Friday, February 26, 2010

Scenic State Route 1

The first picture I want to post here is of some vegetation I found as I walked the seashore.Hard to believe such lush foliage can grow in sandy soil!  Yesterday we moved our motor home further north up the coast to the Monterey area. We took the coastal highway, State Route 1. John was a bit unsure about taking our large rig on that road. We even extended our stay an extra day at Morro Bay because of  rain and fog on Wednesday. That was not a good day to travel on a scenic highway!  Yesterday was sunny and warm. And shortly after being on the road I understood why John was concerned. Various sections of  the coastal highway are narrow, steep and winding. Frequently we saw signs warning of the possibility of rock slides. In some areas there were steel mesh nets hung on the cliff walls to hold back falling rocks. At one of these places I did see some big boulders which had  been trapped in the net. It was worth taking any chances, however. The drive was  very scenic with  vistas of  vast ocean expanses and rocky seashores. Rolling green hills came down to the highway as well as deep rocky canyons and towering mountain walls.
On this drive we saw the elephant seals again. I was surprised to see some of them lolling around near the road. They had come up a distance from the beach, fortunately there was a fence to keep them off the highway! Driving further along, we passed through the town of Big Sur and the scenery changed dramatically. Suddenly we were viewing forests of towering redwoods. What an awesome sight!
As we drove closer to our final destination the road seemed to go more inland and we saw large fields of what was advertised on the billboards as artichokes. We were in the "artichoke capital of the world". This is near the town of Salinas which has the reputation of being the "Salad Bowl of the World".  Driving further we came upon signs warning us to watch for pigs on the road (we never saw any,wild or otherwise). And then we came on a town with a very unusual name- Sand City. There were large sand dunes across the highway from that city. Down the road from that town was Sea City. We reached our destination about 5PM. We had been on the coastal highway about 5 hours. We both thought it had been the most scenic trip we had made so far since starting out about a year ago. We thought the Gaspe Peninsula in Canada was quite beautiful but what we saw yesterday sure topped that.

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