MONTEREY BAY FIELD TRIP DETAILS

 DIRECTIONS (see maps below)

Get a good map of California AND get a map of the Monterey/Santa Cruz area. Itís easy to get lost at night.

Interstate 5 Route Major Roads

I-5 -> 152W -> 101S -> 129W -> Lee Rd -> Beach Rd -> San Andreas Rd -> Sunset Beach State Park

From I-5, take 152W towards Gilroy. Just before Gilroy, take the US101 SOUTH to 129W. This street may also be known as Riverside Drive. Continue for many miles where Riverside Drive (129W) goes over Pacific Coast Highway, US1N. Continue over US1. (Donít take US1). Take a right at the stop sign. This road (if marked) is Lee Road (according to the latest maps). Take a left at the next stop sign. This road is called Beach Road. Continue west along Beach Road for a few miles. Keep a good lookout for San Andreas Road veering to the right. Take San Andreas Road north (the only possible direction) and watch for signs for SUNSET STATE BEACH. It's just a mile or two down the road.

 US 101 North Route Major Roads

101N -> 68 (to Monterey) -> 183 (to Moss Landing, Santa Cruz) -> US1 -> Sunset Bch exit ->Riverside Dr. (over US1) -> Lee Rd. -> Beach Road -> San Andreas Rd. -> Sunset Beach State Park

From US101N, continue on 101N past San Luis Obispo , past King City, Soledad and Chualar and into Salinas. Nearing Salinas (or in Salinas) look for the exit for 68 (W or S, I don't know which) to Monterey. Take this exit. Very quickly you will see an exit for 183 (W or N, I don't know which) to Moss Landing or US1, Pacific Coast Highway. Take the 183 to US1. Head North on US1. Watch for the exit to Sunset State Beach (it will also say Manresa State Beach). Take that exit (exits to the right). Take the first left that takes you back over US1. Take a right at the stop sign. You are entering farm country. Take a left at the next stop. This road is called Beach Road. Continue west along Beach Road for a few miles. Keep a good lookout for a major road veering to the right. It is, I believe, the only road available, other than several farm roads. This road is San Andreas Road. Take San Andreas Road north (the only possible direction) and watch for signs for SUNSET STATE BEACH. It's just a mile or two down the road.

SUNSET STATE BEACH CAMPGROUND

Phone Number: (831) 763-7063

This campsite is set behind the bluffs on the central portion of Monterey Bay. A short hike over the bluffs from the campsites takes you to an beautiful sandy beach. It is an excellent base camp for excursions into Monterey and Santa Cruz. According to  California Camping by Tom Stienstra, "On clear evenings, the sunsets look like they are imported from Hawaii." The biggest foe of sunsets is the fog. The campground can be foggy in the morning but clear in the afternoons. There may also be some wind. The highs in Monterey this week are expected in the high 60s, the lows in the mid 40s. There is a possibility of rain on Sunday. The camping fee per night is $14, first come, first serve. This amount includes one car and eight (8) people. Extra cars are $6. I will reserve three sites and we will split the costs, including the costs of extra cars. The sites are grassy for tents. The parking spaces will hold up to a 31-foot camper.

 GENERAL CAMPING RULES

1. I will not tolerate any alcohol or drug consumption whatsoever at all none nil zilch. That includes your Dad, friends, whoever. If I see someone drinking, I will ask you to leave. I can be very unpleasant about this and I will be if I have to be so just leave it at home. If you want to party, go somewhere else. Don't ruin everyone else's trip because of your selfish addictions.

2. DRESS WARM. It will be butt-ass cold with the wind and the fog. It usually doesn't rain but it can, so be prepared. The beauty of car camping is that you can stuff your car with all kinds of crap that you may never use but sure will be happy to have if circumstances warrant. Bring a HAT to protect your eyes from the sun and a warm STOCKING CAP or HAT to keep your brain warm. We lost most of our body heat through our head so having a hat makes good sense. Bring sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun. Bring a good sturdy pair of comfortable shoes. We will not be doing any tough hiking. The hard floor of the aquarium will be the hardest on your feet. I bring a pair of fashionable high top tennis shoes and a pair of sandals.

3. BRING LOTS OF WATER. Even though the campground has water, you will want at least a gallon a day for drinking and cooking. Bring a water bottle carrier or a canteen to carry water while you on the road. I bring two 2-gallon containers for me.

4. BRING YOUR OWN FOOD. If you don't stop to eat on your way up Friday, you will want to bring Friday dinner. Canned foods, foil foods, boxed -to-boil foods work best. Meats and perishable items are okay if you want to take the time to cook them and if you have an ice chest to keep them in. You will need your own ice chest if that is the case. You will need breakfast foods for Saturday and Sunday. Instant oatmeal is a great breakfast (try to buy the kind with dinosaur eggs, it's the most fun!). Fruit, cereal (if you bring milk and an ice chest), granola bars, etc. are also excellent choices. Bacon and eggs is a BAD choice unless you get up an hour before everyone else to start preparing it. We will deploy rapidly on both Saturday and Sunday to make the most out of the day. So try to bring food that is easy and quick to prepare. You will need lunch for Saturday and Sunday. Peanut butter and jelly are the best. Lunch meats require an ice chest. Lunchables are an environmental atrocity but they work. Canned tuna is also an environmental atrocity because of overfishing but it works.

