So, we’re hiking along, laughing at the wind, struggling against it. Our spirits were high, (mine were anyway), and I was looking forward to going further onto the point than I ever had. We had four hours before daylight would run out, so we planned to hike out for two hours and then head back.
Chantal and Kate were in the lead, way ahead of Jim, Ivan, and myself. I brought up the rear, stopping to take pictures. Next thing I know, here come Chantal and Kate, walking back towards us. “I can’t go on, I have a terrible ear ache and this wind is too much”. I couldn’t believe my ears, warm and protected under my dorky but wonderful hat with ear flaps. Are you kidding me? Chantal was getting over a cold and she wasn’t properly dressed for the conditions. I had questioned her attire back at the the house, but she assured me she would be fine. Flimsy hat, short skirt, rubber boots over tights, wool coat. I wanted to vote her off the island. All this planning for a half-day hike and now, twenty minutes into it, we were turning back. Byew.
Chantal offered to wait for us in the car, but we decided to all stick together and hike somewhere else where there was less wind. This time I walked ahead of the group as we trudged back to the car, to hide the disappointment on my face.
The parking lot/trailhead is at the main ranch on the peninsula, which is a beautiful collection of white-washed buildings nestled among a few tall, straggly eucalyptus trees, preserved by the State Park system.
We explored the buildings for a while, before driving to a place closer in, out of the wind, where we hiked on a dreary mountain trail. Chantals sensitive ears were fine. Later we had tea and toast at Jim and Kate’s before heading home. The whole time I was mentally plotting my return to Pierce Point. I would go alone, and soon. Alone because I knew Ivan wouldn’t be dragged out there a second time, and Jim and Kate had to work in the days ahead.
Two days later, on New Year’s Eve day, I was back on the peninsula. The skies were gray, and it was colder than the day of the first attempt, and just as windy, but I didn’t care.
The Point is mostly open green pastures, sprinkled with cows, and the occasional dairy. On our way out two days ago we had stopped to watch two Great Pyrenees dogs, one sitting, one laying down, guarding a flock of white goats. They were magnificent, with their faces to the wind, their shaggy coats white against the bright green pasture. As I approached this same farm, I looked to my left and saw a coyote in a field.
In 24 years of living in California, I’ve only seen 2 coyotes. I saw my first just a few months ago. This was the second. He was quite far away according to my camera, but he had his eye on me and headed away when I stopped the car and started taking pictures.
Next I saw one of my favorite animals:
That’s the Pacific Ocean in the distance.
To be continued…