Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Taking time away: A wonderful wedding and the wonders of Pt. Reyes

We are in Northern California reconnecting with our dearest ones. On Saturday I had the pleasure of presiding at the wedding of Susan, who we've known since she was quite tiny. Susan and her two sisters are as near to being daughters as we will ever have, so this wedding was truly "in the family."

Our joy was ten-fold -- a thousand-fold -- because we nearly lost Susan 18 months ago from a medical condition she did not know she had. The UCLA Medical Center doctor who saved her life and his wife came to the wedding, and everyone shook his hand Saturday and more than a few tears were shed. Miracles do happen.

The wedding was held in a wonderful little chapel at Nicasio, a tiny town near Pt. Reyes (and the wedding party and guests occupied nearly every inn around Pt Reyes this weekend).

For those unfamiliar with the geography, Pt. Reyes is a triangular chunk of land that sticks straight out into the Pacific Ocean north of the Golden Gate. The distinctive landscape is shaped by the San Andreas fault slicing it off from the mainland.

It is said that in 1579 Sir Francis Drake beached the Golden Hind at what is now called "Drake's Bay" because the ship's seams were splitting open from the weight of Spanish gold. That would also mean the first Anglican worship service in North America was held in California at Pt. Reyes.

Pt. Reyes is now part of the Golden Gate National Seashore, making it part of the National Park system.

The terrain unbelievably spectacular, and the weather is windy and harsh. Sandstone
cliffs resembling Dover can be seen far from shore, and from vistas near Chimney Rock on the point jutting out to sea.

Sea lions long ago set up shop in a rookery below the steepest rockiest cliffs near the point, and we could see a few in the water this weekend (and hear their barks from the cliffs above).

During the whale migration season in April or so, the California Grays can be spotted from the lighthouse as they round Pt. Reyes on their migration to warmer waters off Mexico. Terrific hiking trails abound at Pt. Reyes, and we've dayhiked and backpacked most of them over the years.

Here are a few photos from the wedding and around Pt. Reyes I took this weekend.

No comments: