Drove up to Point Reyes a week or so back to pop up a tent, roll out some sleeping bags and fall asleep listening to the sounds of nature. You know, babbling brooks, critters crittering along through the night and so on. However, I’ve now come to realize that the sounds of nature at a campground sound a whole heck-of-a-lot like the sounds of any-neighborhood-USA, minus the walls to buffer the crying babies, beeping car locks and drunk folks stumbling about. But hey, nature’s pretty sweet and there is still something special about sleeping on the ground and waking up in the woods.
We had planned to do a little exploring to go along with our camp out. Pulled out a map, marked up a route, packed a lunch and set forth. Alamere Falls, an apparent must-see, was a mellow 7.5 miles out and back on a well traveled coastal path. We brought lunch and water and snacks and were planning dinner somewhere fun on the way home. Less than .2 miles in we saw a complete map of the area, with all sorts of loops and lakes and other fun looking things to explore. So, we adjusted our plans, added a loop here and a lake there and then the waterfall at the end for a slightly more than mellow 10 miles. No biggie, we got a late start but still plenty of time….two hours and a half hours later at exactly where the loop was supposed to be we came across an overgrown trail that must have been closed for years. Instead of going back (like wiser people might), we once again readjusted our route and foraged on and on and on through mud and horse manure adding more loops and lakes and “we’ll, I mean we’re almost here so we might as well take a peek..” sites to our walkabout. Fifteen or so miles later, nearing 9PM as official darkness was setting in and you could hear the mountain lions licking their chops, we emerged from the woods with sore feet and the silence that comes from hunger and personal anguish and straight up over-it-ness. So much for plans.
In my world, plans are more like guidelines, with room for fun pit stops and spontaneous adventures but I’m still learning and more food would have been a wise choice. If you’re gonna plan a trip to Point Reyes don’t take the Crystal Lake trail (it doesn’t exist) and bring food and head lamps…there’s lots to explore.
Oh yeah, and the waterfall…it was pretty and all but the coastal wanderings were way better.