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
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
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.