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Thread: Point Reyes Advice?

  1. #11

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    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Please make sure you have enough water.

    Also take the keys to your car. We had a friend leave them in his friend's car glove compartment thinking it would be fine. It was but his friend's car was 25 miles away when we got to his car.

    If it works out, you know there is a morse code station out there. I always wanted to visit and take photos there. https://www.radiomarine.org/#pab1_5

  2. #12
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Well, the classic tree tunnel to the Coast Guard radio station is a cat out of the bag, and attracts cell phone shooting crowds some days. And the secret is just enough fog to soften the light on the cypress trees, but not enough to obscure them. I haven't had the patience waiting out people in the scene with my 8x10 set up, so went to stealth mode instead, with my Fuji 6X9 RF, which gives me a neg big enough for a nice 16x20 print at least. Timing and luck. The little Coast Guard Cemetery is a little bit before on the same road, and generally totally empty of visitors. But I won't give away my really favorite spots. Find your own. As usual, 98% of the people go to only 2% of the places.

    If you enter the woods, which are lovely there, hopefully you know what poison oak looks like, even bare in winter.

  3. #13
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    If you have the time, Alamere Falls would be good after all the rain. Here's my take of it back in 2006 with a P67II:


    Another is Pirates Cove:


    I shot the Cove at sunset with a 45mm lens on a P67II when the tide was just starting to come in. Check tides at NOAA for tidal predictions for Pt. Reyes: https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/no...tml?id=9415020. To shoot it at sunset as in the image above, you need a minus tide.

    For Info on Alamere Falls: https://bahiker.com/northbayhikes/palomarin.html

    Thomas

  4. #14

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    I have been going out there once a week in summer for decades, often in winter too. Weather can be either calm and mild or stormy on any given day, this time of year. And there's been a fair amount of fog lately. Wildlife and birds will still be abundant. Where to go? Gosh, all kinds of places. After passing through Inverness near the end of Tomales Bay, the road forks. To the left it head out toward the Mt Vision and Drakes Estero trail soon, and further, past Drake's beach and the North and South Beach exits, it will finally fork left to the Chimney Rock trail and right toward the lighthouse.

    The right hand fork of the road after Inverness heads to Tomales Bay State Park, Abbots Lagoon (highly recommended easy hike), several beaches, and Tomales Point, where there are interesting old farm buildings. The actual hike clear out to the end of the Point is about a 7 mile round trip and stunning later in the wildflower season of May and June, but apt to be quite windy earlier.

    Behind the Visitor Center is the popular Bear Valley Trail and other options. About a mile past the Visitor Center is the Limantour Road with its own many interesting place. But I don't know if there are still road work delays on that or not. Check with the official Point Reyes website for current conditions, plus a map. I won't even try to mention all the great subsidiary trails. Large format will be rewarded, but near constant wind is a distinct possibility except in the woods, and your day pack should always have a raincoat and something like a sweater, because conditions can vary quite a bit during the course of a day.

    Lots of adjacent interesting places too along Hwy 1 and Marin County. DON'T try to see everything in two days. You can't in two years. Pick one or two spots to spend quality time instead, especially if you're brining a LF camera. Even if you can come back sometime, the light is seldom the same twice unless you're very familiar with the moods of the area. But you don't want to waste time fiddling around with too much stuff. The area rewards relaxing contemplation, and the local food will tempt you too. Bring a simple LF or MF kit you're already entirely comfortable with, and be happy with two or three really good shots. But it's an exceptional area, both for color and black and white film.

    You're biggest regret will be that you only allotted two days. And don't worry about fish getting away. There's an abundance of seals, sea lions, seabirds, rays, and sharks that will do that job for you, even otters in certain freshwater lagoons. Just don't get too "chummy" with the Great Whites.
    Thanks for the lay of the land. There certainly never is enough time and we only expect to scratch the surface. The park website warns to have plans A, B, C...etc. so that when trailhead at plan A is already full, you can switch to plan B and so on - so in that vein, happy to have lots of ideas. We'll be happy just to get out and make the best of whatever we can see.

    I figured the wind would be a factor but thanks for the reminder, might bring the heavier tripod.

    Appriciate the great white pun...cheers.

  5. #15

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Burk View Post
    If it works out, you know there is a morse code station out there. I always wanted to visit and take photos there. https://www.radiomarine.org/#pab1_5
    Wow - had no idea about this - if nothing else will make sure I take my little AM/FM/SW radio with to tune in!

  6. #16

    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    If you enter the woods, which are lovely there, hopefully you know what poison oak looks like, even bare in winter.
    All too familiar...used to live in Oregon and had about 5 acres of the stuff (or so it seemed).

  7. #17

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    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew Wiley View Post
    Well, the classic tree tunnel to the Coast Guard radio station is a cat out of the bag.
    I was thinking going inside, getting close-ups of the gear. Didn't one of us do that?

  8. #18

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    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    KPH Maritime Radio Receiving Station and Cypress Tree Tunnel:
    https://www.nps.gov/pore/planyourvis...treetunnel.htm


    Bernice

  9. #19
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    If going to Alamere or Pirates Cove, note this caution issued today by the NWS:

    MARINE...as of 09:25 AM PST Thursday...Northerly to
    northwesterly winds increasing today and tonight. Westerly swell
    remaining potentially hazardous for smaller vessels on the open
    waters and near harbor entrances. A large, longer period swell
    arrives late this week into the weekend. Northerly winds will
    remain light before increasing late tonight into Thursday.

    For the next couple of days the tide is right and at the right time for sunset images at the Cove. But there is a drop off down to the beach so pay careful attention to the ocean. This is especially true for Alamere - getting down to the beach is tricky and according to the park several injuries/rescues have resulted there in recent years. If a big wave catches you on the beach, you're toast. Anyway I've found that the best images show the relation between the fall and the ocean.

    You're probably be better off concentrating on the tourists attractions that you can drive right up to and don't pose any challenges like the radio station mentioned above.

    Thomas


    Thomas

  10. #20
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: Point Reyes Advice?

    Tom - Alamere Falls would require a whole day itself per round trip, and be unrealistic with 8x10 unless one is truly an 8x10 style backpacker. It's also a crowded trail at times, though perhaps not as bad that early in the season due to inevitable cold winds. But as usual, my advice would be to AVOID stereotypical tourist attractions, since Pt Reyes is a plenty big area, with so much to offer of all kind of levels of accessibilty, that there's no need to try to photograph is someone else's past footsteps.
    Thank God you won't encounter a herd experience like going to Yosemite Valley. Yes, Pt Reyes gets a LOT of visitation, but spreading out is easy, and the nature of the visitors is quite respectful to one another. I almost never have anyone even walking past my set up camera without asking permission first to do so.

    As far as popular trailheads are concerned, I wouldn't worry about it too much. Even the no. 1 popular one, the nearly level Bear Valley trail right past the Visitor Center, can be almost vacant on rainy days when the light is actually best, or during off-season weekdays. Or right at the start of the trail at the parking lot gate, just look to the left and there will be a different trail leading off that way, connecting to the Rift Zone Trail, generally with nobody around, and quite photogenic in its own right. And there are just so many beaches to choose from that even popular ones like Drakes Beach or Abbots Lagoon, it takes only moments to find personal solitude. Not like SoCal beaches. The only place I'd outright avoid due to overcrowding is Muir Woods over below Mt Tam, outside Point Reyes per se.

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