Couple weeks ago (maybe longer, I’ve been packing in the travel and lose track of time) I had 5 days off. Dashed up the 101 freeway, cut West at Greenfield to Monterey via a beautiful drive. Once in Monterey, I took my time winding south through Big Sur back to “home.” Though I’ve been along this road before it’s beauty stayed etched in my brain. Thus, a repeat, summarized in pics below.
Carmel Valley Road (CVR) aka G 16 starts just west of Greenfield. Headed through there I noticed it’s a town for Mexican farm laborers. I was a caucasian minority. Visited a Mexican bakery with MILES of cases full of goodies and stocked up on cookies.
CVR (G16) is here:
BTW: Google Maps doesn’t freeze the map where I want it. You can grab it with your cursor and move it around to see more detail.
Takes awhile to cross. Didn’t keep track. Couple hours for 30-40 miles? It’s slow and twisty. I like ’em like that. I wish I would have taken some NFS roads and camped. I was excited to get to the coast, I guess.
The purplish-blue lupine carpeted the hillsides.
An old house decaying into the land. “Spanish Moss” cloaks the trees. Lots of moisture in this area. Couple creeks feed in and eventually become the Carmel River (from what I can glean from the maps.)
Stopped and chatted with a man who worked for Hastings Natural History State Reservation, a UC Berkeley Museum of Vertebrate Zoology field study. A crucial corridor for newts (same as salamanders?) exists here complete with humorous newt-embelished signs warning motorists to slow down. Got some beta on back roads and hiking trails also. Los Padres, according to him, is so rugged few roads exist and trail maintenance is a losing struggle.
One cool thing about moving at a (newt’s?) pace is catching sight of hidden things in the bushes such as this:
Yep that’s snow up there. There are 3-4,000′ peaks in the Los Padres NF/Ventana Wilderness.
Turkey Vulture. Certainly not beautiful but their wingspan, yeesh! Hope I get to see a CA Condor out here, BTW.
The narrow passage opens to rolling farmland then passes through swank Carmel Valley. I found a bit of a treasure there which I shall share in the next post.