Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Labbit Travels: 17 Mile Drive

Pipkin: Domo?
Domo: Yes, Pip.
Pipkin: That's not the "Lone Cypress" is it?
Domo: Yes. Yes, I believe it is.
Pipkin: That one out there, at the end?
Domo: Yes.
Pipkin: The one that's just past that other cypress tree?
Domo: Yes, Pip.
Pipkin: That one that's at the end of this grove of cypress trees?
Domo: ...
Pipkin: I'm done here.

The not so lonely "Lone Cypress"

Correct Pipkin if he's wrong, but is the "Lone Cypress" (which he and Domo paid $9 to get into this gated community to see) really so lonely? Pipkin's quite rankled about being manipulated into believing this was some rare beauty. If you google "The Lone Cypress" you get an assortment of images that make this tree look like some brave warrior, standing strong for centuries against the harsh salt air.  But then you arrive, amongst the many tour buses and snap happy tourists (this is one of the most photographed trees) and you realize, this tree isn't so lonely after all.

In fact, 17 Mile Drive, which is touted as one of the most beautiful drives in the world, isn't all that thrilling, unless your main interest is golf courses and wealthy people's homes. Pipkin and Domo thought the drive would wind along the coast with breathtaking views of the ocean, but instead it was a nice drive in the woods, with views blocked by people's houses. There are some coastal views, but it's nothing much more special than driving along California One where you don't have to pay for such a privilege. But enough grumbling, 17 Mile Drive is a pretty drive. Although the Lone Cypress was a bit of a lie, seeing its gnarled branches steadfast against the wind does make you think about the people who have visited decades and decades ago, admiring its beauty. So.

There are other pretty views, once the drive leaves the woods. From here you can hear the cries of seagulls and sea lions. A closer look out to the ocean, and you can see where they like to gather.

Closer to land, Pipkin tried to make friends with the locals, but they were rather suspicious he would steal the peanuts the tourists were feeding them.

Suspicious squirrel is suspicious.

Hey, that's not a rock back there!
Surprisingly this sandy beach was empty of people, so Pip and Domo decided to take a picture, not realizing they were getting photobombed...by a whale?!?

This little gray whale got a little too close to shore at the end of April, and lost his family. He thinks he may have been hit on the head by one of these white little balls and gotten knocked out. 

Have you seen my ma?
Since coming to, he's been wandering around Monterey Bay, but it seems the gray whales have left and humpbacks, dolphins, killer whales and blue whales aren't too keen on adopting him.

Well, of course Pipkin and Domo are going to bring this little guy back to Vermont. There are two other little whales, so he won't be alone, and he got pretty excited about the idea! Domo had the little whale take one last look at the ocean before they headed back to San Francisco to fly to Vermont.

Coming to 17 Mile Drive turned out to be a great trip, because now they've added to their little family!

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