Point Reyes


Point Reyes

Point Reyes is a prominent cape on the Pacific coast of northern California. It is located in Marin County approximately 30 mi (48 km) WNW of San Francisco. The term is often applied to the Point Reyes Peninsula, the region bounded by Tomales Bay on the northeast and Bolinas Lagoon on the southeast. The headland is protected as part of Point Reyes National Seashore.

Point Reyes was originally named "Punto de los Reyes" ("Kings' Point") by the Spanish explorer Sebastian Vizcaino as his ship, the "Capitana" anchored in Drake's Bay on the Day of the Three Kings (Epiphany, or the end of the 12 Days of Christmas) on January 6, 1603. [ [http://www.ptreyeslight.com/stories/jan09_03/400_anniversary.html Point Reyes' name now 400 years old ] ]

The entire Point Reyes Peninsula is a piece of the Salinian Block transported northward by the San Andreas Fault. Its core is granite, unlike the terrain east of Tomales Bay. The San Andreas Fault runs directly under Tomales Bay.

The cape protects Drakes Bay on its southern side. The headland is largely drained by Drakes Estero. Inverness Ridge runs along the peninsula's northwest-southeast spine, with forested peaks around 430 meters (1,400 feet). West of the ridge, the land flattens out and the vegetation turns to scrub. The Mount Vision fire in 1995 burned part of Inverness Ridge.

Point Reyes lends its name to the town of Point Reyes Station, California.

Recreation and history

The peninsula is a popular recreational destination for the nearby San Francisco Bay Area, especially for hiking on its many trails and sea kayaking the shores of Tomales Bay and the coast.

Vegetation native to Point Reyes includes Bishop pine, Douglas-fir, coyote brush, monkeyflower, poison oak, California blackberry, salal and coast redwood, among others.

During the Cold War, submarines repaired at Mare Island Naval Shipyard were tested in the shallow waters off Point Reyes following shipyard repairs. Navy safety personnel used a small monitoring and communications hut on the peninsula for monitoring submarines during these sea trials.

Climate

The U.S. Weather Bureau (now the National Weather Service) maintained a cooperative weather station in the Point Reyes lighthouse from 1914 to 1943. Based on those records, average January temperatures ranged from 45.1°F to 54.1°F and average September temperatures ranged from 51.7°F to 61.0°F. The highest temperature recorded was 90°F (32°C) on October 3, 1917, and the lowest temperature recorded was 31°F (-1°C) on January 19, 1922. Annual precipitation averaged 17.05 inches. The wettest year on record was 1941 with 31.37 inches and the dryest year was 1923 was 7.32 inches. The most precipitation in one month was 9.51 inches in December 1916. The maximum 24-hour precipitation was 2.65 inches on December 15, 1929. [ [http://www.wrcc.dri.edu/summary/Climsmcca.html Central California ] ]

Fog

It can get very foggy and windy during certain parts of the year at the lighthouse, where visibility is so slim that one cannot even view the lighthouse from the top of the approximately 300 steps necessary to walk down to reach it.

The lighthouse serves a great purpose in such a foggy area, as there is no beach to wash up on; it is on a rocky cliff. Day or night, the light may be the only thing visible to ships.

Point Reyes Lighthouse was used in the John Carpenter film "The Fog" (as the radio station for Antonio Bay).

External links

* [http://www.nps.gov/pore National Park Service site on Point Reyes National Seashore]
* [http://www.nature.nps.gov/air/WebCams/parks/porecam/porecam.cfm Point Reyes Webcams]
* [http://pointreyes.net Point Reyes National Seashore: Resources for Outdoor Enthusiasts]
* [http://www.pointreyesweekend.com A Weekend and Recreation Guide to Point Reyes and West Marin]

References


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  • Point Reyes Station — Point Reyes Station, CA U.S. Census Designated Place in California Population (2000): 818 Housing Units (2000): 373 Land area (2000): 3.634015 sq. miles (9.412056 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000):… …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

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  • Point Reyes National Seashore — Infobox protected area | name = Point Reyes National Seashore iucn category = V caption = locator x = 3 locator y = 75 location = Marin County, California, USA nearest city = San Francisco, California lat degrees = 38 lat minutes = 03 lat seconds …   Wikipedia

  • Point Reyes Lighthouse — Infobox Lighthouse caption = Point Reyes Light location = Point Reyes, California coordinates = coord|37.9957|N|123.02327|W yearlit = 1870 automated = 1975 foundation = Concrete construction = Cast Iron with Brick Lining shape = 16 sided… …   Wikipedia

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