July 5, 2016

A Drive Down The Pacific Coast Highway


A Drive Down The Pacific Coast Highway
Todd Swank's Diary Entry for June 26, 2016


During our first full day of our California vacation, we spent the morning cruising on the San Francisco Bay.  That afternoon, we piled all 8 of us into our rental Suburban and headed down California Highway 1, the Pacific Coast Highway on the way to our destination, Monterey, California.


These tunnels took us through a place called Devil's Slide.  I guess it's called that because of all the crazy rock slides that have happened here in the past.  I always love thinking about names like that when I'm driving along narrow roadways along side steep cliffs that don't have any guardrails.


We stopped at many points along the way.  Mainly to see the incredible views and take pictures in front of them.  It also gave me a good chance to scream at my kids a lot to be careful and watch where they are stepping.  


This was us standing next to a large rock wall on the Devil's Slide Trail.  I kept waiting for a rock to fall and hit one of us in the head, but they must have been stuck up there pretty good on this particular day.


 We stopped at the Ritz Carlson in Half Moon Bay which sits next to a coastal golf course. I would have liked to run on the green and shoot a couple of their balls into the water, but didn't think it would be appropriate.  Plus, I would have probably hit a worm burner that wouldn't even have made it to the edge of the cliff.


We stopped at a few beaches to tip our feet into the water.  We quickly discovered the water was way too cold to do this for long.


As a matter of fact, it was really cold for June.  I wasn't expecting this and had only packed shorts for our whole trip to California.  I even had to buy a heavy jacket while we were there because the whole week it was crazy chilly.  Weird to have to go back to Minnesota to get warm again.


Cold or not, though, we had to spend as much time near the ocean and on the beach that we could.  We love the water.


It was probably a good thing for all of us that the water was too cold to go into since we've heard there has been a surge of shark sightings all along the coast this summer.  They say it's because of El Nino or something, but I think it's because they smelled us coming.


  We would have liked to explore a lighthouse, but this one had a locked gate on the road to access it.  They must be afraid we'd turn on the lights or something.


Our drive came to an end and we found ourselves in Monterey.  It was a good first day in California.