Last weekend we drove north on Highway One. We were on our way to San Francisco with a bottle of smoked gin in hand to rep for Calwise Spirits. We took the amazing road that winds along California's coastal cliffs, with orange poppies catching our eye as we sped by. Sometimes it seemed perilous as we passed by signs for landslides, under nets full of rocks to our right, as the sea paled away below.
It wasn't the clearest day, but there were still scores of tourists photographing some of the more iconic bridges that link up this route - made more famous by the hit show 'Big Little Lies.' We didn't stop at these landmarks, but did take a brief pause for a burger at In-N-Out on the way into Monterey.
Monterey is famous for the abundance and diversity of its marine life - in the ocean and it's huge aquarium at the end of Cannery Row. Cannery Row was the heart of the sardine packing houses until the 1950s when the sardine industry collapsed. John Steinbeck described the street as "a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream." The Aquarium was established in the late 1980s revitalising the area, becoming the number one tourist destination on the Monterey Peninsula.
Driving on fro Monterrey the landscape was much flatter, punctuated by fruit pickers and industrial machinery. It was a distinct contrast to the landscape we have been used in SLO county. Our next stop was Santa Cruz and a brief turn on the boardwalk. The air was full of fairground shrieks and smelt like corn dogs. It was a great spot for wandering and people watching.
Our friends from Don Fulano tequila and Arette tequila found us that evening in their awesome RV with their bottles plastered as big stickers up on the side. We stayed in an RV park in Felton, just inland from Santa Cruz. It was a great evening sampling their delicious products in the RV before pitching our Big Agnes tent (for the first) alongside.
We took a slow start the next day, relaxing in the pool before driving further from the coast towards Coyote Lake where we had booked to camp. Unfortunately we hadn't quite accommodated for a Saturday night in a popular campsite. It was heaving with people and we were kept up by trucker-style snoring, babies crying and - more entertainingly - teams of wild pigs. The pigs came to disturb us several times, with a sleep-deprived Brooks getting increasingly delirious as he clambered out of the tent to shoo them off.
The next morning we packed up early, keen to get away from the scene of our broken nights sleep. We took the car over to where we had walked round the lake the day before and had a picnic breakfast of smoked salmon. It was a beautiful misty morning as we got back on the road to San Francisco.