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Point Reyes: the Estero Trail

Point Reyes Estero Trail: Home Bay

As I write this, I am downloading camera RAW images that I took along the Estero Trail (PDF) today at Point Reyes. After I download all of the images (a little more than 2 GB), I will download waypoints that I saved in my Garmin Legend “ruggedized” GPS unit. I will then be able to bring up waypoints at which I took photographs, on a calibrated USGS (United States Geological Survey) map of the area, as I described earlier in the entry “Photography and GPS.”

I’ll start the story at the Point Reyes Visitor Center, where a very helpful lady ranger made sure that I had the necessary literature and did not overstep my bounds with regard to photography at the National Seashore. I thanked her kindly and gave her a couple of business cards. It was after 1 PM, and I had not eaten all day, so I stopped in Inverness Park at Perry’s Deli (and Grocery) for a pastrami sandwhich on some delicious bread, and a Coke to go! When I reached the parking lot for the Estero Trail, I dropped the tailgate of my Toyota T100 pickup truck and had my own personal tailgate party. The pastrami sandwich (pepperoncini peppers added) was delicious (not an endorsement of Perry’s Deli, although I would if I could). :-) The parking lot of the staging area also has two unisex restrooms (good to know).

The hike along the Estero Trail takes you across high meadows, through a pine forest, and across Home Bay on a wooden bridge. The trail ascends the other side of Home Bay to a part of the trail with wonderful views of Home Bay of Drakes Estero. For those of you who are not familiar with the story…there is a legend that Sir Francis Drake, who was an English privateer (sort of an explorer/pirate with an official “license to kill“), :-) once put ashore at Point Reyes in Drakes Bay for repairs. Also, on this “high ground,” I photographed kayakers exploring Drakes Estero and large birds riding the air currents.

I exchanged greetings with another lady ranger who was patrolling the trail on a mountain bike. After ascending the other side and hiking awhile longer. I photographed a gnarled old tree that looked as though it was sustaining its own ecosystem, by the number of holes in the ground beneath it and the number of fallen seeds. At this point, I decided to turn around, re-shoot a couple of places (just in case) and head back to the parking lot. It was 4:20 PM.

On the way back, I encountered: a group of quail on the trail, a couple of rabbits, and a mother deer and her fawn. I alerted a couple of other hikers to the deer, and then walked with them to attempt more photographs from the trail. The doe kept grazing as though unconcerned with all of the attention. Afterward, I hiked back to my truck and prepared for the ride home.

Today is a “transitional” day in my part of California. The coast was foggy, and I deliberately delayed my start time to give the fog a chance to burn off. The week will be progressively warmer. The roads that I took to (Lucas Valley) and from (Sir Francis Drake) Point Reyes were both wonderfully scenic, as were the little towns of Inverness (portions of the John Carpenter film “The Fog” and most of his film “Village of the Damned” were shot in and around Inverness) and Olema (population 55; elevation 60 feet above sea level). On the way home from Olema, I was followed by a motorcyclist on a BMW with a surfboard mounted on the right side. Yes, many of us “go for the gusto.”

I am eager to see the photos from today, and I am eager to plot the waypoints to see EXACTLY where I was when I took the shots. I will update this blog entry with links to photos, after the post-processing of the camera RAW images. (Done.)

-Bill at Cheshire Cat Photo™

You can view higher-resolution photos (*generally* 7-30 megabytes, compressed) at the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Pro Gallery on Shutterfly™, where you can also order prints and gifts decorated with the photos of your choice from the gallery. Apparel and other gifts decorated with some of our most popular photos can be ordered from the Cheshire Cat Photo™ Store on CafePress®. Both Shutterfly™ and CafePress® ship to most international locations worldwide! If you don’t see what you want or would like to receive an email when new photos are up on the site, send us an email at


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