From San Simeon we continue up the coast on Highway 1. The narrow 2-lane road continually ascends and descends as it carves its way along the steep coastal mountains.
|Little stone cairns, a travelers message, "I was here".|
|Pfeiffer Big Sur Sate Park.|
Our destination is Pfieffer Big Sur State Park in the Redwoods where we camped for two nights. It's a beautiful park located in Redwoods. There are flush toilets, coin operated showers, an inexpensive laundry, a dump station and water available through out the campground. The cost is $35 per night, $33 for seniors.
|Stone restroom buildings constructed by the CCC.|
These handsome stone restroom building were built in the 1920's by the CCC.
|Paved roads curve through the trees in Pfeiffer Big Sur Campground.|
The interior roads of the campground are paved and provide a nice evening walk or easy bike ride through the Redwoods.
The park has many trails. We took a short 1.5 mile hike through the Redwoods to Pfeiffer Falls.
|The Redwoods in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park.|
|A Redwood burl root along the campground road is a natural work of art.|
|We wait for a wave to surge through the window and . . .|
Our next stop is Monterey and we camp three nights at Sunset Beach State Park north of Monterey. The park wasn't on the beach and didn't have an ocean view although there was a trail to the beach. It did have tall cypress trees that provide nice shade. It was a very quiet place with only a few campers. There are flush toilets, water taps but no dump station. The staff advised us we could show our receipt at another state park and use the dump. The cost is $35 per night, $33 for seniors. We paid $35 because we made reservations thinking the park would be busy but it wasn't necessary.
|Sunset Beach State Park.|
|Strawberry pickers in the fields near Sunset Beach State Park.|
|The strawberry pickers.|
|Riding the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail. Monterey is across the bay in the background.|
|The wharf in Monterey.|
|Some interesting boats in the Monterey Harbor. This looks like a pirate ship want-to-be.|
|And a hippie boat giving out good vibes and full of optimism.|
|Along the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail as it goes through Monterey.|
We were impressed with Monterey. It has a comfortable small town feel. If we were to live in a coastal town it would be this one.
|Beautiful Victorian buildings line the streets of the water front.|
|Shapely cypress in the parks.|
|There are plenty of beautiful public beaches.|
|The bike path around the Monterey Peninsula along the coast.|
|Water recreation is high priority in Monterey.|
|Phil's in Moss Landing.|
|First come the mussels and clams.|
|Then comes the mail course. Jim has blackened Halibut with crab and mango sauce and I have the Alaskan Sea Bass with ginger sauce. Rice and an assortment of steamed vegetables included.|
|Phil is my new best friend and we'll come here again if we ever get back this way.|
|The Aquarium entry with life size Okras playing overhead.|
The interior of the building has pipes through which sea water flows and is warmed to the desired temperature for the exhibits by the body heat generated from all the people in the building.
|Life size humpback whales swim in the air over our heads.|
The building is divided into exhibits of the many environments of the sea from the shore and tide pools to the ocean depths. You can take photos as long as you don't use a flash. The lighting in the exhibits allowed me to get some good photos. I can't tell you what all these creatures are but they are examples of the wonderful life you'll see at this remarkable Aquarium.
|Penguin feeding time. The crowd gathers.|
|The Otters play games and do tricks during feeding time.|
|The shore bird exhibit. I get the feeling we're being watched.|
|A tribute to John Steinbeck.|
|If only I could get this at home.|