Now I know where all those California strawberries come from! I rode through acres and acres of strawberry fields (and artichokes, cabbage, lettuce, brussels sprouts and other things I couldn't identify). As I was riding past all the strawberries I thought it would be great to have one fresh from the field. As I was riding down the road, I saw some field workers just starting to pick at the edge of the road. I stopped and asked if I could have just one strawberry. One of the gals gave me two whole containers of Driscoll strawberries they had just picked (you know, the clear plastic containers you see in the store). I told one berry was good, but she said, "No, it's okay! You can have them!". Well, I'll tell you, I tucked those fresh babies right into my front panniers! I ate one on the spot, of course!
Much of the rest of the ride was on a bike path all the way into Monterey. As I came into town, I knew I had to turn off the bike path to head to Vet's Memorial Park (it's actually a city park that has camping--and free showers!). I missed the turn, but figured it out when I started going by Fisherman's Wharf. Actually, it was good because then I knew where to come back to. Anyway, I turned around and went back to the right street. Two guys on road bikes said, "Welcome to Monterey!". They asked if I was going to Vet's Memorial. I told them I was. They said it was quite a grind (I'd already read that in the book). I told them it couldn't be any worse than what I've already gone up in the last 1000 miles or so. I'll tell you, it almost WAS worse than anything so far! I kept thinking I was almost at the top then I'd go around a hairpin turn and continue up! Finally made it, thinking all the time I was going to have to do it at least twice more if I wanted to go to the Wharf, Cannery Row and the Aquarium. I just kept telling myself I wouldn't have all my gear the next two times.
I got registered ($12.00 for two nights), found the hiker/biker area and set up camp. I ate my last bagel and one of the containers of strawberries. Then I headed back down the hill to go to Fisherman's Wharf and Cannery Row. I also wanted to see when the Monterey Aquarium opens for tomorrow. I was in need of some groceries so I emptied one of my front panniers and put it on the back rack. Going DOWN the hill was MUCH faster! In no time I was back to the Wharf. I walked Stella out to the end of Fisherman's Wharf. Every restaurant had a person out front giving samples of their chowder. I had a couple the second time I went through. I think I could have ended up with a whole bowl of chowder just by having samples!
After walking the wharf, I got back on the bike path and rode down to the aquarium. It is at the other end of Cannery Row. I saw that it opens at 9:30 (and it is $30.00 to get in). Then I rode back on the road of Cannery Row. There are all kinds of shops and tons of people. I rode back to the Wharf for some Fish and Chips!
Found a Trader Joe's for groceries, then rode back up the hill. It was much easier without all the gear and knowing exactly how far it was.
Looking forward to tomorrow's aquarium visit and perhaps a ride on the scenic drive.