Laura Macky Photography

Journey of a body on this earth


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Holy Cow! (2 edits)

Right at the Tomales Point Trailhead, in the Tule Elk Preserve, is Pierce Ranch which was a working dairy ranch established in 1858 and one of the oldest ranches on the Point Reyes Peninsula.   Unfortunately, after our hike I was too exhausted to spend time photographing the ranch and it’s old structures, but I did manage to capture a shot of the barn from the side and thought I’d present two different edits on the image just for fun.

The farm ceased operations in 1973 and three years later, Congress authorized creation of the wilderness area incorporating that ranch as habitat for the reintroduction of tule elk. Beginning in 1980, NPS invested in the rehabilitation of the ranch core, citing it as the best example of a nineteenth century west Marin dairy ranch. Pierce Ranch was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1985, and was subsequently opened to the public as an interpretive site.

Hope you enjoy them!

Pierce Ranch @ Tomales Point, Tule Elk Preserve, Pt. Reyes National Seashore

Pierce Ranch @ Tomales Point, Tule Elk Preserve, Pt. Reyes National Seashore

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Pierce Ranch @ Tomales Point, Tule Elk Preserve, Pt. Reyes National Seashore

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Tomales Point Trail

Why is it every time I type Tomales Point Trail it types Tamales!  lol   Silly auto correct.

The other day we went to Tomales Point Trail which goes through the Tule Elk Preserve at Point Reyes National Seashore.  I’d never been to this spot before usually opting for the more famous area of Point Reyes, the Lighthouse.   I’ve included a map so you can see the trail and where we hiked.

I couldn’t carry anything heavy like a zoom lens or even my Nikon because it’s a long hike out there for me, so I opted for my Sony A7 mirrorless with the cheap lens it came with, the 28-70.  As a side note, there is a HUGE HUGE difference between that cheap-o lens and my 16-35mm.  Just a confirmation that glass makes a huge difference!   But honestly, I didn’t really even care because my main excitement was to see the elk and accomplish the hike.  To some, the hike might not seem that much but for me it’s like climbing Mt. Everest given the health issues I have.  I’m paying for it two days later as it sort of wore me down but it was so worth it because…..

We saw two groups of elk!  The first one we came upon contained about 30 elk.  They were too far away for my lens but there were docents there with spotting scopes for people to see them up close.  Naturally we checked them out through the scope.  With our naked eye we could see them clearly though….bulls with huge racks on them on the ridge looking down at us, and activity up and down the hill.  The second grouping came much further along the hike….a pond just off the right side of the trail with maybe 10-15 elk sitting there relaxing.  The docent told us the old bulls come here and just chill and eat the grass around them.  They were spectacular to see so close!   Still couldn’t get a close picture with my lens but I was so thrilled to see them and have included a cropped photo here for you to see.

One thing that was amazing to me is that we could see Bodega Bay from the farthest point we were on the trail.  Also along the walk we saw red fox hunting, an occasional coyote (one crossed the trail right in front of us about 30′ away) and of course a variety of birds flying around.  The trail is 4.3 miles to the point and 4.3 miles back.  We didn’t go the whole way, it was probably another .5 miles out to the point which would’ve added another mile to the hike and it’s a hilly hike so we opted to turn around after seeing the elk.  I was a bit worried about being able to get back but having seen the second herd of elk, I felt so accomplished that it pushed me to succeed in my return.  I guess I wasn’t the only one who felt challenged out there because we saw an emergency ATV at one point on its way to rescue someone.

The wild feeling of Point Reyes is so incredible.  I guess I would describe it as a wild abandon feeling.  There is such freedom there.  What can I say…I love our California Coast!