I took this photo what seems like ages ago now. It’s perhaps my very favourite photo from Point Reyes. Given that I’ve taken thousands of pictures all around Point Reyes, this statement has a bit of weight.
This barn is right at the beginning of the road that leads to Bear Valley Visitor Center, and also right across the road from the park headquarters. That means I’ve seen this building more times than I can count, and it’s always been one I looked at with adoration. It’s the first one I see when I come to the headquarters early in the morning, and the last one I look at when I leave at night. I saw this barn when I finally came back to Point Reyes 18 months after the pandemic began, and it felt like coming home—just as coming to Point Reyes always did.
On the cold morning when I took this picture, the land was covered in the typical fog that pays a visit to this beautiful piece of paradise in the fall. Autumn-colored leaves were about to start dropping from the trees, and a cup of coffee warmed my hands as my breath materialized in front of my eyes. It was October 20, 2019, less than four minutes before 8 a.m. and I stood at the crossroads, taking in the beauty before I headed to the headquarters to get my radio, maps, and other equipment for the day. The parking lot was still empty and I had to unlock the cache myself.
By the time I checked out the items and visited the bathroom (the mirror in which has a mustache glued onto it—never tell me that rangers don’t have a sense of humour), a few rangers and one of our medics arrived and we wished each other a good morning and a good day. I said hi to Julia and Travis and headed out to start my trail patrol.
That morning, for whatever reason, sometimes still visits me in my dreams. Words cannot describe its absolute beauty, and so I, too, shall stop trying and let you enjoy the serenity of the day’s coming.