Big Sur and Monterey

Big Sur Boondocking

After stopping by Morro Bay to hike and pick up some crab, we started our weekend drive through Big Sur. Most of the campgrounds in this area are shut down at the moment because of coronavirus. We were hoping that wouldn’t be an issue though, and we could find some cool places to boondock. Leigh did some research on ioverlander.com and campendium.com and came up with some good options. We decide to just drive until we found something open.

Big Sur has to be one of the most beautiful drives in the country. It has a good mix of oceanside cliffs, rolling pastures, and redwood forests. We drove past a lot of places that looked like good options for camping only to find “No Camping” signs. However the spot we finally found, near the county line, was amazing!

Big Sur Boondocking Sunset

Big Sur Boondocking

We parked not too far off the road right next to a 200ft cliff, and we basically had it to ourselves for the weekend. On Friday night, we ate the Dungeness Crab from Morro Bay for dinner while watching the sunset over the ocean. It doesn’t get much better than that!

Big Sur Boondocking

On Saturday, we started the day off with the Baldwin Ranch Hike that we could do straight from the RV. Although the trail was steep, the views were worth it.

Big Sur Baldwin Ranch Hike

We planned to keep driving after our hike, but we liked our spot so much, we decided to just stay. We spent the rest of the afternoon sitting in our beach chairs reading magazines. Cell service was not available, and it was nice to unplug for a change. We made pork chops for dinner, and enjoyed another nice sunset.

On Sunday, we packed up the RV and continued on toward Monterey. We had clouds and some rain the rest of the day, but the views were still amazing.

Monterey

Because of the clouds and rain and the fact that most of the hiking trails were closed, we made it to Monterey a little earlier than expected. We found a spot at the Monterey Elks lodge and settled in for a couple of weeks. We planned to make this a longer stop so that we’re not doing too much traveling during the pandemic. The Elks lodge is in a nice spot too, so it’s not a bad place to be.

Monterey Boats
Monterey

The pandemic shut down most places in town, so we walked or rode bikes to explore the area. Fortunately ice cream is still considered essential business, so we did a break-even walk to town to one of the only open places. On Wednesday, we did a bike ride into town and around Pebble Beach. On Sunday, we probably did a little more walking than we would have liked with an epic 9 mile urban hike. We just kept going because the weather was so nice!

Monterey Abalone

When I biked down the California coast in 2008, I camped with a few guys at one stop who told me about abalone. They claimed it is the best seafood you can catch. I really want to try some while we’re on the west coast, and fortunately, there is an abalone farm in Monterey. Even better, they are open right now! We bought some one night, and I watched several YouTube videos to try to learn how to cook it. I’ll be honest, cleaning the abalone was not my favorite thing to do. Abalone is a type of snail, and it wiggles around in your hands while trying to remove it from the shell. Leigh loved it, and I probably would have liked it more if I hadn’t had to prepare it.

Monterey is a great place to visit, and we are looking forward to another weekend off the grid at Pinnacles National Park, one of only a few national parks still open during the pandemic.

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