|Standing Stones of Pt Reyes (2)|
It wasn't really a wall, so much as a line of stones on the ground. It may have been a wall at one time, but there's no proof of that. It is a perfectly straight line of rocks imbedded in the ground, stretching from one cliff to the other. It goes directly across the hiking trail; obviously some of the stones were removed when the trail was put in. Either that, or we are looking at the top of a wall which has been completely buried except for the uppermost layer.
Now I felt a sense of reverent awe. Who had laid these stones, how long ago and for what unknown purpose? I walked slowly along the ancient wall, from one end to the other. At the western end lies that huge boulder, balanced near the cliff edge.
examined this stone now. I
recalled now Russell having mentioned it in passing.
If this were Scotland or any part of Europe, no one would question that
this object was thousands of years old, an artifact of the Druids or other
ancient seafarers. It could not
be a natural formation - it was at some time in the remote past propped on
end, with smaller rocks around the base to hold it up.
It sits here on the edge of the world, a lone beacon.
not quite alone. Now I noticed
something else - looking northward along the cliff, I could make out another
similar stone, just on the horizon line at the peak of the slope.
I needed a closer look.
toward the next stone, some quarter of a mile distant, I had time to examine
the immediate landscape more closely. The
more I looked the more amazed I became. I
seemed to find traces of an ancient civilization everywhere.
There were numerous places where stones from the field had been
gathered together and piled into mounds, exactly like those ancient graves in
the British Isles. Why had no
archeologist every excavated this place?
considered the theory that some dairy rancher had made that stone wall to
prevent cows from wandering. If
that were so, then it was evident this rancher was not concerned whether his
livestock fell over the steep cliff at either end of the wall.
I got to the second standing stone, balanced precariously on the western
bluff, I became aware of yet another mystery.
To the north there was a third stone.
third stone was more distant - perhaps half a mile.
Yet the three were clearly a deliberate group.
As far as I could tell they were laid out in a perfectly straight line.
More important, they were positioned exactly so that standing at the
center stone, I could spot the north and south stones just at the horizons.
Yet the northernmost stone would not be visible from the southern, or
vice versa. It was as if
someone in the remote past had laid out a line of semaphore signals stations.
course I walked on to the northern stone.
This was the end of the line. The
trail proceeded on about a mile further, nearly to the end of the point.
But I could see from here there were no more standing stones.
I discovered imbedded in the third stone a bronze plate marked "U.S.
Geodetic Survey." All three
stones were about the same size - solid granite, five to six feet high,
several tons in weight. Whoever
put them there went to a great deal of trouble.
I determined that the remnant of wall, if that's what it is, is closely
aligned to magnetic north. (Whatever
also realized, later, that there may have been other standing stones ranged
along the cliff further south at one time.
There's at least one spot with a small clearing where another stone may
have stood - in just the right position for a line of sight with the
that first summer afternoon I have gone back to visit the site a number of
times. I'm still amazed at all
the hikers who sail past these ancient marvels without seeing them. Dowsers
and geomancers believe these artifacts have the quality of directing earth
energies along certain channels. Perhaps
they also have the ability to direct the attention of passersby in other
are other mysterious stone artifacts throughout Northern California.
At Tilden Park in Berkeley are found stone circles and walls miles in
length. They are all anomalies -
they serve no apparent purpose, no one knows who built them or when.
Sometimes a wall will disappear in the side of a hill, only to
re-emerge several hundred feet away.
There are numerous theories about them.
No one knows how old they are. Yet
no professional archeologist has ever taken enough interest to excavate.
it's better that way. I like to
visit the stones of Pt. Reyes and let my imagination run wild.
Perhaps these stones are only the top of a great buried city.
Or perhaps the standing stones were beacons to warn ships away from the
rocks. Or the grave markers of
also puzzled by all the people I know who think the world around them is
completely explored and understood. In
a sense, they have more imagination than I do.
Pt. Reyes stones had yet one more trick to play on me.
I have a number of pictures of them from previous trips.
However, for the purpose of this article I made one more trip to get
some more recent photographs - in case there were any changes I hadn't
After I got back I discovered the shutter of my camera was broken. The rocks were being invisible again. I had two completely blank rolls of film.
(And also take a look at Rocklines.)