If you get to the station, and venture out just a little bit further, over the bridge, and up up up the winding road towards the clouds, you'll find an old ranch, totally and completely enveloped in fog.
If you get there early, you'll find the ranch in total isolation. It's at the edge of the peninsula, without cell service, far far away from the closest town. At the entrance, there is one lone pay phone and not a soul in sight.
The trip up towards the ghost of Pierce Ranch at Tomales Point took about an hour and a half from our campsite in Sebastopol. The only way to get there, was to cross over onto the peninsula from Point Reyes Station, and then head up through thick, thick fog.
Pierce Ranch was once an active ranch, producing gourmet dairy products for over 100 years. The small town was complete with a blacksmith shop, a creamery, and a schoolhouse - of course, all of this was pre-automobile, and without a nearby hardware store, which meant most things were homemade. It wasn't until after closing its doors in the early 1970's, that the Tule Elk, California's native elk, were introduced to the area to roam freely and safely.
Over a century ago, it was thought that the Tule Elk were actually extinct. But by the grace of a conservation-minded cattle rancher, a handful of elk (less than 30) were protected. It is from this handful of elk that reproduced 22 herds across the State, including the 10 animals introduced to Tomales Bay (where Pierce Ranch still stands).
And from those ten that found Tomales Bay to be their new home, they are now a herd of nearly 500.
Just past the ranch, the fog and mist hangs in the Cypress trees. The trees are peculiar, but their presence is strong and protective.
Listen, and you'll get mostly silence, faintly interrupted by the crashing waves of the sea.
The fog breathes, it lives. Like a magician, it shape-shifts to reveal and make hidden.
I didn't know this at the time, but apparently, Point Reyes is considered to be the second foggiest place on the continent. Even by noon, the fog was just as heavy as it'd been. It makes sense why even the horror film The Fog was filmed here. Early in on our 10 mile hike, my hair was already in a frizz and my eyelashes were dripping. Walking and walking through never ending fog, in complete quiet isolation, was peaceful, but also exhausting. It almost felt like being trapped in a time warp. Fog hangs at the edges of lines, and my mind was going in circles, searching for something that wasn't there.