Northwest by North, Day 6: Lively Elk and A Dead Camera

Tuesday was one of those days when I had to make choices of elimination.  I could not get an Internet connection at the Abalone Inn on Tuesday morning, so I got packed up and went on with my day.

The itinerary called for spending the greater part of the day at Point Reyes, then going to the Heirloom Exposition at Sonoma County Fairgrounds, in Santa Rosa.  I found I was able to visit Tomales Bay State Park, Abbott’s Lagoon, Mc Clure Beach and Pierce Ranch, all on the northern side of Point Reyes National Seashore.  At Pierce Ranch, the battery went dead on my camera.  That killed going to Point Reyes itself; besides, it was getting past 1 PM and I had to consider traffic coming back to Santa Rosa from the Bay Area.

What I got from the day, though, was a greeting from a bull elk, high on a ridge, as I was in the canyon below, heading down to McClure Beach.  He bugled and whistled, several times, and stood watching, intently, as I kept on my way along the trail.

My buddy, the Bull Elk of McClure Ridge
McClure Beach
Heart’s Desire Beach, Tomales Bay

I also got a good introduction to some of the plants of Point Reyes, and how they were used by the Miwok people.  Here are three views along the trail from Heart’s Desire Beach to Indian Beach, in Tomales Bay State Park.

The trail shows how the Miwok used various plants found near the beach, for food, medicine and fabric.  An example would be the mountain blackberry, which has leaves similar to poison oak, but a rough-surfaced stem, as opposed to the toxic plant’s smooth stem.

Here are a scene of Indian Beach, and one of Miwok traditional housing.

Lunch was a new twist on clam chowder, Tomales Bay clam chowder, which has crisp bacon and a lemon-tinged broth, followed by dungeness crab cakes and a slice of Wild Huckleberry Upside-down Cake.   This got me through the rest of the day, and was served up at Nick’s Cove Restaurant, in the shoreline village of Marshall, northeast of Point Reyes.  I’m glad I opted to stay inside. A few others who went on the patio were being pestered by bees.  This seems to be a rather widespread issue along the northern California coast right now.  At any rate, my waitress brightened up, once she didn’t have to deal with the bees herself, as the outside guests came back in on their own.

I spent about forty minutes yesterday afternoon, at the Heirloom Festival, in Santa Rosa.  I got a couple of videos regarding soil and food production, from a natural foods perspective.  I also enjoyed speaking with various heirloom seed producers from northern California.  We have an heirloom seed distributor near my home.  He lives in Chino Valley, AZ.

I found few other campers, upon settling in for the night, at Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area, the southernmost park along the Redwoods Highway, between Santa Rosa and Crescent City.  A bonus was that I got to charge my camera battery, in the men’s restroom.

It was a fine end to a topsy-turvy day.

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