Go Back   Steve's Digicams Forums > Digital SLR and Interchangeable Lens Cameras > Pentax / Samsung dSLR, K Mount Mirrorless

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old Dec 16, 2011, 4:19 PM   #1
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default Point Reyes Lighthouse

Not far north of San Francisco is an isolated headland that juts out into the sea.



It's one of the foggiest places in the country, and also one of the windiest. The land around it is farmland, with a number of dairy farms operating along the lonely road out to the lighthouse. Most (all?) of the land is now National Park Service, and they also maintain the historic lighthouse. There's now an automated light and horn, but back in the 1800's it was a very lonely assignment and they had a tough time keeping lighthouse keepers.

Most of the time when I think of a lighthouse, I imagine a structure/tower on top of a rocky spot, but not this one. To visit the lighthouse you have to walk DOWN over 300 steps (want to say 360, but don't remember exactly). At the top there's a sign that warns visitors of the number of stairs you have to climb back up, but they don't tell you that the number doesn't include a slightly less steep part that doesn't have stairs, but adds that much more misery to the climb back up. The nice thing is that the stairs are numbered, so you can see some progress:



Looking at the lighthouse from part-way down the path:



We visited one afternoon and walked down to the old facility.





The National Park Service has historical displays and information on the history of the facility. The light is a Fresnel design and is visible out to about 24 miles (before this design lighthouses used mirrors and had far less visibility).



Some of the original equipment:



This was once state-of-the-art:



One of the original horns:



Even though it's a long way down to the lighthouse, it's still located a long way up from the waterline. This is a two shot panorama with the FA 31:



The warning at the top about how far you have to go back up isn't an exaggeration. It's a very long way back up:



It's a lovely location and well worth the walk down to the lighthouse itself. I can't imagine spending years working in such a wind-swept, isolated spot, no matter how beautiful though. It's nice that the National Park Service still maintain the old light and allow visitors to get an idea of what it must have been like to live and work there, a glimpse of an era long-gone.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Old Dec 16, 2011, 7:43 PM   #2
Senior Member
 
DMJJR's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 927
Default

What great shots-thanks for sharing-West Coast Lighthouses are definitely different.
Thanks
DMJJR is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 2011, 4:58 PM   #3
Senior Member
 
hnikesch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,814
Default

Very nice series of shots Harriett, I like the 3rd one best but also the old equipment shots and the Pano. I see some benches on the way up I might need a break.

Hans
__________________
Hans

...It is better to burn a roll of film than curse the darkness. Equip. K30, Q7, DAL 55-300, DA 35 f2.4, DA 50 f1.8 DA 18-135, SMC-M 28 f3.5, SMC M 50 f1.4, Canon P&S S100 w/CHDK Beta, Panasonic DMC-GM5, Flickr:
hnikesch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 2011, 5:50 PM   #4
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: East Central Vermont
Posts: 1,890
Default

Very nice photos of a fascinating area. I also have never seen (nor heard of) a lighthouse that you have to walk down to. I remember reading somewhere that when fresnel lenses were put into use in lighthouses, the number of shipwrecks dropped very significantly (though being a mariner was still a very dangerous occupation). Thanks for sharing these photos.
mtnman is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 2011, 6:35 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
mole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 8,522
Default

Great photos, and great story as well! Fascinating history and wonderfully sharp photos. The first is an especially fine view of the landscape...
mole is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 17, 2011, 7:00 PM   #6
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default

Thanks for the compliments and for coming along with me on my trip.

Forgot to mention that the first one is also a 2 shot stitched panorama. The view from there is really outstanding and some day I may visit where it would be warm enough to go walking on the beach (there's a road that leads down there). I never seem to have enough time or opportunity to fully experience this location.

In the same building with the old equipment they have some extracts from the lighthouse keeper's log. There's some interesting entries (like the guy who took off without permission with the only horse and returned the next day drunk). I didn't try to take a picture because there was a lot of glare, but now I regret that I didn't try. Some of them are funny in hindsight, but wouldn't have been funny at all when they happened.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2011, 12:28 AM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Western Canada
Posts: 3,076
Default

Beautiful pictures...that Light House and some of those coastal scenes look like they could be still pictures from a movie....Hitchcock or Eastwood.

# 1 and # 3...quite like them.
lesmore49 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2011, 8:49 AM   #8
Senior Member
 
Biro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 835
Default

A wonderful series, Harriet. It's amazing to me how much of California is still like this. Here on the East Coast, we don't to see very much of this part of the Golden State.
Biro is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 18, 2011, 9:37 AM   #9
Senior Member
 
mtngal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Frazier Park, CA
Posts: 16,056
Default

Les - not surprising you thought about Hitchcock - his movie The Birds was filmed not that far from here (23 miles straight-line distance, 50 miles driving distance). Bodega Bay, where it was filmed, is probably lost in the haze in the first picture - it's not far from where the northern-most part of peninsula ends.
mtngal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old Dec 19, 2011, 3:41 AM   #10
Senior Member
 
Rodney9's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Yeronga, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Posts: 3,518
Default

Lovely scenery , good shots.
__________________

My Flickr Photos

Pentax K-5 K20D K100D
Pentax DA 55-300mm 4-5.8 ED / Pentax M 200mm F4 / Pentax Tak K 135mm 2.5 / Pentax M 100mm F4 Macro / Tamron SP AF90mm 2.8 Di Macro / Pentax M 1.7 50mm / Pentax M 2.8 28mm
Rodney9 is offline   Reply With Quote
 
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:03 PM.