We left Houston, Texas March 7, 2014. We arrived in Pacific Grove, California March 9, 2014. We traveled 1,850 miles, each of us accompanied by a dog.
My car reached a milestone on the journey. All 6s.
Most of the long drive across the desert southwest looked like this, including the bug residue. Which reminds me of that old joke: What’s the last thing to go through a bug’s mind when it hits your windshield? Its asshole.
Though we referred to this as a “move to Monterey,” our goal was always to rent a house in Pacific Grove. It’s a town of 15,000 on the tip of the Monterey Peninsula, so it’s almost like living on an island. It took us five days to find the house, which isn’t bad, but then it was another five days before we were able to sign the lease. Things move slowly here. To ease the pain of waiting, we took a side trip to Big Sur spur of the moment on a Sunday morning.
There’s a road between Big Sur and Carmel called Palo Colorado. It’s a weird little one-lane, mostly paved road that winds through redwoods and then climbs up the side of a mountain. When another car approaches, which doesn’t happen often, one of you has to pull off the road to let the other pass. The road dead ends at Bottcher’s Gap, which looks down into the Ventana Wilderness. And it features local wildlife like this little fella who wanted to eat Stella.
Pacific Grove has its own wildlife. In addition to migrating Monarch butterflies, there are also deer roaming around town. Like, casually strolling down the street, not a care in the world (though I do hear there are mountain lions that snag a deer here and there, right out of people’s backyards).
The drive, the expense, the hassles were all worth it. Our house is less than half the size of our place in Houston, but there’s a view of the water from the living room. So, you know. Priorities.