Friday, October 14, 2011

Day 105: Point Reyes National Seashore, California

Our new friend, Karen, that we met at Mount St Helens (more about her soon...), suggested that we check out Point Reyes (as well as getting oysters at Tomales, see previous blog) so we went.

The views were breathtaking!  Finally, sunshine!

Unfortunately swimming wasn't an option.

So, we checked out another lighthouse!  We went to Italy about 10 years ago and we dubbed that trip Duomo Tour 2000, because we saw so many cathedrals.  This trip is quickly turning into Lighthouse Tour 2011!

I pity the poor lighthouse keepers that had to descend and climb these stairs daily.  According to their log entries some went insane from the stress and lonliness of maintaining the light house.

Manufactured in France in 1867, the light has been restored beautifully.  We heard a presentation by a Ranger that was very interesting.  The mechanism is basically clockwork to rotate the light.  All lighthouses have a "signature", meaning that the light blinks with a specific frequency so that ships know what stretch of coastline they're on.  The specific timing of the light is on the charts that captains use.

Looking up into the "Fresnel" lense, named for the inventor.  The lense includes 1032 hand ground and polished prisms to focus the light.  Before being retrofitted with an electric light it burned oil (actually lard) that the lighthouse keeper had to haul down the long flight of stairs!

Polished brass reflects like a mirror.

The long climb back to the top...

The other thing Point Reyes is famous for is being the epicenter of the 1906 quake that destroyed San Francisco.  This is where the San Andreas fault runs thru the park.  The left part of this fence slid 16 feet north during the quake!

Next: Berkeley, CA!

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