Saturday, November 12, 2011

Beautiful 17 miles drives

I heard about 17 miles drive for a long time. We decided many times to visit the place, but that was never materialized. When my parents came to my place to stay for some days, we decided to visit that place. On one Saturday afternoon we planned to visit. We had lunch at McDonalds at Gilroy shopping mall. I wanted to show my parents the mall, but we didn’t have time. Our journey started through the dry roads of Gilroy, which was famous for garlic plantations. My parents were very amazed by the fact that how crops had grown in such a dry barren land. Anyway, it was an 80 miles drive from our home. After crossing Gilroy, when we entered the freeway 1 we could see Pacific Ocean on our right hand side. I showed that to my parents with great enthusiasm. They also thrilled when they saw Pacific in their own eye. It was like dream came true for them.
Pebble Beach Golf course

We had to pay a fee, as it was a toll road. After entering through Pacific Grove gate, we discovered that, the 17 mile drive, was a wonderful and scenic drive with beautiful views through Del Monte Forest. 17 miles drive was famous long before the automobile became the way of life. It was navigated by horse drawn carriage.

The drive was a loop, we tried to stop almost every point and take photos. It was a wonderful day with pale blue sky and the road brought us in sight of the rolling mist, the cooling fog coming off Monterey Bay, and mountains covered with fog. It was really amazing that the weather was totally different within 30 miles. At Gilroy it was really hot with burning sun, compared to foggy and cold weather at 17 miles drive. Anyway, after entering there we directly went to Poppy Hill golf Course. We spent few minutes there, because we had nothing to do there. However, the golf course was so beautiful, that I personally wanted to spend lots of time there, but our time didn’t allow us to that. We decided to not to get out from the car at any golf course, as we had nothing to do there. From there we started our journey again and reached at Pebble Beach Golf course, but we didn’t get out from car there. We started from there and stopped at Ghost Tree point. The Ghost Tree was an old Cypress Tree that after many years of damage by the wind and sea-water now looked as a silhouette of a ghost; behind The Ghost Tree, a beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean came to our sight. When we started for the next point I told my husband that, he didn’t take the photo of The Ghost tree point. For me he went back and took a photo. The next point was The Lone Cypress .The official symbol of Pebble Beach; the lone Cyprus Tree which was a two hundred years of old tree that stood alone on top of rocks with made an awesome view of The Pacific Ocean behind it. The Lone Cypress tree was the landmark 16 on the official 17 Mile Drive Map. This was the icon of the Pebble Beach Company for nearly a century. The world-famous, The Lone Cypress Tree was the only living entity to be trademarked.  Next we headed towards Fanshell Overlook. Though Fanshell Overlook was famous for its small white sandy beach, scenic coastal overlook, and crashing waves, but we didn’t stop there and went directly to Seal Rock Picnic Area. Fanshell Overlook remained Close during harbor seal pupping season April 1-June 1. After getting out of the car at Seal Rock, we could get a spectacular view of resting seals from there. We have never seen seals outside zoos. It was an amazing experience to watch the seals in their natural habitat. The place was too cold there, windy, and foggy to stand there for long. One big seal showed up his face for a longtime, as if it showed his face for the tourists to take a photo. On the opposite of Seal Rock was Spyglass Hill Golf Course.

SpyGlass Hill Golf course

Bird Rock
The golf course became more scenic when some deer appeared suddenly there in the foggy weather. Then we headed towards Bird Rock, the landmark was the home of countless shorebirds and groups of harbor seals and sea lions. When we saw them from our car it was an amazing view, but when got out of car, our ecstasy converted into a horrible experience by the filthy smell of birds.
 We spent very little time there. By the time, as the weather started getting colder, everybody wanted to go back home. So, we didn’t stop at other points, and directly stopped at Huckleberry hills, because I wanted to stop there. Huckleberry Hills named for the abundance of native bushes, which was one of the highest elevation in the forest. That was an enthralling experience when we found ourselves in the dense bushes with cloud moving surrounded us. However the chilled weather abided us to stay there for a long. Then we stopped at Shepherd’s Knoll which was the vista point gave a grand view Monterey Bay and Santa Cruz mountain. That was the end of our day. We thought that we would eat something at Gilroy Shopping outlet. However, at the end we abandoned that plan and came back home.

Huckleberry Hills

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