Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Installment #13: Salinas 2003

After Santa Cruz island we went on a roadtrip to Salinas, CA to visit the Steinbeck Museum. We drove up on a Friday night after a full day of work. We stopped for the night in San Luis Obispo. We wanted to stay at the Madonna Inn but it was booked solid and we settled for an ordinary hotel. The next morning we drove on to Salinas and toured the museum. It was interesting. The wife teaches Steinbeck so she probably enjoyed it more the me.

After some lunch we drove towards Monterey. On the way we stopped to do three geocaches. Two of the caches were situated on Fort Ord. This was really spooky. Fort Ord was closed and all the buildings were boarded up - a ghost town. We were here just after the start of the Iraq war and we still believed that there were weapons of mass destruction to be found there. We were walking across the base when I saw a building labeled "N.B.C Training." For those who don't know, N.B.C stands for Nuclear Biological Chemical. N.B.C. training prepares soldiers to deal with the effects of weapons of mass destruction. It was just plain weird.

We arrived in Monterey and drove through Cannery Row. We drove around looking for a motel room and had a hard time finding a room. We ended up in an almost-dive. It was good enough but I had been in better. We did find some Italian food nearby that was pretty tasty.

The next day we started home. We drove through Pebble Beach. I was surprised that you had to pay just to drive through but it turned out to be worth it. It was a beautiful drive. After Pebble Beach we drove south on the Pacific Coast Highway (Highway 1 - PCH). This is one of the most beautiful drives anywhere. The road follows the coast - The Pacific Ocean on one side and the lush forests of Big Sur of the other. The views just never quit.

It was a fun weekend. I wish I had planned it a little better. I am sure we missed quite a bit in Monterey and Big Sur. We are planning to visit a couple of missions in the area and we will have another opportunity to drive down the 1.

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