Michigan. Cold. Snow. Overcast. Blizzards. Did I mention cold? And, the lake effect snowstorms? That’s kind of how I remember Michigan. From about 2 years old to around 10 years old, I called southwestern Michigan home. But wow, the winters were difficult for me as a kid.
Don’t get me wrong. Michigan has a beauty all its own—especially through the summer. And, if you’re ever there in the warmer months, check out what Michigan has to offer. Holland Michigan is so neat to visit. Mackinac Island is such a fun trip back into the Victorian Era. And, there is so much by way of historic sites to see.
However, my life changed forever when my family moved to the Northern San Francisco Bay Area. And, wow… the ocean. The Pacific Ocean. Just—oh the ocean. I fell in love forever with it. And, no matter where I have traveled, the Northern California Pacific Ocean Coastline has always held such a special place in my heart.
That brings me to the focus of this post. In December 2020, I decided to just ignore the pouring rain, and take my kids to Point Reyes in Marin County, as it truly would be my last chance to do so for quite some time.
In truth, it was one of the most beautiful drives through western Sonoma County, and into Marin County, that I’ve ever experienced. The interplay of clouds, and rain, sunlight peaking through, and the almost emptiness of the roads was so wonderful. Before we got to Point Reyes, we stopped briefly along Tomales Bay, however, I’ll leave that part for another post, another time.
My intent originally was to take my kids to the Point Reyes lighthouse. However, driving through thick fog, we stopped quite abruptly as a roadblock quickly became visible. I was honestly heartbroken and so disappointed, as it has been many years since I’d been there with my kids. They were both so young at that time, that neither of them remembers that trip. However, instead, we ended up going to Drake’s Bay, a location I had never been to before. And, on our way out of the Park, we also ended up at a beach I had never known we could drive to.
At first, yes, it was still raining, but the storm was breaking, and it afforded some of the most beautiful scenes that I or my children had ever seen. The whole trip was so worth it when my son said, “daddy! It’s so pretty!”
And, we even got to see a couple Elephant Seals, which my children were beside themselves over. Seeing them in the wild was so different for them, than seeing animals in a zoo. And, the neatest thing was it allowed them to truly realize that nature isn’t just scenery, but wildlife too.
My son even brought up the seal in the picture above again tonight because he likes to joke about how lazy the seal was. Anyway, that’s just about enough description. I hope you have enjoyed the pictures.
And, please consider supporting our National Park System. While many don’t know it, you can get an annual National Park Pass for just $80. In the case of Point Reyes, you don’t need the pass. But, the park is part of the National Park System. I think that $80 is some of the best money I’ve ever spent. And, I hope these photos might just help you understand a little bit of why I think so.