Big Sur, Monterey

by

Sunday, 28 April

Before breakfast, we drove to the Cal Poly to see if the arboretum was worth seeing. Don’t know: it’s behind a fence and a hedge, and you pay admission to get in. That would be when it’s open, which it wasn’t, not at 7 AM on a Sunday morning. Well, maybe next time.

After breakfast, we headed out highway 1 for a day of Big Sur country. There was a sign warning of possibly extensive delays because of today’s Big Sur marathon, but we’re not in a big hurry, so we pressed on. First stop, to change drivers, at Ragged Point, where there is a very nice little resort.

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Maybe a place to stay someday when we just want to relax and not do very much.

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The drive through Big Sur country is not that many miles, but it’s slow, with all the curves in the road. We stopped a few times to enjoy the day: chilly, foggy in many places, hazy sunlight.

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Beautiful country. Too bad there really isn’t much to do here, other than drive through it.

By the time we reached Big Sur, the townlet, the sun had won the battle, although it was still cool. Jacky thought a cup of hot chocolate would be good, so we stopped — and then went on, when she saw the prices!

We always like to see ambitious bicycle tourists. The riders were in the restaurant soaking up calories.

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This one is nothing if not practical.

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It was well into afternoon, but north of Big Sur, we ran into the straggles of the marathon. Many miles of creeping along, one amongst a thousand cars. Well, we can’t claim we weren’t warned.

We decided to reward ourselves — maybe — by stopping in Monterey, walking down Cannery Row, getting something to eat.

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This model recognizes the Chinese fishermen who were also part of the old sardine fishing tradition that launched Cannery Row.

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The high point of this stop was seeing a sea otter not far offshore. It’s rare to get close enough for even a moderately good photo. This one is eating the meat from a clamshell (above); the shell itself is visible (below).

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Lying on their backs in the water is of course how they eat without picnic tables.

The traffic report on the radio said the roads from Santa Cruz were congested, so we turned off at Castroville toward 101 and discovered an hour or two of creeping congestion on that route, too. Even with the traffic, though, it was a pretty good micro-vacation.

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