Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Windiest Place on US Pacific Coast

A 2-hour drive from our place is a National Park that is home to the windiest point on the US Pacific Coast. Actually it is a National Seashore called Point Reyes and the windiest point is at the lighthouse. 

The road to the lighthouse is long with changing landscapes all the way.

It is a serpentine road that goes through ranches. We can see cattle here and there.

From the parking lot, the lighthouse visitor center is around a mile's walk away. The trail is on a hill/cliff and passes through a very beautiful landscape. We see the ocean on one side. It's amazing! See how it looks like a painting! No one will believe if I say this photo is real and has not been touched up! :)

The play of sunlight on water... makes it look like  a painting!

If you are lucky, you can spot some elk grazing.

We pass by some cypress trees bent to one side due to the winds from the ocean (probably!)

At the end of the trail is the visitor center and the flight of steps leading to the lighthouse. At the starting of the stairs, was a WARNING notice.

This is my first time to reach a lighthouse by climbing down the steps, I have always climbed up the stairs to reach the top of the lighthouse and never had to climb down

Here is our first glimpse of the lighthouse (Down, extreme right corner)

Here's a better view... But the "light" part of the lighthouse is still obscured from our vision.

Here's the "light"

Finally we reach the last step. Notice the step number 308. It says 308 steps, but the steps are deep. So, actually it is much more than that!

We can also have a look at the actual lens used by the lighthouse. 

This lighthouse was in operation from 1870 to 1975. It has withstood winds recorded up to 133 mph. 

The current lighthouse (which is in operation) is much further down the cliff closer to the water.

Rain or shine the lights must never be left unattended. The fate of ships on this coast was dependent on these lights.

How did I know that this place is the windiest in the US Pacific coast? There is a little museum at the Visitor center which has a lot of information about Point Reyes and the lighthouse. I got the information from there.

The fog signal was located closer to water. But it was relocated next to lighthouse in 1929.

Being a keeper of the lighthouse may be a very lonely job.
Here are some entries in the log during some bad weather days. Poor souls!

Where exactly is this place? Here's where it is on the map.

You can find more information here

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