Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Drive up the Coast, part 3: North to the Redwoods!

As much as we wanted to stay in lovely Carmel Valley, we needed to time our travel so that we'd be able to secure a campsite over the Fourth of July weekend.  We pulled up out stakes, had one last breakfast of chocolate and almond pastries, and headed North.

Somewhere along Coastal Highway 1, I wrote: 'Miles and miles of crops', and I know I sighed, “I just love California”. 

No, in all that dreamy sighing, I didn't think to stop to take photos of all that farmland.


We stopped to take photos of Pigeon Point Lighthouse, just south of Pescadero, California, then drove up to the lighthouse and stopped to walk around and take more photos.



From the California State Parks website:
Perched on a cliff on the central California coast, 50 miles south of San Francisco, the 115-foot Pigeon Point Lighthouse, one of the tallest lighthouses in America, has been guiding mariners since 1872. Its five-wick lard oil lamp, and first-order Fresnel lens, comprised of 1,008 prisms, was first lit at sunset, November 15, 1872. The lens stands 16 feet tall, 6 feet in diameter, and weighs 8,000 pounds. It sits in a lantern room that had been constructed at the Lighthouse Service's general depot in New York before being shipped around the Horn. Although the original Fresnel lens is no longer in use, the lighthouse is still an active U.S. Coast Guard aid to navigation using a 24 inch Aero Beacon.


The lighthouse is currently closed to the public, but the grounds remain open.

The lighthouse keeper's housing is restored and operated as a Hostel.

We meandered along the boardwalk and breathed in deeply of the ocean air and peace.

Back on the road, our goal was to get past San Francisco and into redwood country.

We stopped at the Golden Gate Bridge and exclaimed, “Fog! Ha! What are the chances?!?!”
WandJ at GoldenGateBridge

We drove and drove and drove, and finally stopped at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area in Leggett, CA and secured a campsite. Sure enough, the park brochure proclaimed this as “the Gateway to California's Redwood Country”...