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Image Caption: STS073-726-004 Point Reyes National Seashore, California, U.S.A. October 1995
This spectacular, west-looking, low-oblique photograph highlights the Point Reyes National Seashore located approximately 35 miles (56 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco. The U.S. Congress created a national preserve in 1962 to include Point Reyes, a triangular peninsula. It is an area of exceptional beauty, with blunt headlands jutting into the sea and grass-tufted dunes lying along sheltered beaches. Within the preserve is the high, forested Inverness Ridge, which has a small grove of coast redwoods. Offshore rocks house many bird rookeries and sea lion herds. The famous San Andreas Fault (partially filled with water) can be seen passing northwest-southeast along the east side of the park. During the 1906 earthquake that destroyed most of the city of San Francisco, Point Reyes suffered a 15- to 20-foot (5- to 7-meter) horizontal displacement of rock along the fault scarp. Formed by the San Andreas Fault, Drakes Bay, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean southeast of Point Reyes, was visited by Sir Francis Drake in 1579. Discernible near the northeast edge of the photograph is the small city of Petaluma, a large poultry and dairy center that manufactures cheese, twine, fishing lines, canvas goods, and fabricated metal.