Sunday, November 17, 2013

geography lesson # 1

 Pt Reyes brought to you by the San Andreas fault! Here, seen as a series of land-blips along the horizon in this photo, is a chunk of land that is moving north, thanks to plate tectonics.  It is an odd, hook shaped bit of coast about 20 miles north of San Francisco, unrivaled as my personal favorite of all places within 100 miles of the Bay.  The rocks here are the same as those in the Tehachapi Mountains, 310 miles to the south.  There are lakes, there are birds galore.  Whales can be viewed from the hills.  It's loaded with hundreds of miles of amazing trails, trees, shrubs, grasses, coyotes, mountain lions and deer.  Basically, this bit of land just cruised up the coast over the past several millions of years, and now we have an amazing place to play.  Humans and animals alike.  Pt. Reyes moves about 1 to 2 inches north each year.  Cool!

Today I ran 15 miles of this coastline and had the pleasure of experiencing this geographic phenomenon up close.  I like running this time of year:  the temp has finally dropped below 70 (but not by much), the shadows are long, the sky is a deep blue and there are great colors in the forest. 
 Looking back towards San Francisco, though thankfully you can't actually see the city or much of any human trappings.  There is the occasional super-freighter skimming the horizon, large, square, carrying baby toys and TVs and soap dispensers, shoes and faucets and phones all the way from China, to arrive in Oakland for our consumption.  Otherwise, just glaring sunlight and glassy little waves are all one sees when looking to the south east.
Here's a little perspective:  That big hook that comes out-- that's Pt. Reyes.  The sliver of water between the green part of the map and the brown part (between Marshal and Inverness)-- that's Tomales bay (home of amazing shoreline beer and chowder shacks and upside down wine barrel seating in the sun).  It's also the San Andreas fault line, awesome to consider because it is one of the only obvious places you can "see" the fault line around here. On the Inverness side geomorphology is different from the Marshall side.  The bay is a warm and cozy place to swim, raise oysters or catch fish.  Hurrah for moving land masses and long, weird bays!

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