5. CAMPING EQUIPMENT. Everyone will need a sleeping bag. You might want a pad and pillow, that's up to you. I have one eight-person tent so you don't necessarily need a tent but if you want to be sure not to sleep outside then bring one. You will need a plate, utensils and a drinking cup, maybe a coffee cup. Paper plates etc. are an environmental atrocity but they work. I have a two burner stove for boiling water so you won't need a stove. There should be enough pots and pans to go around but if you have a mess kit bring it. You will want a FLASHLIGHT. I will bring a lantern and a couple flashlights. If you have a lantern, please bring it. You might want a stick or coat hanger to cook marshmallows. USE COMMON SENSE.

6. OTHER ITEMS. Bring toiletries. It's always a good idea to stash a roll of toilet paper. While the park does supply toilet paper, it is something that most people don't like to be without, so why take a chance that some raccoon has stolen all the toilet paper in the bathroom? Bring sunscreen and lip balm if you are sensitive to the sun. If you want to haul your school books to Monterey and back, fine, but I guarantee you, you won't be reading any books this weekend. Please, NO BOOM BOXES or AMPLIFIED MUSIC. We are here to enjoy and connect with the outdoors and these devices interfere with that process. I love hearing the crashing waves, the wind through the trees, a crying seagull, a squawking raven, a barking sea lion, a fog horn or just my breath going in and out. You, too, can learn to enjoy these sounds. Give them a chance.

7. MONEY. Please be courteous to the driver of your vehicle. Share gas expenses. Parking at the campground will also cost extra. We will be eating out on Saturday. Figure ten bucks for that. You can do it on three or five, but being at the aquarium can work up an appetite. You will have ample opportunity to spend money in bookstores, gift shops, souvenir stores, AM/PMs, and what not. If you like to spend money on these things, then bring $100 extra. If you are really unable to control your spending, then bring someone's credit card.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS

Friday, November 12, 1998.

                Arrive!

                Set up camp for two nights.

                Explore. Walk on the beach.

                Sit around the campfire.

Saturday, November 13, 1998.

                7:30 AM Wake up for breakfast

                8:30 AM Depart for Monterey Bay Aquarium

                10:00 AM - 2:00 PM Visit Aquarium

                2:00 PM-4:00 PM Free time to visit Cannery Row, Fisherman's Wharf, go bike riding

                4:00 PM Head to Pacific Grove for Rocky Intertidal exploration and sunset

                5:30 PM Pizza Dinner at Gianniís Pizza (725 Lighthouse Avenue)

                8:00 PM Back to Sunset State Beach

                9:00 PM Beach walk, fireside talks

Sunday, November 14, 1998

                ~8:30 -9:30 AM Break camp, clean camp site

                ~9:30 AM Depart for Point Lobos Marine Preserve

                ~10:30 AM - 1:30 AM Explore Point Lobos

                ~1:30 PM Depart for home

 

PERSPECTIVE.

Monterey Bay encompasses a rich diversity of natural habitats. Sand dunes, sandy beaches, rocky shores, muddy bottoms, estuaries, lagoons, submarine canyons, and kelp beds make up just a few of the habitats here. As you are traveling to Monterey, think about how the geology -- the rocks and mountains -- affects the landscape, the trees and grasses that inhabit southern and central California. Do you note any differences in the vegetation along the coast, in the mountains, in the valleys? When you are exploring Monterey, note how the rivers and mountains and the bay shape the land. What are the physical and chemical factors that join geological factors in shaping the land? What are the differences in the kinds of organisms that inhabit these different regions and habitats noted above? How are these ecosystems similar? Who are the primary producers in each ecosystem? What are the major species in each habitat? Who are the top predators? How have the organisms shaped the land? How has man shaped and influenced these ecosystems? How does the ocean interact with the land?

 

As you drive to Monterey and explore Monterey, open the car window? What do you smell? Can you smell the sagebrush in the mountains and hills? Can you smell the cool ocean breeze? How does the breeze feel on your skin in these different places? Turn down the radio and listen for a half hour. Did you hear any birds? What do you see as you traverse southern and central California?

 

This weekend is an opportunity to open our minds and senses. It is a rare chance to reconnect with those primal rhythms established when man was a creature of the jungle. Those rhythms are buried in your genome whether no matter what you believe. Your internal clock, your sense of the rising and setting of the sun, your sense of the phases of the moon, your sense of the tides, are all contained inside you. Leave your watch in a safe place for the weekend and have fun guessing at the time. Try to connect with your instincts. How does it make you feel as you walk along the beach?  What thoughts come to mind? What memories does the ocean inspire? I highly suggest that you keep a journal or little notepad of some of these thoughts. You may be surprised what you discover.