Ramble On

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Light at Point Cabrillo

We arrived in Mendocino only to be told it was too early to check into our room, so we decided to take a short drive a few miles north to the Point Cabrillo light station.  It is a favorite destination of mine – you park in a lot out by the PCH, and walk across the headlands to the light, which has been completely restored since our 2000 visit.  The round trip, and some side trips along the bluffs, totaled about 2.5 miles, the first of several “easy day hikes” we took in on this vacation.

Our walk down to the light crossed through the salty meadows of the headlands.  When we reached the bluffs, a turn south would take us directly to the lighthouse, but we heard the sound of sea lions nearby and decided to walk north instead.  We encountered an incredible tidal pool, but there was no sign of the sea lions.

When we arrived back at the lighthouse, we toured the displays and the building, but you cannot actually go up into the light here, since it is still a working signal.  The exhibits explain the history of the lighthouse, and of shipwrecks that have been found in the area.  Point Cabrillo was built to guide ships along the coast from San Francisco to pick up the forest and industrial products coming from this region.  

We chatted with the docent, and she explained that the sea lions were a few miles further north, on a small island with a rookery on it.  She gave us directions, and we decided to come back later, after we went back to Mendocino to check in at the hotel.

A final treat awaited us – the original keepers’ houses here have been restored and are available for season vacation rentals.  I don’t know that this is in our cards for a future trip (we stay at the John Dougherty House, and have for all three of our trips) – but these Craftsman-style bungalows are charming.  I suppose the real dream would be to research up the floor plans and find an architect to design one for us on some future acreage somewhere.

We’ll let that thought hang in the air for a while.  Meanwhile, we headed back to Mendocino to check in, and hiked around the headlands again before dinner.

Here’s a link to the lighthouse page:  http://www.pointcabrillo.org

1 comment:

SanelTop said...

Hi Hawksbill Cabin !

There's a seasoned writer in your midst. Your description of your visit couldn't be more cogent and informative. I'm a docent and on the Point Cabrillo Lightkeepers Association, helping manage the site.
Thank you very much for visiting and for your well written post.

Doug Fortier

Stop by facebook.com/PointCabrilloLight, the website at pointcabrillo.org and Twitter @PointCabrillo

Thanks !