Some people say it’s the most scenic drive in the country. Some say the world. So we thought that on the fourth and final day of our four-day Monterey Weekend that we would check out this 17-Mile Drive and see for ourselves. So we headed for the Pacific Grove gate, one of five gates that allow entrance to this scenic wonder. Our first stretch on this road didn’t last long, however. Less than a minute after leaving that gate we stopped to check out the Inn, Links and Beach at Spanish Bay. Two hours later we returned to our cars and wondered how far we would get on this road before having to head back to our hotel. Obviously, we had a great time at our first stop. Obviously, we couldn’t spend the same amount of time at the other recommended stops along the way.
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I think the old man is Samuel F B Morse, a distant cousin of the famous artist / inventor. Sam lived on the Monterey Peninsula for 50 years and was the founder of the Pebble Beach Company. He was often called the Founder of Pebble Beach and the Duke of Del Monte (he bought the Hotel Del Monte in Monterey which is now the US Naval Postgraduate school and built the Del Monte Lodge which is now called the Lodge at Pebble Beach). Lots of people just called him Boss. His Pebble Beach Company owns several luxury hotels and golf courses in the area including the Inn and the Links at Spanish Bay. Sam is credited with conserving the Monterey Peninsula. He died in 1969.
I used my favorite Monochrome Madness preset in the Nik Silver Effex Pro plug-in to Adobe Lightroom to obtain this monochrome effect.
They spent at least a portion of every day at the beach in Guam two years ago. In Ireland last year we planned one day where we could do whatever we wanted. They chose the beach in Galway.
Spanish Bay is for the rich. Pebble Beach is for the rich. It costs an arm and a leg to play any of the golf courses. The 17-Mile Drive is a toll road. They charge $10.50 a car. My wife and I rode with my younger daughter who has a spacious mini-van. So we only had to pay for two cars. But we parked in front of and walked though the Inn at Spanish Bay for free. And we walked through the Links at Spanish Beach for free. And the beach is free. And the parking lot behind Moss Beach is free. If you just want to go to the beach you can avoid the 17-Mile Drive toll if you park on Sunset Drive in Pacific Grove and then walk along the coastal trail that connects to Spanish Bay.
Note: Practically all of Pebble Beach shut down on April 1, 2020 because of the coronavirus but there have been gradual re-openings. See here for the latest news on when everything will be open again.
My youngest granddaughter’s playlist — Mr. Blue Sky by the Electric Light Orchestra
This song came out in 1977 when Claire’s mother was only four years-old and so I was wondering how she became acquainted with ELO and their music. Then I discovered that the song was part of the soundtrack of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 which was released in 2017. I think Claire came up with this song for the day we visited Spanish Bay because she and her sister and cousins were very happy with the weather, especially since it was so gloomy and rainy the day before.
Claire may also be the philosopher of the family. Mr. Blue Sky is being touted as the song to sing around the world when the coronavirus quarantine is over!
What’s next? After Spanish Bay we continued down the 17-Mile Drive, stopping at several famous scenic spots along the coast and lunching at Pebble Beach. We then walked down Ocean Avenue, Carmel’s main street, and watched the sun set over Carmel Beach. You can see all the photos in my next post.