Sunday, October 21, 2012

Day 24: Monterey to Big Sur

On Friday we continued our journey southward riding from Monterey to Big Sur. I had visited the area before and was looking forward to the opportunity to ride my bike down the world famous 17-mile drive. To drive the section of the road within the Pebble Beach Gated Community costs $9.75 except for residents and visitors on bicycles. Ride did not disappoint. As we rolled out of the hotel we were greeted with a nice marine layer that kept us relatively warm.  Riding along the shore we saw sea lions, otters, and some spectacular seaside mansions. 

Sea Lions basking on the rocks in Monterey Bay

A shot of the sunrise as it breaks through the fog looking back towards Monterey.
I'm not a horticulturist, but I have been captivated by all the flora I've seen during my trip.  This interesting succulent was growing along the beach between Monterey and Carmel. Speaking of horticulturist, when I asked a fellow rider how to spell "horticulturist," she told me a story about Dorothy Parker, a well-known American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist reputed to be able to use any word in a sentence. When asked to use the word "horticulture," she responded "you can lead a whore-to-culture, but you can't make her think." Get it? Horticulture/"whore-to-culture." Well, I thought it was pretty funny.

This plant stands about 4 feet tall
Cypress juniper trees

I'm not sure what kind of plant this is, but I thought the bottle-brush looking flowers were quite beautiful.

I know tsunami's are a very real threat in coastal areas, but I still chuckle whenever I see these signs and try to imagine myself running (or riding) towards higher ground.

17-Mile Drive is dotted with golf courses, including the world famous Pebble Beach

This picture isn't very good, but there are hundreds of seals sunning themselves on this rock just off shore.

The famous "Lone Cypress" tree is a 250 year old growing out of the rocks along 17-Mile Drive and the official symbol of Pebble Beach.  

 Mission San Carlos Borroméo del río Carmelo, also known as the Carmel Mission, is a Roman Cathoic mission church in Carmel, CA. It is on the National Register of Historic Places and a U.S. National Historic Landmark. it was the headquarters of the original upper Las Californias Province missions headed by Father Junipero Serra from 1770 until his death in 1784. In 1988 Pope John Paul beatified Serra, moving him to within one step of sainthood. Franciscan priests promoting Serra toward sainthood praise him for spreading the Catholic gospel into California and saving thousands of Indian souls for God's kingdom in heaven. In a critical biography of Serra, Daniel Fogel focuses on the Franciscan friars' cultural and psychological impact on the Indians they baptized and brought into the California missions. While the friars made diligent efforts to protect "their" Indians from smallpox, mission Indians suffered devastating mortality from measles and syphilis -- the latter introduced by Spanish and Mexican soldiers raping Indian women. Equally devastating than the epidemics was the that by teaching the Natives Catholic dogma in Spanish and Latin, the friars hastened the disappearance of the Indian languages and left the Indians without resources to claim the formal rights they had under Mexican law and later U.S. law. 
Counting down the miles to our destination in Big Sur.
Pig or javelina crossing?   

As we near the end of our Pacific Coast ride, the days are beginning to blur.  Half the time I don't know what day it is and the other half I don't know where I'm coming from or going to. In addition to sharing my ride with family, friends, and colleagues, this blog has helped me keep track of the ride and all the places I've been. Below is our route from Monterey to Big Sur.

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1 comment:

  1. Cool - I've never seen a Javelina Crossing sign! I'm going to miss reading the blogs each day. I know it is a challenge to keep them current 'cuz lots of days you just want to eat and go to bed BUT not only do folks enjoy reading them, you have a nice journal for yourself when ride is over. It is amazing how things blur but you can relive the trip over and over. If you haven't, read the other blogs also. You will wonder if you were on the same ride in some cases. Safe travels for the remaining days.


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