.

It looks like the fog is clearing up a bit; we can see the ocean and some blue skies!

The road continues pass the ranch to a steep 9-11% climb; the views from the top are spectacular! Once we reach the other side, I have to take off my sunglasses-I can’t see through the thick fog!

The road goes along the top of the ridge followed by another steep climb up towards the lighthouse parking lot.

The lighthouse is totally socked in with dense fog; there may be whales out there but we certainly can’t see them!

On the return run back to Inverness, I have to keep my sunglass off; the fog has rolled in with a vengeance! The winds have picked up nicely too, giving us a tailwind for the last few miles out of the National Seashore area.

A stop at the Blackbird Café in Inverness is a warm welcome for all; they serve hot and cold drinks, pastries from The Bovine Bakery, soups, sandwiches and other food items.

From the café, it’s about 5 miles back to the Bear Valley Visitor Center.

This is one of my favorite rides regardless of the weather; the beautiful remote area around the Pt Reyes National Seashore offers long stretches of road with no end in sight and minimal to no traffic! You also get to see the historic structures from the farm houses, old barns and working creameries to the lighthouse itself. It’s a wonderful place to ride!

Thanks to Deb & Margie for leading!

Garmin Stats:
42.26 Miles with 3478′ of elevation gain
Max elevation: 543′
Max grade: 11%
Terrain: Moderately Hilly

Weather: COLD-Foggy with overcast skies. Temps ranged from the mid 40’s to the low 50’s with NW winds and 82% humidity.

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Follow this route for today’s ride:

One Comment

  1. Nancy, Just love your tours, Please keep me on your e-mail list, Three more months of winter here. [sigh] Best wishes, Michael and Maydene.

    Michael & Maydene, Thanks for following this blog-it’s much appreciated! Happy New Year! Nancy


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