The other day I left Monterey, CA and headed to San Francisco for a few days. This was the last leg of a 9 day summer road trip. Instead of taking a faster route, I decided to take California State Route 1 along the coast. I knew it was going to add extra time, but it would be worth it.
Along the way I saw a lighthouse in the distance. I had no idea which one it was, but I knew I was going to stop. As I got closer, I saw a sign that said Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park.
I turned off the road and headed toward a small dirt and gravel parking lot. There were about ten cars there and a few people walking around.
I got out of my car and was surprised at how windy it was. The sky was overcast along the coast, but there was a hint of blue to the east. The lighthouse had a chain link fence around it and was closed to the public. The white paint was showing its age and was in need of a facelift. The sign in front said the property was owned by the state and there were plans for a restoration.
There was a pathway from the lighthouse between two buildings to a cliff. I walked that way and was rewarded with a spectacular view of the rocky coast with its crashing waves and strong wind. It was truly an amazing place to be.
It turned out the location was named after an old ship that ran aground off the coast in 1853. The ship’s name was Carrier Pigeon and the area was named Pigeon Point in honor of her. The lighthouse was first lit in 1872 and at 115 feet is one of the tallest in the United States.
I’m glad I stopped. You just never know what you’re going to run across on a road trip. It’s not the destination that’s important. It’s the journey.