Monday, July 22, 2013


Friday in Monterey--not surprisingly, woke up to cool, overcast skies, with some light misty rain, off and on, pretty typical for the area.  But, we weren't about to let this dampen our spirits, as we wanted to take advantage of this marvelous long bike path along the ocean.  It's the Monterey Coastal Trail, and, while there are some sections where you briefly are on the roads, for the vast majority of its 29 miles, you're on a paved path in and of itself, sometimes right close to Highway 1--but still separated from the vehicular traffic--but mostly it's smack dab along the shoreline.  It is absolutely fantastic!  We had seen this the day before when we had driven up from Monterey on Hwy 1 to go shopping, and when we had gone into REI, the guy there had told us where we could access the trail.  So, we drove the RV up the coast a ways and parked it, so we could ride back down into Monterey along this wonderful trail.  We didn't do the whole 29 miles, but we rode for quite a good chunk of it, and it was just fabulous!  The mist began to subside, and sometimes we even had a bit of sunshine, but we had a great ride, passing the crashing waves and windswept beaches, big houses, expansive views, and then into Monterey--through a gorgeous stand of huge cypress trees, past the vast array of parks where there were lots of beach volleyball courts set up and many people out honing their skills, past the beach where there were big groups of folks in wetsuits, taking classes on sea kayaking and paddle boarding, and then on into the downtown area of Monterey, past Fisherman's Wharf, where we stopped to watch the seals and sea lions lounging on the rocks, some swimming around playing, happily barking their welcome to the many tourists who flock to the area.  We have been to Monterey two or three times over the years, but it had been probably 20 or 25 years since our last visit.  It was wonderful to see the town again, and relive lots of great memories.  We had stayed at the Monterey Bay Inn, a lovely little hotel with balconies out over the water, and ours overlooked the wharf, where we could see and hear the seals as we sat out on the balcony and watched the sunset.

We rode through town to the end of the trail at Lovers Point, a wonderful park in Pacific Grove, and then rode back to downtown Monterey for lunch.  We ate at Bubba Gump Shrimp Company--a restaurant themed on the movie Forrest Gump.  It's a fun place to eat, as all the wait staff come around during the meal and play a form of trivia, asking questions about things from the movie.  Don't know if this has always been the case, but we didn't remember this from the last time we were there a number of years ago--but of course this could very well be a function of our memories not being what they once were!!  Anyway, even though it's been years since I've seen the movie, I was able to hang in there and answer most of the questions correctly, even when the waiter tried to slip in a trick question, like "Which one of Lt. Dan's legs did he lose?"  (Both of them!).  I was even able to stump him a time or two with a question of my own.  Great fun!

After lunch we rode back up to Marina, where we had parked the carhouse.  It was a super ride, and we both love our new bikes.  This was the first time Trisha had been on a long ride since we got them, and since she had gotten some biking shorts and she agreed that this made a big difference in how comfortable she was for the ride.  Then we did the 17 Mile Drive, passing through the glorious big cypress groves, past the stunning views of the Pacific along Pebble Beach, Spyglass and Spanish Hills golf courses, and, of course, some huge, huge houses.  Then back to the RV park for the night, and up Saturday morning to head on to St. Helena!

Great view as we're coming into Monterey
 Some shots from our bike ride--here when we are just coming along the harbor near Fisherman's Wharf, with these harbor seals out on the rocks
 So interesting to see how they manage to find even the smallest rocks to rest on
 Two seals cavorting around in the harbor!

Kayakers in the harbor
 Fisherman's Wharf

Lovers Point Park

 Not a bad place for a house, huh?
 Some of the beautiful flowers in downtown Monterey

Riding back, through this gorgeous grove of cypress--isn't this bike path wonderful??
 Shots from along the 17 Mile Drive

Just love these craggy rocks!
These pics aren't doing it justice, but there were areas all along the coastline of this beautiful ground cover that at times looked like a big reddish carpet

Beautiful wild flowers
Not sure what's going on with this house, as there appeared to be scaffolding around part of it, so don't know i this roof is the permanent one or not, but thought it almost looked like something out of Hansel and Gretel!

 Just a modest beach cottage, don't you think??  And there are a number of homes considerably bigger than this one!

 Somehow, this just doesn't look comfortable to me, but I guess it must be for the harbor seal

 Love it when one lifts its head and tail at the same time!
 Jonathan Living Seagull atop a magic carpet of the red ground cover on this rock
 This one would just kind of move around, seemingly scratching its back

This thick ground cover was an amazing shade of green

 The lone cypress tree out on a point near Pebble Beach

This is a really, really big house--you can only get this one view of the end of it, but you can tell it goes on for quite a ways--almost looks like a castle, built right onto and into the face of the rocks leading down to the ocean.  On an overcast day like it was, it's a really haunting effect, with the winds whipping up the waves, and these stark, white tree trunks.

 They call this one the Ghost Tree, as it's so white, but you can see similar effects in the shot above.
 Here's a better shot of the red ground cover


  1. Replies
    1. Chuck, it is a beautiful area--if y'all haven't been, you definitely need to put it on your bucket list!

  2. I am so envious! The pictures are gorgeous and so are you two! Kit