Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Driving Down Highway 1

We were supposed to go to Yosemite National Park.  Yup, it had been planned and thought about and researched for MONTHS, but due to some immature politicians shutting down the government...we didn't get to go.  We will just have to plan another trip for that!  ;-)

We ended up deciding to drive down Highway 1 instead.  It was really interesting to see the changes in the coastline and the area as you drive South from San Francisco.  Not far from San Francisco, there are fields and fields of produce being picked by migrant workers.  It was interesting to just watch them--they have such a system for what they do.  Whole families work together.  It was very different from anything we had seen before.

Then the glorious, beautiful hills.   Everywhere you looked were golden hills.  

As we approached Monterey, Jason told us about his favorite Steinbeck novel "Tortilla Flats" and how he could really see the workers coming down from the hills when he saw the hills over Monterey.
migrant farm worker communities

As we got past Monterey, Highway 1 opened on the left to reveal a gorgeous rocky coast.

The land is protected South of Carmel for many miles, there are very few inhabitants and the homes are massive and gorgeous and mostly made of glass to reveal the beautiful sunsets and glorious rocky coastline and awe-inspiring redwood trees.

The road is twisty and turn as it outlines the hills and mountains.  There are many vistas and overlooks to stop and take photos.

Bixby Creek Bridge

As you drive further South, it becomes more and more built-up.  More stores, more hotels, more people.    Way more traffic.  The trees change from redwoods to more scrubby (Jason bought a book so he could identify the different trees since they are so different from here) to eventually palms.  It becomes more of what we see in movies of California beaches.

Jason grew up in Southern California and is upset by how much more developed it is than what he remembers, how much more concrete there is.  Contrasting that with the rurality of the protected land in Northern California really drove the point home for him.