Days 15, 16 • March 16, 17, 2012 • Playing in the Rain
As I write this we’ve traveled down the road a bit and experienced quite a few California parks, and Veteran’s Park in Monterey remains in the top two along with Pfeiffer Big Sur. $6 a head hiker/biker rate; free, hot showers; and a beautiful setting. Taps piped over the loudspeaker at 10 PM and 6 AM to denote quiet time was surreal but oddly comforting.
Last night we met our first of many hiker/biker campsite mates. He was a hiker on spring break from Wisconsin, considering a Philosophy degree. He wandered in even later than we did. We gave him a hand setting up his tent– I got the impression camping was a new thing for him—and we all retired to our respective tents. Next morning I was up about 5:30 blogging in the tent and heard him breaking camp. By the time Zoe and I surfaced from the tent he was long gone. When the ranger came by we understood why he left so early– he stiffed the city the $6 camping fee. He left behind Jack Kerouac’s book “On the Road”, maybe it was worth $6 to the city.
Our goal for this day was to spend it at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. For that we needed a way to secure our stuff so we flew back down the hill we had just climbed the evening before and relocated to El Adobe Inn. We tried the hostel but they were full. I’m guessing we came out ahead as the Adobe was a perfect place to stay for a couple days. Hema and Paresh were very accommodating, putting us in a room with completely covered trike parking right next to it. It was Saint Patrick’s Day and Zoe was hell bent on celebrating it. Hema overheard us discussing how we could acquire some green accessories and offered up some awesome St. Paddy’s tattoos!
The Aquarium was awesome as always with at least one new twist I hadn’t seen before– a huge touch screen plankton display. Multiple people could walk up to a portion of a wall showing a projection of tiny floating plankton, touch one, and see it expand into a detailed view which could be rotated by touch. Pretty cool use of technology. We wandered about Cannery Row learning about the long closed fish canneries and local favorite John Steinbeck’s take on them.
Our stay at El Adobe coincided with another wave of heavy rain so we stayed another day, spending most of the second day in the Monterey Library catching up on school work and blogging. And Zoe says: We had some awesome Tom kha kai soup at a Thai restaurant with the same monkey cups as I have at home.