2008 Western Adventure


Day 34 - July 23, 2008

With Yosemite behind me, my sights are now locked into the Monterey/Carmel and the pacific coast highway south.  The ride from Merced to Monterey was a blur, and you can tell from the lack of non-water pictures that I didn't stop much on the way to the coast.

I entered Monterey from the north and was hoping to see some remnants of Ft Ord, where I was station in the Army 50 years ago.  I didn't see anything that resembled the old barracks that were built in the 40's.  The fort was closed many years ago and I guess that all the old buildings were destroyed.  Too bad...I did have some good times there, or should I say memorable times.

As I entered Monterey I saw the Naval Post Graduate School, that was there when I was in the Army.  At least that survived.  Coming up on the right was the wharf.  Many very good memories along the Monterey waterfront.  I especially remember Cannery Row, with its quaint little restaurants and Bistro.  It was the era of folk music and every little bistro featured an up and coming folk singer.  One of my high school classmates, Bill Young, played there during the 50's.  He has since retired from the folk singing business, but still picks up his guitar once in a while and brings back some of those memories.  Hemingway's roots are deep in the Monterey area, and there are many tributes to his contributions to this waterfront town.

I rode around Monterey and the wharf area for some time and then headed down the coast to Pacific Grove, where I actually lived when I was in the Army.  I lived with another one of my high school buddies, Charlie Hanson, and a couple of other Army buddies, Joe Cabral and Jim Pedigo.  We has soon great parties in that old house.  I found the old house, and it still looked pretty much the same.  The front wall around the yard and the tree was added after we left.  The inside was a little sparse, but that was intentional so we'd have room to party.  I wonder what ever happened to Joe and Jim?  If you ever read this, get in touch with me.

After I'd ridden around Pacific Grove for a while, I head to the 17 mile drive. I couldn't wait to ride that stretch "God's Country" again.  I remembered exactly where it was.  I pulled up to the guard shack and started to pull out my wallet to pay the $9.25 fee (it had gone up a lot...from free to $9.25).  I'd barely got my wallet out and the guard said apologetically, "NO MOTORCYCLES ALLOWED."  I wanted to say something nasty, but I bite my tongue and said okay.  The were a few choice works uttered inside my helmet though. 

Next on my list was Carmel, where I spent lots of time on the beautiful beach.  I was hoping that they didn't have a motorcycle restriction there as well.   Fortunately no restriction, only a lot of traffic.  It took me about a half an hour to get down the short road to the beach, but it was worth the wait.  It was as I had remembered.  It's strange how much man made thing can change in such a short time, but mother nature takes her sweet old time in making changes to her domain.  The sandy white beaches and beautiful coastline on either side of the beach.  I could live there without any begging.  What a great place.  No wonder, Clint Eastwood made it his home.

More coming



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