We visited the Monterey bay for the 5th time in the Big White Box (BWB), enjoying the Carmel Coast and also Moss Landing, where we camped at the Mosss Landing KOA. Each trip, we try to take in something different, and the highlights of our previous trips are listed below. They bring back good memories.
I usually get up early to take Lucy, our terrier-mix, for a walk. Moss Landing is a great place for this, and one of the reasons we enjoy staying there. Lucy and I walk past the harbor and marina, where the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute is located,
and down a dirt pathway with the ocean on your right (note the moon setting over the ocean in the photo below) and the slough on your left.
As I walk along the pathway, I listen to the ocean surf just on the other side of the dunes, while inside the slough I hear birds calling to each other, and watch egrets patiently waiting for their breakfast to swim by. I can also usually find an otter or two swimming by (that’s an otter in the photo below out for an early morning swim).
And then there are the many bunnies that seem to love teasing Lucy as they hop to the other side of the fence or into the bushes before she can get too close. They seem to both enjoy the game.
On the way back this morning, the sun started to peek over the roof of the Moss Landing Marine Labs (MLML), which dominates the east side of the slough. MLML is a consortium of seven CSU campuses dedicated to excellence in the Marine Sciences.
While most people are just waking up, Lucy and I have enjoyed a great start to our day. To top things off, there is usually a hot cup off coffee waiting for me at the BWB, and Lucy is ready for her breakfast. 🙂
We decided to drive in to Carmel today, as the ProAm tournament was this weekend, and the Pacific Grove area was extra crowded. We intended to hike at Point Lobos, but as entered we found out that no dogs are allowed anywhere in the park! The helpful ranger suggest the dog-friendly Monastery Beach, about a mile away. It’s a great beach for walking, but the coast here is treacherous and we were advised to stay our of the water!
Off in the distance we saw another beach, but did not see a way to get there. A quick look at Apple Maps and we were on our way to Ribera Beach, a real find! If you are tired of the crowds along Pacific Grove, this is a great alternative!
You enter at the end of residential street and there are only a few parking places. Walking through these trees and down the steps (a very middle-earth feeling to the entrance 🙂 reveals breath-taking views.
The pathway meanders along the coast, but also along the top of the interesting rock formations which adds a different dimension to the views.
We really enjoyed Ribera Beach and highly recommend a walk along the beach here. The walk worked up our appetite, so we drive into Carmel for lunch at the Forge in the Forrest. We liked the food there and loved the atmosphere.
We also visited the Whole Enchilada in Moss Landing during the trip. They specialize in Mexican seafood, and we both really enjoyed our meals. They also draw a crowd to their open air market and cafe, where you can get all kinds of produce, including locally grown artichokes. It’s a fun place to stop and browse.
All too soon, it was time to pack up and travel back home. We enjoyed our stay. The trip home was more of an adventure than usual, as Highway 17 was down to one lane due to a mud-slide caused by recent rainstorms dumping over 8 inches on the Santa Cruz mountains.
We decided to stay on Highway 1 and head east at Half Moon Bay. Interestingly, Highway 1 was also narrowed to one lane above Santa Cruz due to a mud-slide taking out one of the southbound lanes. We were stopped on the highway for about 20 minutes as we waited for the road crews to do their work. The great thing about having an RV is that we simply used that as an opportunity to make lunch and have a bathroom break. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade! 🙂