To complete our trip on HWY 1 all the way to San Francisco, we drive out to the coast again. First we quickly visit Dillon Beach, a very small village with little colorful vacation cottages, a huge RV/Camping park and a little store. The village is right at the beach, but today unfortunately hiding in thick fog.
Back on HWY 1 we drive along Tomales Bay. We see lots of Oyster farms in the bay and Oysters are offered in all variations and sold alive everywhere. There is a lot of marshland in the bay – we take a walk through one of them. We see tracks of animal everywhere but don’t actually see that many. On one flower we see a yellow spider eating a humble bee, though.
We then follow a sign to the Reyes Lighthouse. The road first leads back on the other side of the bay and then into the peninsula. We take a detour on Mount Vision Road and end up with a beautiful view over the peninsula and the bay on one side and the fog creeping in from the ocean on the other side. Later we take a walk at one of the beaches. The sea is very wild and a warning sign advises people not to go into the water because of strong currents and undertows (Sog) and sharks!
Eventually, after about 20 miles driving through the beautiful landscape of the peninsula we arrive at the parking lot of the lighthouse. From there we walk the remaining 0.4 miles to find a stair with 308 steps that leads down to the old lighthouse. Down we go!
The Fog Horn is still in action today and is warning the ships of the dangerous cliffs. In the old days this horn was powered by steam. To create enough steam to blow the horn they had to shovel 65 kilos of cole every hour to keep the water boiling – and this sometimes for days! The water was collected from rain and fog in a cistern with a capacity of 200’000 liters next to the lighthouse. The horn today can be heard from about 3 miles away and the light can be seen all the way from the horizon.
As it is already 5:00 pm we head back on the shortest way to Petaluma, one of the oldest cities in California.
Overnight Stay: Americas Best Value Inn, Petaluma, CA