Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Highway 1 Revisited

Mad Dog at the Lone Cypress, Carmel, c1984. There's something quite disturbing about the tightness of those jeans…

Today is Part 2 of my account of the roadtrip I made up the California Pacific Coast Highway back in August. North of Hearst castle and San Simeon the road winds along the Big Sur coastline in spectacular fashion for a hundred miles or so before arriving in Carmel and Monterey. At Carmel I resisted the temptation to have a “Dirty Harry Burger” at Clint Eastwood’s Hog’s Breath Inn. I did, however, take the opportunity to cruise along the 17 mile drive –a spectacular stretch of privately owned beach road that passes through some of the most amazingly expensive real estate and golf courses in the country. I made this run over 20 years ago. Nothing much has changed except that the Lone Cypress tree seems to have more preservative in it than Lenin as it looked like it was on its last twigs back in 1984. But overall the scenery is as gorgeous as ever.
Lone Cypress
The image-trademarked (yes, really) Lone Cypress has either been filled full of embalming fluid or replaced since my last visit!

Monterey was awash with tourists but even so they failed to disturb the Steinbeckian images evoked by Cannery Row. It’s a truly lovely place. I did visit the Monterey Aquarium of which I’d heard great things. Sadly I was sorely disappointed to find a theme-parked, Disney-like playground full of hyperglycemic children and not the natural habitat that I’d expected. The fun-loving sea otters compensated for a lot, though.
Blue jay
Blue Jay atop a fence at Nepenthe –the nicest place imaginable to stop for a drink.

After Monterey I pointed the Jag in the direction of San Francisco and continued my trip north…

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