Friday, 5 November 2010

Sorry, You Cannot Come In Here, plus Jeanne Gets Her Prize

I left the slightly inland Salinas and rejoined the Pacific coast near Monterey where I went to see Fishermans Wharf and Cannery Row. Fishermans Wharf does exactly what it says on the tin – it is a wharf for fisherman. Fishing boats tie up and unload their catch and the smells in the air told me quite a few fish had been caught recently. The wharf is old and made of wood, so perhaps the smell of fish was ingrained in the timbers.

The wharf also runs alongside the marina where boats used for fun greatly out-number the working boats....









































Cannery Row is a road that contains a number of now closed factories that used to can sardines that were landed at Fishermans Wharf. The road now mainly caters to the tourist trade and its name was changed to Cannery Row after the novel by John Steinbeck of the same name. This is one of the old factories....




















I liked this mural painted on an old concrete wall....




















One of the Cannery Row piers, now a restaurant....




















A grand looking statue at one end of Cannery Row....


























This is perhaps the smallest Harley-Davidson shop I have ever seen. It mainly sells t-shirts, but no bike parts are sold there, no bikes are serviced or sold. I don’t like these clothes only H-D stores, so I walked on by....


























A bust of John Steinbeck....


























The plaque below the statue copies part of his book Cannery Row....

“Cannery Row in Monterey is a poem, a stink, a grating noise, a quality of light, a tone, a habit, a nostalgia, a dream. Cannery Row is the gathered and scattered, tin and iron and rust and splintered wood, chipped pavement and weedy lots and junk heaps, sardine canneries of corrugated iron, honky tonks, restaurants and whore houses, and little crowded groceries, and laboratories and flophouses....”

I have never read Cannery Row, but perhaps I will now. John Steinbeck was born in 1902 and died in 1968.

I rode around part of the Monterey Peninsula looking at the waves crashing on the rocks. The swell wasn’t as big as the day before, but impressive all the same....















































My plan for the morning was then to ride around Pebble Beach and the Del Monte Forest on a road that is commonly known as 17 miles drive. You have to pay to drive on the road which contains many large houses and terrific views of the ocean – two of my favourite things! I approached the pay booth and got nine dollars out of my wallet ready to pay, to be asked where I was going. “To ride around the 17 miles Drive” I answered. “Motorbikes are not allowed in here” I was told.

I couldn’t believe it. You can drive any vehicle in, no matter how old, loud or wrecked it is, even a huge truck. You can be a criminal and be allowed in, providing you are in a car. But, if you ride a motorbike – no way – you are not coming in. My complaints fell on deaf ears and I was turned away being told “This land is privately owned and the residents have voted to keep motorbikes out”. Anybody who lives there is allowed to take a bike in, but no visitors.

So, here is a picture of 17 mile Drive....




















At least, that is what I saw of it.

Some of my readers may recall I previously wrote about playing a game with people who talked to me about my bike. I was running a competition to reward the first person who could name all 10 of the portraits of the movie actresses on my bike. In Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I met George and Jeanne who could name 9 of these and Jeanne clearly knew the 10th, but couldn’t remember her name. They suggested we meet when I passed through Carmel and we parted promising to keep in touch. The next day, George wrote to me saying that Jeanne had remembered the name of the last actress, so Jeanne became the winner of my little competition.

We kept in contact and arranged to meet for dinner in Carmel. George asked along some of his friends some of who rode motorbikes and we all met at Baja Cantina in Carmel....




















It was great fun to see George and Jeanne again and to meet some of their friends. One of these was Craig Vetter who in 1973 designed the Triumph Hurricane. I read about Craig and the bike on Wikipedia.

I presented Jeanne with her prize. This is George and Jeanne after dinner....


























And here I am getting ready to leave the restaurant....




















A day that was potentially spoilt by not being able to see 17 Mile Drive was made up for by the terrific company for dinner. Thank you George for arranging it. It was very nice to meet Jeanne and yourself again.

10 comments:

bobskoot said...

Gary: I has been a very long time since we had driven on the "17 Mile" drive. It passes a few high end golf courses. If I remember correctly, there is another way "IN" which bypasses the toll booth for the residents to use. You should have used your GPS to find it.

