Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Sun. May 4 – Tues. May 7, 2013

On Sunday we relaxed as it was another windy day…about 20 mpr I think.  In the afternoon we drove around Salinas a bit to see what the city is like, then decided to get groceries.  I had put homemade pea soup in the crockpot but on the way to Walmart, we passed a BJ’s – one of our favorite restaurants, so the truck just automatically pulled in there.  Ok, pea soup tomorrow….BJ’s today!  Had great lupper (lunch/supper) and then got groceries.  Also found a Safeway in the huge strip mall and stopped there for our favorite nut and seed bread.  Not only is it delicious but it is only $1.98/loaf!  What a value!!

Monday, May 5 was another windy day.  We worked around the rig, I walked after supper when it wasn’t quite so windy.  Got lots of little chores done…always a good feeling!

Tuesday, walked in the morning and by noon we were ready to take off for our sightseeing trip south on Hwy 1.  What a thrill – it has been our dream for several years to see this beautiful area!  We traveled west from Salinas on Hwy 68, a scenic highway and caught Hwy 1 just north of Carmel.  The homes in Carmel Highlands are amazing and what views they must have!  What money they must cost!  LOL.  Saw quite a few for sale, many represented by Sotheby’s!

Our first stop is at Point Lobos State Reserve.  We were grateful for our CA State Parks Discount pass as we got in for $5 for our day pass.  This headland area was once a Native American gathering place in winter and spring, whaling station, pasture for livestock, an abalone cannery and shipping pint for nearby coal mines.  There are lots of miles of hiking paths which would be spectacular.  We did drive around the one road to see several areas. 


Below are harbor seals in Whaler’s Cove.  It is pupping season (April-June) so the steps to the beach were blocked.  We saw quite a few Moms with pups and some were swimming.  Fun to hear them barking…


The Point Lobos State Marine Reserve adjoining this area serves as a wonderful scuba diving area.  Two temperature zones meet and overlap here so animals and plants from both warmer and colder waters meet here.


Huge trees surround the Whaler’s Cabin which was the site of a whaling station from 1862-1879.

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These are scenes as we progress around the loop drive in the Reserve.

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Harbor seals frolic in the beautiful China Cove cold waters or snooze on the sun-warmed sand.

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We took the short walk around China Cove out to Bird Island, a .8 mile hike through very diverse coastal scrub.  

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We saw many arches created by the sea surging through tiny cracks in granite rock forming caves and arches.   On Bird Island, hundreds of Brandt’s Cormorants nest close together in the spring and summer.

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We were pleased to see many school groups and artists utilizing this beautiful area.

Back on Hwy 1, we head through some housing areas…here’s an oops!

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Further south, the high mountains hare on our left and the ocean on our right.  Magnificent…the photos begin to show it.  Breathtaking…  We climb from next to the ocean to heights of 700’ above with the bluffs right out my window.

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Further south is the Point Lobos Naval Station – what a view they have.  There is also a lighthouse on the point.

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It is time for some time from behind the wheel and refreshment, so we stopped in Big Sur, our southernmost destination for the day. Fernwood is a motel, general store and the Redwood Grill provides awesome food and drink.  Jerry and I each tried a local dark beer…both awesome.  Jerry had a great burger and I was wowed by their BBQ pork, all made from scratch on site.  Our waiter told us that development of all this area was stopped more than 20 years ago.  No foundations may be put on any of the private land owned.  (That’s why we saw cattle grazing in some areas right next to the ocean, and I said to Jerry…I’d have a house there…the cows sure don’t appreciate the scenery.)  LOL

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Back north on Hwy 1…

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This is the Bixby Bridge, an official historic bridge built in 1932, one of several built around then on this highway.  This one is the longest!

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After traveling back through Del Rey Oaks, we take a side route through a small suburb of Salinas called Spreckles.  This is in the agricultural valley and extremely well kept. 

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This was one of the most spectacular days we have had!  Life is so good and we are so blessed and so grateful that we can do this trip.  Thanks for sharing it with us!  

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