Monterey was our re-entry point from our time in the wild Big Sur country. Time for a minor re-stock. We found Monterey to be a lovely small city surrounded by more lovely towns and coast. It was the capital of Mexican Alta California. The oldest government buildings in California are here in this city of 29000. And then there is Cannery Row made famous by John Steinbeck. Next door is Pacific Grove, a quaint town built by Chautauqua campers beginning in 1879. The streets are full of beautiful Victorian homes. And then there are the little towns of Carmel and Pebble Beach.
Point Lobos State Park is the crown jewel of the California State Park system. Rugged, rocky shoreline interspersed with bluffs and beaches. Dramatic Monterey Pines and Cypress trees and of course wildlife. Sea birds. seals, deer are well protected and easy to see. Miles of mild hiking trails make this a fun day trip.
The Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railway was a wonderful day trip. The train is pulled by a steam powered 3-truck Shay gear driven locomotive built in 1903. The first trip of the day was sold out. While we waited for the second trip we found ourselves next to Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park. What a treat! This park was created to preserve giant Coast Redwoods. Trees up to 270 feet tall, 17 feet in diameter and 2200 years old. These are virgin timber trees saved from the saw when everything in the area was cut to rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 Earthquake. Awesome! And then we enjoyed another full train climbing the steep grade up Big Bear Mountain.
We will return to Monterey.