I can't find any fault with your image of the "17 mile drive" It is beautifully composed and there is nothing to complain about the content of your photo.

I cannot remember but I think I took a photo of the witches' tree which I think is a scenic stop along the "Drive" . Perhaps you could just rent a car for a couple of hours and go for a drive . . .

bob
Wet Coast Scootin

682202 said...

Sounds if your day ended on a high note. Did you meet Craig Vetter? That alone is pretty cool. It seems that I saw he was working on a new faring just for doing the AL-CAN highway.

It's to bad about the 17 mile road. I have only heard second hand about private neighborhoods banning motorcycles.

SonjaM said...

If they don't accept riders, you wouldn't want them either. You didn't miss much on the 17 Mile Drive, it's just another road with trees, houses and beaches. You have had a lot better sights during your travels. There is this hype about a lone cypress tree on the rocks, but nothing really worth spending money on. Believe my, I have been there, in a rustbucket previously known as Chevy... Keep enjoying your last leg of your travels.

Canajun said...

I suspect that the "owners' of the 17 mile drive don't really need the revenue from their little toll booth, but if that's their attitude then f-em. There are lots of other great scenic routes all over the west coast where the residents don't have their heads up their own asses. And thaose are the ones I'll be travelling - on 2 wheels or 4!

George F said...

I was not born in the US but I'm a US citizen and truly love this country but we do have crazy things happening here, like paying to go to the beach :-( I have never paid to go to a beach in all the countries I have visited, it doesn't surprise me that you found another oddity ;-) I heard there's a town in Oregon that does not allow motorcycles at all, weird stuff :-)

Charlie6 said...

I echo Canajun's comments, however he should not have restrained his commentary so much. : )

Just think of them as elitist swine and move on.....

They're of the same non-thinking, oh-so-politically correct, ban everything they don't agree with or look down their noses on, ivory tower residing, completely lost touch with reality stereotypical morons that fellow morons elected to govern the city of San Francisco.


dom

Anonymous said...

Hi Gary, my wife and I have been following your blog since August when we returned from our 2,500 mile tour of California (+ a little Oregon and Nevada) on a Road Glide. We had a similar experience to you at the 17 mile drive back in 2007, when we were doing PCH1 on a Road King, the b*gg*rs on the gate turned us away, my wife was livid. However, she was determined to see it, so this trip I had to hire a car for a day, just to do the pesky 17 mile drive. It was nice, but nothing special compared with the coast either side of it. Regards Banstead Steve

bluekat said...

The photos are stunning as usual. I think the only way to surprise me would be to have some bad ones. #10 really stands out to me. It just seems to have a little extra pop.

I can't stand "gated" neighborhoods, and the arrogant attitude that goes with it. Wouldn't live in one, and I wouldn't pay to visit one. On the flip side...they wouldn't want me living amongst them either! :)

I'd be very curious which Oregon town has banned bikes.

B.B. said...

I never knew you couldn't ride into 17 Mile Drive, but I agree with the rest, you didn't miss much that you aren't already seeing on your ride!

Gary France said...

Bob – It sounds as if I didn’t miss too much on 17 Mile Drive. Thanks for the compliments about the photo. I think it is flawless! Rent a car and drive it?? I would rather eat my gloves than do that!

Gordon – Yes, I met Craig Vetter - he was there at dinner. Nice guy.

Sonja – I hope that any motorcyclists that live on 17 Mile Drive are doing their bit to change the rules. I now don’t feel bad about missing it. As I see it now, it is their loss.

Canajun – I absolutely agree with you.

George – Paying to go to a beach is just wrong. Beaches should always be accessible to everyone, not just a few. Where is that town in Oregon that bans bikes? Can you remember?

Charlie6 / Dom – Please don’t hold back – say what you really think! LOL

Banstead Steve – Thanks for reading my blog. If I had hired a car for the day to drive there, it would have been the loudest, oldest, worse, smelliest car I could have found! I hope you had a great 2,500 mile trip!

bluekat – Thanks about the photos. :) I am beginning to share your views about gated communities. I would be interested in finding out as well.

BB – I am glad I didn’t miss much. The rest of the California coast is so good, why would I want to go there anyway?