- Point Reyes
Point Reyes is a prominent cape on the Pacific coast of northern
California. It is located in Marin County approximately 30 mi (48 km) WNW of San Francisco. The term is often applied to the Point Reyes Peninsula, the region bounded by Tomales Bayon the northeast and Bolinas Lagoonon the southeast. The headland is protected as part of Point Reyes National Seashore.
Point Reyes was originally named "Punto de los Reyes" ("Kings' Point") by the Spanish explorer
Sebastian Vizcainoas his ship, the "Capitana" anchored in Drake's Bayon the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany, or the end of the 12 Days of Christmas) on January 6, 1603. [ [http://www.ptreyeslight.com/stories/jan09_03/400_anniversary.html Point Reyes' name now 400 years old ] ]
The entire Point Reyes Peninsula is a piece of the
Salinian Blocktransported northward by the San Andreas Fault. Its core is granite, unlike the terrain east of Tomales Bay. The San Andreas Fault runs directly under Tomales Bay.
The cape protects
Drakes Bayon its southern side. The headland is largely drained by Drakes Estero. Inverness Ridge runs along the peninsula's northwest-southeast spine, with forested peaks around 430 meters (1,400 feet). West of the ridge, the land flattens out and the vegetation turns to scrub. The Mount Vision firein 1995 burned part of Inverness Ridge.
Point Reyes lends its name to the town of
Point Reyes Station, California.
Recreation and history
The peninsula is a popular recreational destination for the nearby
San Francisco Bay Area, especially for hikingon its many trails and sea kayaking the shores of Tomales Bay and the coast.
Vegetation native to Point Reyes includes
Bishop pine, Douglas-fir, coyote brush, monkeyflower, poison oak, California blackberry, salaland coast redwood, among others.
Cold War, submarines repaired at Mare Island Naval Shipyardwere tested in the shallow waters off Point Reyes following shipyard repairs. Navy safety personnel used a small monitoring and communications hut on the peninsula for monitoring submarines during these sea trials.
U.S. Weather Bureau(now the National Weather Service) maintained a cooperative weather station in the Point Reyes lighthouse from 1914 to 1943. Based on those records, average January temperatures ranged from 45.1°F to 54.1°F and average September temperatures ranged from 51.7°F to 61.0°F. The highest temperature recorded was 90°F (32°C) on October 3, 1917, and the lowest temperature recorded was 31°F (-1°C) on January 19, 1922. Annual precipitation averaged 17.05 inches. The wettest year on record was 1941 with 31.37 inches and the dryest year was 1923 was 7.32 inches. The most precipitation in one month was 9.51 inches in December 1916. The maximum 24-hour precipitation was 2.65 inches on December 15, 1929. [ [http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/summary/Climsmcca.html Central California ] ]
It can get very foggy and windy during certain parts of the year at the lighthouse, where visibility is so slim that one cannot even view the lighthouse from the top of the approximately 300 steps necessary to walk down to reach it.
The lighthouse serves a great purpose in such a foggy area, as there is no beach to wash up on; it is on a rocky cliff. Day or night, the light may be the only thing visible to ships.
Point Reyes Lighthousewas used in the John Carpenterfilm " The Fog" (as the radio station for Antonio Bay).
* [http://www.nps.gov/pore National Park Service site on Point Reyes National Seashore]
* [http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/WebCams/parks/porecam/porecam.cfm Point Reyes Webcams]
* [http://pointreyes.net Point Reyes National Seashore: Resources for Outdoor Enthusiasts]
* [http://www.pointreyesweekend.com A Weekend and Recreation Guide to Point Reyes and West Marin]
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