Born and raised in Monterey County

I started to appreciate the beauty of Monterey County in the late 60’s when I joined Boy Scouts. Our troop would go on monthly camping trips in the area. My favorite was our annual trip to Camp Pico Blanco. To get to Pico Blanco we traveled through the Carmel Highlands, past Rocky Creek Point and then made a left turn on Palo Colorado Road. A 15 minute drive to the top of the ridge took us to Boutcher’s Gap, then we veered to the right through a gate down a very windy, bumpy dirt road. The Boy Scout camp is located on the Little Sur River in a grove of redwoods, live oaks and sycamores. It was heaven!

A driver’s license and access to the family’s secondhand car made regular trips to the beaches at Carmel possible where I discovered the sublime joy of body surfing. When I was not at the beach, I was bicycling the county backroads or backpacking in the Ventana Wilderness. My favorite backpacking trip was the hike into Pine Valley from Los Padres Dam. Hiking and swimming in the Carmel River under the sycamores was especially pleasant.

I went to College at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo and discovered on my trips back and forth on Highway 101 the beauty of the Salinas Valley. The lush green of the row crops and the straight furrows got more interesting to look at with each trip. The weather on the Gabilan mountain range on the east and the Santa Lucias on the west was always doing interesting things with the light, the marine layer, and the clouds.

The Monterey Bay Area is one of the most beautiful places on the earth. From my home in Salinas I can travel 15-60 minutes in any direction and see a diversity of scenery unmatched anywhere in the world. To the west on Highway 68 past Corral de Tierra, is the Big Sur Coast, Carmel, Monterey, Pacific Grove, Pebble Beach, Cannery Row and Carmel Valley. To the north is Moss Landing, Castroville, and Elkhorn Slough. A trip south passes through the variegated green linear crop rows of the Salinas Valley. Halfway down the valley to the northeast are the jagged rocks of Pinnacles National Park. River Road on the southwest side of the the valley traverses through the vineyards of the Santa Lucia Highlands. At the very south end of the valley lies the untouched pristine beauty of Hunter Liggett.

I moved to the Carmel Highlands in 2018. I am amazed and thankful each day for the gift of living here. It is paradise!