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Car Trip

Chasing Flowers
Chasing Flowers - Click picture to enlarge

I took a car trip to find spring flowers.

From home I headed north and east to catch 101. In Prunedale took San Juan Grade Road to San Juan Batista. Luann and I discovered this route a couple of months ago and I thought I'd see if I could find my way again.

From San Juan Batista I took an early Hollister exit, bypassing the town and ended up at Tres Pinos. We've had breakfast at the FlapJack Grill there a few times but I just kept on down the Airline Highway (25) south.

In the past I've taken Highway 25 all the way down to Peach Tree Road and on to Mission San Miguel but this time I took the King City Road at Bitterwater and turned west. This is going to be part of next week's Amgen Tour of California and King City had banners out welcoming the tour.

I wanted to get back to the coast via Carmel Valley and I headed north but I wasn't sure which exit to take. The signs to Arroyo Seco took me up to Soledad and I ended up going north, then back south. I could have gone west at Greenfield instead of going up to Soledad and saved a few miles. The Elm or Thorne Road exits will cut over the Arroyo Seco Road but it only cost me a few minutes time. Seems like each time I head to this part of the Salinas Valley there are more vineyards.

I found my way down Arroyo Seco which turns into Carmel Valley, past Jamesburg and the now torn-down San Clemente Dam. The water companies and politicians though taking away our only nearby water supply was a good idea and now our water prices are more than 10x what they were when we moved to the Monterey Pennisula in 1995.

There were advance warnings that the road will be closed or travel delayed when the Amgen tour comes through. It should be a nice ride, all downhill from the Salinas Valley to Laureles Grade Road. It's quite a climb over the hill to Laguna Seca and I'm sure it will be quite a ride.

Through Carmel Valley and Mid-Valley, back home by mid-afternoon. I didn't stop for flower pictures anywhere but there were some fields of BlueBells and Lupine, along with the California Poppies that have been having such a good year.

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