The Sportsmen’s report
By Bill Hanson
Secret spots for natives to visit are indeed part of the treasure we live in. On the Southern coast due west of Point Reyes Station is the road along the south side of Tamales Bay. It is a half-hour drive from the intersection near Olema to the tip of Drake’s Bay. Unobstructed views of the Pacific are some of the best in California. There is the lighthouse to visit along with the elephant seal rookery, docents will guide you a safe distance from the herd. As always bring a jacket for the wind and chill off the cold ocean. Another bit of local advice, bring a picnic and fresh water to drink, there are no commercial eateries or other retail services. Looking back to the East from the peninsula are the rugged cliffs of Point Reyes National Seashore. Hiking, backpacking and a wild outback are all part of this amazing reserve. One item of note is Limantor Beach, isolated, undeveloped and beautiful are just a few attributes. It is a short hike from the parking lot to this natural beauty.
Back toward Point Reyes Station is the cut-off to Samuel P. Taylor Park on Sir Francis Drake Blvd. This is the closest “redwood” park to San Francisco and a great stop for day-use or to wow your visiting friends. Another great day-trip for locals is the Ferry at Larkspur. For about the price of parking and bridge fare you can ride up to the heart of San Francisco Bay with breathtaking views of Angel Island, the Golden Gate, Alcatraz and the city. The ride alone is worth the price of admission. Be sure to time your visit around commute time on weekdays. From the ferry building on the Embarcadero a trolley will take you most anywhere including hooking up with a bus or the cable cars. One of the things my kids loved was a trip on the ferry, then a cable car to Chinatown and checking out the exotic stores. See Chinatown as an insider and go uphill from Grant one block to Stockton street, fewer crowds and lower prices await.
Abalone divers are awaiting May first for the opening day under the new rules. Some poor divers will try its rough seas or not. Called the Sacramento Syndrome, people who drive more than two hours feel the need to dive in questionable conditions. Some make headlines, the ones who don’t come back home in a car with their friends that did not die.
Bill Hanson is a Sonoma County native and a lifelong sportsman. He is the former president of the Sonoma County Mycological Association. Look for his column in The Community Voice each week.