California Poppy Fields Forever

Today is a thick, chilly high fog layer over Monterey. Summer tends to be the misty, warmer ground fog layer. Even a ten mile drive into Carmel Valley did not get me past the fog layer this morning.

Carmel Valley Road-30out

Carmel Valley Road about 30 miles southeast of Carmel-by-the-sea. June 2013.

The sky looked to be clear a few miles further into the valley. It is called Carmel Valley, but 15 miles into 40 miles of long and winding valley road, the place feels more like a mountain canyon in parts. That road is a long rural drive and even though I wanted to travel to the sunshine this morning, my fate held a different drive north.

101 North

Highway 101 North at San Juan Bautista, California.

I have had a rough past month after an old crown on a molar tooth broke, my glasses frames snapped on their own while on my face simply writing on my computer, and then my computer crashed on the flight out to Chicago two weeks ago. The plane was only moderately turbulent. No Microsoft Office key code with me. The MS Office box with the key code was buried somewhere in a pile of rubble. A place we call our spare room. I went two weeks without using any MS Office tools. Talk about detox withdrawal symptoms.

My fate showed me there are alternatives for accessing Microsoft Office for the general public that are free. For most of my needs I found suitable alternatives.

MS Office is reinstalled again on my computer now. Years of files decoded once again.

Sure, there is cloud data storage. But, do I really want someone else holding all my data?

Green Fields and Wild Turkeys

Green fields and wild turkeys were on my mind this afternoon. Last Saturday, Kelley and I saw several wild turkeys while driving in Gilroy, California. A teacher friend told her he liked driving a back road to his house. Kelley was driving last weekend and took this one-mile alternate road. We simply veered right, off the main street we had driven hundreds of times for more than a decade when driving the forty miles home, south to Monterey. On that mile stretch of road in Gilroy, we passed under large shade oak trees in green fields and pastures. We had to stop twice and wait for wild turkeys to cross the road. My camera was in the trunk.


I was in Gilroy again today to have a new crown installed by my dentist, who actually spent more time talking travel with me today than he has in the past five years. He is going to Europe this summer for two weeks. I kept thinking, “Don’t you have someone waiting for you right now?” He did a good job with the crown. And he has travel stories of his own to share.

California Country Comfort

I needed a little California country comfort after the dental work. I drove the one mile detour road again today on my way home to Monterey. I had my camera in the seat beside me.

I even had to stop today on the main road for a wild turkey crossing while on my way to the dentist. The turkey in the road stopping traffic crossed safely. None of my four wild turkey sightings in Gilroy this afternoon were in a safe place to stop, even though few cars were on the road.

There was one good place to park safely off the road near California poppies. These golden poppies are the California state flower.

Poppy field-1

California Poppies near oak tree.

Poppy barrier-2

No trespassing.

Poppy wire

California poppies on opposite sides of the wire. Two wild turkeys I saw were on a steep hillside on opposite sides of a mesh fence. Barb wire would have been more penetrable for those turkeys.

Gilroy CA back road

The short and winding road in Gilroy, California.

About Ric Garrido

Ric Garrido of Monterey, California started Loyalty Traveler in 2006 for traveler education on hotel and air travel, primarily using frequent flyer and frequent guest loyalty programs for bargain travel. Loyalty Traveler joined BoardingArea.com in 2008.

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  1. Nice. I’ve spent the last two weeks in Santa Cruz on business. The weather in the area has been foggy in the morning and sunny in the afternoons but today wasn’t great. Drove down to Big Sur last weekend. What a beautiful area.

  2. Last Sunday was a community free party with Pete Seeger tunes at Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. The library is a few hundred yards south of Nepenthe Restaurant.

  3. Looks nice, Ric!

    I’ve got an upcoming trip to your area before a conference in San Francisco. I’ve got a Sunday/Monday/Tuesday and have accommodation booked at Carmel Valley Ranch (Sun), Hilton Santa Cruz-Scotts Valley (Mon) and Hilton SFO Union Sq (Tues). I’ll have a hire care, any suggestions for the best bits to go and see? At present I was thinking of doing a loop, starting by heading south on 101 through Gilroy on the Sunday then back up via 1 on late Mon/Tues but any tips/thoughts appreciated!

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