|Donna and I began our journey on the 19th of February early in the morning, up at 4am, we needed to get past the traffic and the city as soon as we could, I was still surprised at how many people had the same idea as we did, so there was traffic to get through, every city that we came to we had the same issue, traffic, the many cars, the people walking and the bicycles. We headed north towards the Pacific Coast Highway, all the way to the curves and the steep climbs, the rock slides and Donna reminding me to 'be careful'...'brake ! brake!' 'what is he doing?' (speaking of the other drivers of course).
Once again, it is our hope that the pictures that are published with this Journal entry tell the story where our few words are not able to do the scenic views justice.
You will see pictures of Monterey...Morro Bay...Pebble Beach....17 Mile Drive....Cayucos....Big Sur.....San Simeon......Soledad. I fail to have the talent to paint the slightest possible colors using words to describe the beauty, or to make it possible to "hear" the crashing of each wave as it hits the beach or slams against the rocks that have been lay-ed by the creator to give off the perfect sound, that is such a enjoyment for those who stop to tune in a ear. We made so many stops along our path these two days, it's a wonder that we didn't cause a accident a few times, there were so many opportunities to take a picture, not knowing when or if we would ever get back to this place, we didn't want to miss anything.
The city and the traffic eventually changed to mountains and farm land, the snow on the very tips of the tallest mountains became so clear, it made me wonder how cold it must be at that level. The recently plowed farm land was quite fertile, a dark rich dirt, the crops were beginning to grow, the dark soil itself gave off a great contrast of color with the white tips of the mountains and the blue skies of this day.
Making that drive along the Pacific Coast Highway, through all those curves, not knowing what we would find around the next bend or WHO, I thought I was being quite careful, Donna has her own opinion on this subject and I'm sure she's sticking to it! I did have pity on her as the mountain and the 'possible' rock slides were on her side of the vehicle. They do take good care of any recent slides that occur as there seems to be a dedicated 'clean up crew' on duty, there were some places where they had to use a bulldozer, it was in places that we haven't reached yet, so maybe that was a blessing in disguise with the slow speed that we were going. We could tell that there were 'locals' making this same trip with us as I decided to pull over when we found a 'vista point' (viewing pull off) and let them pass. I don't know who would have had the worse end of a possible accident, Donna and the rocks or me with the shear hundreds of feet straight down drop off. Ohhhh that's right as Donna had both hands GRIPPING any hand holds that the truck had available, she would be going with me over the side I'm sure. "Vista Points" are 'scenic pull offs' for those of us who are not from the state of California.
We pulled into quite a few of these pull offs to take yet another picture of the scenic views, one particular pull off was crowded with other 'lookers'. As we walked close to the edge of the short cliff and looked down about 20 feet we noticed and smelled the lazy elephant seals sunning themselves among the sea kelp. Now, not to hurt the feelings of humans who love such a creature and of course not to give this critter a complex, Donna and I both find these fly ridden, lazy fellows not a good reason to linger very long at this 'vista point'.
We crossed the mountain range, through a tunnel and over the Bixby bridge, we found ourselves in communities that were quite friendly and nostalgic in appearance. Carmel and Cayucos were beautiful cities near the Pacific Ocean, the breeze that blew from the ocean was cool yet provided the aroma of the sea. We walked through Cayucos, had lunch at a nice little restaurant that served the local catch of the day. The building was located near the pier, had windows that were propped open to provide the same aroma mixed with the smells of what is cooking in the kitchen and the breeze of the ocean. Being February, we understood why the restaurant wasn't filled to it's 49 seat capacity, but can imagine that in mid summer as the heat moves in, local people will find this place a refuge from the sun and hot sands. Donna and I took a walk about through Cayucos, went to a couple of antique stores, realizing that we didn't have room carry or excess money for such things, we did managed to purchase post cards to mail out. We also realized as we walked around, that quite a few homes must have been handed down over the years, while other homes have been torn down and new structures being built to connect with today's time period. Even the colors of the homes reminds us of the summer season and happy times spent with family and friends and the beach.
We made the "17 mile Drive" in and around different local sights, in the picture's you will see the oldest Cypress Tree, 250 years old, you will notice that it is being held in place by a couple of cable wires, I guess in case the wind gets too wild. We also see some beautiful homes along this "17 Mile Drive", some areas where we see the ground crew at "Pebble Beach" being set up for a Golf tournament in the days to follow. The grass on the course is a beautiful deep green, the flowers that are in bloom are beautiful as well with the many colors.
I'm sure that once again I'm not able to describe in depth the many sights. Leaving the sea and the beach behind, we begin to look for a place to stay for the evening, we do find a nice motel in Soledad, this city also is well known for a maximum security prison for men, our motel room and the supper we enjoyed that evening had to have been better then what they were dining on or sleeping in at the prison!
Leaving Soledad that next morning, we realized the decision we had made to spend the night was the right one, as the surrounding area was farm land, open areas and of course the white capped mountains. On the way back to Los Angeles, we saw rows and rows of tree's, we finally saw the farm and the crop these tree's carried..it was avocado's. We passed up a avocado farm, in amongst the trees we found a gazebo that had different things made from avocados for sale, Donna of course wanted to purchase a bag of the fruit to take home with us.
I'm sure there are a lot of things that we encountered in the two days that I did not describe in this travel Journal, but realizing that some of you have to get back to work and you still have the 102 pictures to look through! Now, at this time, to label each picture with a description would be a very time consuming process, so you will have to just look at the beauty of each picture and 'caption' it yourself.