October 7, 1977 was one of those perfect early fall days. Warm and sunny; clear blue skies. I was nearly done with my cross-country motorcycle trip. I had been puttering along for five months on my little Honda 350- a bike designed for weekend trips not grand adventures. I had accidentally followed the same path across the northern US taken by Robert Persig who wrote Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. I happened to be reading that book and it was a perfect introduction for my journey into California.
I was in a wonderful mood that day cruising down Mendocino County on Highway 1, that glorious, winding, perfectly banked road, just made for a motorcycle. There was Salt Point in Sonoma County and then Bodega Bay where suddenly Highway 1 goes far inland leaving the coast. HEY!!! Wait minute I want the ocean back. So in Marin I saw the right turn identifying the Pt Reyes National Seashore. COOL and off I went searching for the sea.
I will never forget that ride out to Chimney Rock and to the Lighthouse. It was at that moment I decided my journey was over. The plan had been continue to South America on my bike but once I found Marin, I knew I was finally home. And a major part of home has always been the Pt. Reyes National Seashore. For the last 35 years I have never lived farther than a one hour drive away from the Park.
John F. Kennedy established Point Reyes as a National Seashore on September 13, 1962. And what a great day for America. 71,000 acres of diverse habitat protected forever for all of us. It is the best place to see gray whales migrating, elephant seals birthing, tule elk bugling, snowy plovers nesting, working dairy ranches, regenerating Bishop pine forests, a reconstructed Miwok village, the epicenter of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and it goes on and on. You could spend a lifetime exploring this park. Hmmm I think I will.