We set out from the Rio Sands hotel with an immediate steep climb from sea level. It looks like some of these houses are struggling to stay put up on this bluff. This was followed by a gradual descent back to the ocean along Monterrey Bay into the Salad Bowl of California.
Seriously, until you see it for your own eyes, you cannot fathom how much food is grown here. We saw acres and acres of strawberries, cabbages, cauliflower, artichokes and brussel sprouts. And more fields in preparation for the next round in the non-stop growing season of central California. We stopped at a mushroom farm to have lunch at one of the taco trucks that hops around to all the farms to feed the workers.
North of the town of Marina, we turned inland, zig-zagging around the fields of Salinas. Salinas is a major agricultural center and the home of author John Steinbeck. It was pretty easy riding to get to the house of my friends, Catherine and Mike. I met Catherine and Mike in graduate school when Catherine was in my graduate program and Mike was in medical school at the University of Virginia. Even though I’ve only seen them only a few times since we all graduated, it’s always like we haven’t been away at all when we do get together. We still have so much in common, except now there are kids! We met their boys, Ryan and Andrew, after school, and Catherine made us a terrific dinner. Mike is at a conference for another day, so we won’t see him until tomorrow night.