Hello, my friends! For the past few weeks, we’ve had our French visitors over, so of course, M. Cheesemonger and I wanted to show them the best of everything on their first (for most of them) US visit. Among our activities were excursions to Yosemite National Park and Point Reyes National Seashore, as well as Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station. ^_^
Yosemite National Park
Even though Yosemite is a relatively short 3-4 hour drive away from SF, we don’t get there very often. This year, because of the winter’s heavy rains, all the waterfalls seemed to be flowing in full force. There was some smoke from nearby wildfires, too, sadly, but we made the most of our visit.
I had just gotten a 10-stop neutral density filter, which allowed me to take long-exposure photos during the day. Wow—I love the result, and I cannot wait to take the filter and my camera out on more hikes! The rushing waters and slight softness in the air from the smoke made for rather dreamy photos.
Our Yosemite visit was short—we hiked the Vernal Fall trail, saw a bear from the other side of the falls (my first!), and then spent the rest of the afternoon searching for one of our party, who had wandered off. The following day, we climbed up high along Tioga Road, where we were treated to views, high-altitude lakes, and a bag of potato chips popping from the altitude change. And then we went home. It was too short of a trip!
Point Reyes National Seashore
Every trip to Point Reyes has to include a visit to Cowgirl Creamery, and so we popped by to stock up on a couple salads and cheese for lunch.
Point Reyes has remained dear to M. Cheesemonger and me since we first discovered it upon moving to the Bay Area. Hopefully, our guests could see why! That day, we saw Tule elk, seals, snakes, long stretches of pristine beaches, local swimming spots, and historic dairy farms nestled among rolling hills.
This day was short on photos, but see this prior blog post about Point Reyes if you want to get a sense of the landscape!
You can, however, see our cheese choices. We tasted Cowgirl Creamery’s Red Hawk so we could really show off the local terroir (Red Hawk’s distinctive color and flavor happen thanks to local moulds), and Flora by Capriole Goat Cheese, the newest cheese by one of the pioneers of American cheese. Our guests loved both! Red Hawk was at a great spot in its life cycle—it was ripe, but not so ripe it was losing all sense of shape, and its characteristic pungency was in great balance with the underlying buttery cheese flavors. As for Flora, it was maybe a tiny bit older than I would have liked, but I could still appreciate the goat cheese’s fluffy young texture and bright, floral, grassy flavors.
Our French friends headed back home, but I hope they enjoyed their first visit to the west coast, and their first taste of American cheese.
Cowgirl Creamery: 80 4th St, Point Reyes Station, CA 94956. Wed-Sunday: 10am-6pm. Closed Monday and Tuesday.
When out-of-town guests visit you, what do you like to show them?? Let me know in the comments below!
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