May 25, 2012

A Drive Through The Salad Bowl of the World

We left Morro Bay after a full day of biking and sunning on the beach. On our way out we passed large avocado tree groves, and stopped at a road side stand to pick up some freshly picked Haas avocados.

Avocado stand

We stopped for the night in Paso Robles with hopes of exploring this growing wine tour town, but we were so wiped out from all the sun that we picked up Chinese food to go and had another Netflix marathon in the trailer… We did however stop by the Paso Roble’s farmer’s market and picked up some very yummy items, fresh from the garden! We got a pound of sugar snap peas (a huge childhood memory for me), three more pints of strawberries, and a large container of homemade salsa.

Our farmer's market loot
We woke up too late to have any time left over to explore Paso, so we hit the road instead and headed into the Salad Bowl of the World, also known as Salinas Valley. Driving up highway 101 to Monterey Bay we saw huge fields of salad, artichoke, arugula, peppers and more strawberries.

Driving through the Salad Bowl
We got a parking spot at the Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Salinas, right off of 101, and then headed into Monterey Bay. There we parked near Cannery Row, the downtown shopping area, and walked from there to Lover’s Point, following the Monterey Bay Coastal Trail. It was super windy in Monterey and pretty chilly, so we didn’t stay long.

Canner Row in Monterey
Views of the shore off of Monterey Bay Coastal Trail
The next morning we picked up the trail on highway 152, headed to interstate 5 north. What a gorgeous part of the country side! Rolling hills of yellow hay intermingled with fields of healthy vegetables and fruit on both sides. We passed cherries trees, bursting with fruit! We also passed by the San Luis Reservoir right before we hit the interstate north to Sacramento.

Driving along highway 152
San Luis Reservoir
Our original plan included staying the night in Sacramento, but after spending an hour online trying to find a place to park and finding no good options, we decided to find dispersed camping in the El Dorado National Forest. It’s a good thing we didn't find any parking in Sacramento, because the weather in and around Lake Tahoe took a turn for the cold, and snow rolled in on Friday morning. The good part is that we were only 20 miles away from South Lake Tahoe (our next destination), boondocking in the forest, by the time the snow started coming down. Another great point was that we found a very pretty place to park for the night in the forest, not too far from the road. More on that later!

For more pics of the drive, click here.

Happy Salad Bowl driving,


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