Day 104 – 12/12 Pinnacles National Park, Hollister and Carmel

We had a nice day checking out Pinnacles National Park, lunch in Hollister, then Carmel and its beautiful sunset.

It was a rainy sand foggy morning, and everything was wet outside, felt like we would not be able to see much on our adventures today.  Bella woke me up at 7:30, then Bia woke up around 8.  Carol stayed in bed until 9.  

Bella is in this mode of wanting to sew things and fix clothing, so she fixed her shoe, she’s sewing everything now.  Bia wanted to make her breakfast, so she made some waffles….

They are frozen waffles she heated in the pan, just enough to get warm and a bit crunchy.  We didn’t bring a toaster as we don’t use it much, so when someone wants a toaster waffle or bread, we heat it up in the stove with the frying pan.  It works well, we just need to make sure we remove the batteries from the smoke detector as that gets triggered by very little smoke.  We planned the day, got ready, and were out by 10:10.  Our plan was to go to Pinnacles National Park, then to Carmel, and then to Monterey, but taking our time and we’d try to make it all work.

We drove to Pinnacles National Park first.  Lots of mountains, though smaller ones, as we got closer, and the rode was full of twists and turns.  We got there within about 40 minutes.  Pinnacles is nice, not too big.  It’s basically some Rocky Mountain peaks that were formed from when a fault dragged 2/3 of a volcano out of here, and the 1/3 that was left sunk, millions of years ago, but with erosion and such those formations peaked out and now show up right there.  There are two sides to visit from, and they do not connect.  We were on the east side, which is the “more developed” one.  It was still cloudy, but we could see how the views of the entire area would be amazing.  The scene we could see was pretty nice.  There were some woodpeckers busy stashing food right by where we parked 🙂

We chose one quick trail to hike, that would get us closer to the peak, and maybe give us a better sense for the views. 

We hiked for just about an hour, more than half of the time was going straight up hill.  There was a bit of drizzle as well, but not enough to get us wet, mainly got the air moist.  We felt this park was good for hiking, but not necessarily for just visiting by car. 

The trails are nice, and some will take you to awesome spots with great views, but the cars do not go to those, just to the trailheads.  When we were done with that trail, we drove to another spot to see if we were missing anything, but it was another trailhead and so we left.

From there we were heading towards Monterey and Carmel, but that drive is around 90 minutes and we were hungry, so I picked a brewery I found on google midway, in Hollister. 

The place was in a strip mall, but it was big and they had some tents setup outside with tables and chairs spaced out, and even some space heaters.  The girls saw a Subway next door and wanted that, they love it for some reason… maybe it’s because they get to pick what they want and see it made on the spot.  They do like their bread.  While Carol went to Subway with them, I went in the brewery to order our food.  Carol was having a Veggie Calzone, and I was going for their big burger.. a chorizo and beef burger, with bacon, egg, and some spicy mayo…. Yummy… my mouth just watered again hahahaha… As I ordered, I asked the lady if we could just pick any table, and she said we could… and that they are serving as to go, but the space outside is for us to use, and if anyone came ask we should say we are “peacefully protesting”. hahahahah… some places are more afraid than others of getting a fine here :).  The beer was good, the food was good and service was good.  We were having a good time, so we took our time.  Girls were doing codes and having fun.  Carol and I were chatting and enjoying our beers and enjoying some sun as a bit of sunshine was coming out and hitting us.

Then went towards Carmel… as we got closer, it got very foggy, could not see much… a bit of rain… we were right by the ocean around Monterey and could not see the water.  At that point it was also quite late, so we decided we’d only do Carmel as we would not have time for both.

As we got to Carmel, went turned in the 17 mile road, which is supposed to be this super cool scenic route with lots of awesome views, and nice homes, etc.  It’s like a gated community.  You pay a little over $10 to get in.  But, we could not see much, aside from the houses as the fog was covering all the views, so at some point I turned towards Carmel Beach.

As we got to Carmel Beach, the weather was a bit better.  Still mostly cloudy, but we could see an opening in the horizon, right where the sun was setting.  I was lucky to find a place to park right by the beach, so we didn’t even have to walk much, just cross the street.  The first thing we did was to go to the restrooms, the girls wanted to go so I took them.  They looked very nice from the outside, and the mens one was fine, but….  The ladies bathroom was nasty according to the girls… hahahaha… 

We walked around the beach for a while, this is a nice beach.  Well kept, nice homes right across the street, clean beach… weather started getting better and we got to see an awesome sunset, it was truly amazing.  We took a ton of pictures of the sunset.  Bia eventually took her shoes off as we continued walking, and we walked about a mile or so in total.  This must be an amazing spot in the summer, but likely quite full and tough to find parking 🙂

As it got dark, it also got colder, and we decided it was time to go.  The downtown streets we drove by on our way out were busy, they were lit up for Xmas and full of decorations, and it all looked very nice.  Carol loved that downtown, I did too, looked very charming and cozy.

From there, we drove to the closest Walmart Supercenter as I wanted to see if they had the RV power cable that I needed since mine melted a bit.  That was an interesting Walmart, I really felt I was in Mexico there.  It was a big Walmart, and almost everyone there was speaking Spanish.  I can’t remember the name of the town that was in specifically, but there’s definitely a big community there.  Walmart did not have what I needed, so I ended up buying on Amazon to have it delivered to the next campground.  I spent about $170 bucks on the power cord and power protection box, yikes!  I’m going to have to monitor this power connection closer from now on, this is expensive!

Oh, and I can’t forget to add this about today… so the girls did not have electronics today, I mean, I said right away in the morning that today would be a no electronics day.  They didn’t complain at all, and just grabbed books and activities for the ride.  They were awesome the entire day.  They didn’t fight… they talked to each other nicely, had great conversations and played together a lot.  Didn’t complain about much at all actually… we even told them how awesome they were.   We gotta do this more often :). I also need to come up with a way to get them to go on longer hikes at Yosemite… maybe a 2 for 1 with hike time and electronics time.  For every hour of hiking, they get 30 minutes of electronics…. I think that’s fair 🙂

After we got back, everyone showered… girls cleaned up the “living room”.  Bella fixed more of her clothes, and patched up holes in her jacket, shirt, etc.  hahahah… We all watched some TV and little by little went to bed… I went first 🙂

Pretty good day.

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