Monday, September 20, 2021

Where the Tule Elk Roam - Point Reyes, California

One more day of exploring here on the Point Reyes Peninsula, a bit north of San Francisco.

First, let's eat. There are a handful of restaurants up here but one stood out, to me, as a bit more unique than the others. That would be Vladmir's Czech Restaurant in nearby Inverness. They're serving lunch today so let's start there.

Here for six decades, the woody cozy diner also has a bar, serves American staples such as burgers, plus a half dozen Czech specialties. The old sign outside says "Czechoslovakian," giving away the restaurant's age as dating before the split of those two countries.

While Tim goes for a burger, my wife goes with a kolkata sausage plate and I have a roast duck with sauerkraut, dumpling, and potato salad. 

It's all very good...more than I can eat, really...and sets us up nicely for our last adventure.

Earlier, we went to the southern end of the Point Reyes Peninsula, where we saw the historic lighthouse. Now, we're going as far north to the other end as we can with our car, which still leaves us a couple of miles short of the northern point. You can park here and take the trail to the end but it's not wheelchair accessible.

We'll just do an auto tour to the end of the road and see what we can find.

The asphault could use some repairing. I try to miss the potholes as best I can. We drive by old cattle ranches, still operating on agreement with the National Park Service after their land became federalized.

On a hill to the right, I point out a coyote to my wife. A few minutes later, she points out a bobcat strolling nearby.

A few miles in, we come across a large fence that crosses the peninsula from the bay to the ocean. This is the start of the Tule Elk Reserve. On the other side is a protected herd of the animals but a big bull didn't get the memo and is hovering around on this side of the fence.

On the other side, we see groups of the animals here and there on top of some of the ridges.

We get to the end of the road where the historic Pierce Point ranch is preserved as a walk-through museum. There is some parking and restrooms here so it makes a nice resting point before returning back.

Scanning the hilltops, we find some more antlers sticking above the brush. We sight the bull with binoculars and find is harem of six cow a few feet to the right.

After this tour of the local wildlife, we head back to the hotel in the setting sun. Tomorrow, we'll head home more relaxed and refreshed.

Darryl Musick
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