Sunday, April 22, 2012

An Awesome Drive

One of the best things about full time rv travel is that by being on the road 12 months of the year you can arrive at busy tourist areas during the non-peak seasons.  Sometimes that means that you have to deal with bad weather or non-optimal conditions.  However on Thursday morning the overcast skies cleared around our campground so we decided to make the drive over to the Monterey and Pebble Beach area to follow the 17 Mile Drive and do some sightseeing.

Unfortunately Bl*gger refuses to cooperate when it comes to uploading photographs in the order I want them to upload unless I do them one at a time and I'm too impatient for that, so you have a mishmash here.  I'll simply add captions and let the photographs speak for themselves for the most part.

Monterey is a pretty little town but like many pretty little older towns that are now tourist areas the streets are narrow, the parking is limited and our big ol' truck is hard to maneuver so we didn't stop.  This display of carvings was right next to the intersection where we were stopped at a traffic signal.
The idea of Cannery Row appealed to me due to the John Steinbeck novel but of course now it's street after street of shops and the line to the Monterey Aquarium was all the way down the block so we kept driving.

Denny and I found a place to park Black Beauty along Lover's Point.  We offered a man who was out on the point a dollar to take our picture (kidding) and he said another man down the way had offered him five dollars so we compromised on two dollars and fifty cents.  We enjoy it when people play along with our silliness.  And of course we took a picture of him and his lady friends in return.
Out of order, this is the Chatillon Sur Mer, one of the hundreds of gorgeous residences (cottages a la the Hamptons?) along the 17 Mile Drive of Pebble Beach.  Since a standard four bedroom/3 bath one story home in Hollister, California which is 50 miles inland is selling for $549,000 how much do you suppose this baby would cost?
The view from Lover's Point in Pacific Grove, California.
Jumping around, this is a shot taken at the Lone Cypress.  The colors of the Pacific reminded us of the waters around Hawaii.  After so many years of watching the rather murky waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Myrtle Beach the clean, clear waters here are impressive.
Denny and I stopped at Asilomar State Park to eat our picnic lunch and to wander the gravel beach looking for what we call beach glass but what the locals here call sea glass.  At this particular location the surf is so strong that the glass pieces we found were more like beads of glass--pretty but not of much use for making jewelry.  I'll hang onto them for now.
A little further down the road we stopped at Bird Rock to take photographs of the cormorants but I was distracted by these little guys.  Totally ignoring the "do not feed the wildlife" signs, they got a couple of kitty treats as rewards.
Some areas just cry out for that "artsy" shot.
And here in all its glory is the Lone Cypress; said to be over 250 years old and surviving the water and weather on this rocky outcropping.  Of course it now has a little help from man, being tethered to a rock wall.
I'm unsure whether this is part of the Links at Spanish Bay Golf Club or the Spyglass Hill Golf Club but whichever is it, the golfers here have a fabulous view of the ocean behind me.

Along 17 Mile Drive there is a Monterey cypress tree that has been shaped by the winds and named "the Ghost Tree".  Just a few yards down the road is a similar tree with a more fantastical shape that has no name but it is perfect for that touristy shot.
Again, sadly out of sync, this is the Pacific Grove Golf Course.  On one side the golfers have the Point Pinos lighthouse looking down upon them and on the other side they have the surf crashing up against the shoreline.  Beautiful.
Part of the famed Pebble Beach Golf Course, which non-registered guests may play for $495 plus the cost of the riding cart.  Registered guests pay the same green fee but get the riding cart thrown in.  Which explains why Denny and I did NOT try to reserve a tee time at Pebble Beach.
The Point Pinos lighthouse at Pacific Grove, California.
This is a very zoomed in shot of a seal that was hanging around a couple of guys who were out in the water on surf boards messing around.  I say messing around because they never tried to surf while Denny and I were watching.  The seal was having fun though.
The fog or marine layer moved in as Denny drove southward so when we arrived at Bird Rock which sits pretty far from the shoreline I wasn't able to get a clear photo of the many seals sitting on the right side of the rock along with the cormorants.  A little further down the road an entire section of the roadway had been fenced off as it is birthing and nursing seasons for the seals and the wildlife officers try to keep any and all people from disturbing the seals during the two month period the seals are here with their pups.
What we at first thought were dead trees and debris in the surf in front of Bird Rock turned out to be seals resting on their sides in the water with their flippers sticking out of the water.  A pair of high powered binoculars came in handy here and we passed them around to other folks standing nearby so they could enjoy a good look.
I could live here.  I couldn't afford it, but I could live here.
Many times during the day Denny and I pulled over to the side of the road and found a place to sit where we could just watch the action of the surf hitting the rocky shore.

The wind creates some strange tree sculptures in the area of Pescadero Point in Pebble Beach.
The standard tourist shot of the Lone Cypress.
The fog rolled in midway through our drive and I was afraid it would keep us from seeing the Lone Cypress and the other sights along 17 Mile Drive but the sun finally came out again.
Taken in the general area of the Lone Cypress on 17 Mile Drive.
We had thought about continuing down highway 101 to Big Sur but we had taken so long to drive through Pebble Beach that we simply headed for home.  Another time, perhaps....


Erin said...

What a beautiful day to see such gorgeous sights. Thanks for taking us along.

Arkansas Patti said...

Wow that place is awesomely beautiful. Perhaps my favorite place you have visited yet.
Wow, are Pebble Beach's greens fees brutal.

Anvilcloud said...

It really does look like an awesome drive -- in nice weather too.

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