Point Reyes (10/5/2022)

Today I went up to Pt. Reyes. I had signed up for a Walk in the Dark event via the Point Reyes Tracking School (https://pointreyestrackingschool.com/). I’d heard of the guy who runs it from my CalNat course at Pt. Reyes. I’ve been wanting to do one of the free meet-ups (since I can’t currently pay for the classes), then I saw this event was FREE. So, I signed up!

Ok, it wasn’t free, but it was listed as free on the website, which hadn’t been updated for this year (to indicate it was $50). Told him I was only able to attend if it was free, so he let me! Saying he had “scholarship money” he could use for me. So it was FREE for ME!

Before that, I got there early to check out the Earthquake Trail and Woodpecker Trail. Had never been, and they’re easy loops. Wanted to get in some Naturing up there before darkness and all.

But, it’s too late to get into it! The photos speak to what I observed before the evening, plus an unfortunate Coyote encounter on Highway 1 as I was heading up. An absolute jerk was parked in a pullout area and was feeding this Coyote. JUST OUTRAGEOUS. The Coyote was in the road, right in front of my car. I realized it should be afraid of cars, so I started honking at it. Unfazed, it eventually moved off then crossed the flippin’ highway to where the man was leaving it food.

I said to him from my car, “I hope you’re not feeding that thing!” To which he replied something somewhat unintelligible but ultimately meant, “Shut your trap.” I shouted at him as I drove off, “You shouldn’t feed wildlife!” I was so mad. We JUST watched this webinar thing about Urban Coyotes, and how so many of them die because people feed them – which leads to them getting hit by cars or feeling like they can approach people, which becomes reports of them “attacking people.” It’s all so messed up. Because people feed them. You KNOW I’m going to try and report this in case they can catch this guy in the act. I know people to report it to, AND I SHALL.

In addition to the photos of my Naturing, I will share some highlights of my Walk in the Dark experience. I now know what it’s like to walk in a natural setting with a blindfold on. I now know what the sound of eerie Coyotes are that actually startle a professional Tracker. I now know what it’s like to walk across a meadow with a blindfold on to reach the other end where a man waited whilst banging a drum so we could get to him. I now know what it’s like to do a night hike with no human-made light whatsoever but from the silvery half-moon (psst, it’s like seeing EVERYTHING as a black-and-white movie!). I now know what it’s like to walk up and down a mountain at night. I now know one of the most hauntingly beautiful images I’ve ever seen in my life was the forest near the top of Meadow Trail that was lit by the halfmoonlight. I now know what a Northern Spotted Owl sounds like above me calling into the dark night.

And I have absolutely no photos whatsoever of any of it.

For those of you who actually enjoy reading the details of my adventures, I’m sorry it’s too late to write up my Night Naturing. Feel free to ask me about it in person sometime, though! It was NUTSO!!

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