'Day 4  Mike and Bone in a Dry County!?!


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Mike and Bone were up and out around dawn, deciding to get some coffee and breakfast for the road, after driving around a bit, the Boys found the oldest retail business in Carmel, the Carmel Bakery!


Breaking their Fast Early at the Carmel Bakery

Carmel Bakery was established in 1899 and is now Carmel’s oldest running retail business in Carmel-by-the-Sea and has been owned by the Pèpe family since 1986. As a matter of fact, it is the oldest building still standing in the village. There have been only four owners in the bakery’s over 100-year history.  The original owner, Fritz Schweinger, lived in the apartment above the bakery for many years and is considered one of the founding fathers of Carmel. When Pèpe moved to Carmel in 1974 he worked up the street at Wishart’s Bakery and some years later had the opportunity to purchase Carmel Bakery from the then retiring owner, Hector DeSmet. Rich Pèpe started working in a family bakery in New Jersey at the age of 14, where his sister Joanne and brother Jay also worked.   “I’m a baker first, a chef second”, said Pèpe, who worked thirty-two hours a week during high school.  While his school grades may have suffered, he graduated with his baking trade in hand. Pèpe has never worked in any other field other than baking or restaurants in his long and storied career. Carmel Bakery has been a community affair for many generations. Pèpe says, “Carmel High School is just up the street, and every year we have dozens of kids coming in for jobs, often their first job ever”. Pepe happened to be there that morning and made the Boys very flavorable and filling breakfast burritos. Mike tried to get them to make a hammerhead again, and even though the coffee had two shots of expresso, it just wasn't the same. With goodies in the car, Mike and Bone headed into the Monday morning gridlock of Monterey Peninisula !


Stop and Go through Santa Cruz

Ah Silicon Valley! Tens of thousands of nerds in their Prius's and BMW'ers clogged PCH as the Boys left the Carmel area, they fought their way in stop and go traffic through Santa Cruz. Finally after 45 minutes Mike and Bone, emerged unscathed moving on up the coast.


Scooting through Scott Creek Beach

As the traffic cleared PCH swung back to the coast where Mike and Bone stopped for a brief moment to capture where a little creek named Scott flows into the mighty Pacific. Situated just 20 minutes north of Santa Cruz, Scott Creek Beach is a clothing optional beach is one of the Santa Cruz regions go-to wind and kite-surfing spots when the afternoon sea breeze picks up. The beach also hosts a right hand reef break on the north end that can hold some size on large winter swells. Swimming is not recommended here due to strong undercurrents. Based on the quick stop, the winds off of the Pacific would make clothing optional highly uncomfortable, unnecessary, and unlikely!


Barreling by Big Basin Redwoods State Park

Heading north, Mike and Bone had their first brush with the redwoods in the Big Basin Redwoods State Park, but due to the unfortunate fire season that was in the park, the Boys breezed by heading into Pescadero.


Putzing through Pescadero

Pescadero is a quaint spot on the coast that was founded in the 1850's that includes iconic views such as the Pigeon Point Lighthouse. Thelighthouse was built in 1871 to guide ships along the Pacific coast of California and isthe tallest lighthouse on the West Coast of the United States. The 115-foot, white masonry tower, resembles the typical New England structure. The lighthouse and the land around have been preserved as Pigeon Point Light Station State Historic Park, a California state park. The lighthouse is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated as a California Historical Landmark.  Mike and Bone snapped a few pics and continue on into San Francisco Bay!


Mike and Bone on the outskirts of San Francisco

As the Boys approached San Francisco they veered off of PCH onto Great Highway heading into the City. They stopped in Ocean Beach to enjoy the early afternoon breeze rolling in from the not so Pacific!


Mike and Bone on the outskirts of San Francisco in Vista Del Mar!

One of the very cool things of San Fran is its long rocky beaches, even though it was around noon, it was only around 60 degrees and there was stiff wind coming off of the Pacific that made it feel more like November than the end of summer. It reminded the Boys the old saying "that the coldest winter ever, was a summer in San Francisco!" Next, the Boys drove the 1/2 mile up to check out Lands End and the very strange Sutro Baths.

Mike and Bone walked down a hill into the remains of the Sutro Baths, which was a large, privately owned public saltwater swimming pool complex in Land’s End Beach. On March 14, 1896, the Sutro Baths were opened to the public as the world's largest indoor swimming pool establishment. The baths were built on the western side of San Francisco by wealthy entrepreneur and former mayor of San Francisco (1894–1896) Adolph Sutro. The structure was situated in a small beach inlet below the Cliff House, also owned by Adolph Sutro at the time. Both the Cliff House and the former baths site are now a part of the Golden Gate National Recreation Area, operated by National Park Service. Unfortunately, the baths struggled for years mostly due to the very high operating and maintenance costs. A fire in 1966 destroyed the building while it was in the process of being demolished. All that remains of the site are concrete walls, blocked-off stairs and passageways, and a tunnel with a deep crevice in the middle. The cause of the fire was determined to be arson. Suspiciously, , the developers left San Francisco and claimed insurance money, leaving the ruins the Boys walked around.


Mike and Bone strutting Around the Sutro Baths!

Mike and Bone walked around the eerie ruins and realized it was pushing 1:00, and what better place to eat in San Francisco that Alioto's at Fisherman's Wharf! 


Grooving on Geary

The fastest path to Fisherman's Wharf is a straight shot down Geary to Van Ness, turn left, go one mile, and turn right, Yeah, the Boys know the neighborhood! One of the great thing about Geary Street is that you can really tell in the roughly 70 blocks to Van Ness, you get to see a great cross section of San Fran, from Sutro Heights, through Richmond and Laurel Heights, finally through Japan Town, Geary gives you a great view of the culture of the City. After 20 minutes Mike and Bone pulled up to an old friend Fisherman's Wharf!


A Fisherman's Wharf Lock Out!?!

Fisherman's was uncharacteristically quiet. Walking up to Alioto's, the freakin' doors were chained! A Covid Casualty! In fact all the restaurants were closed, all except the Fisherman's Grotto, where in order to have lunch, you need a mask (both Boys had one), and proof of vaccination. For lunch!! Finding out that every restaurant would require vaccination cards, the Boys decided to head into Marin County and find lunch north of the City.


Heading out of a Covid Locked Out San Franciso !

Heading up and over the iconic Golden Gate Bridge, Mike and Bone shortly found themselves in the amazing Muir Woods on Mount Tamalpais.


Motoring through Muir Woods

Muir Woods National Monument is named in honor of the famed naturalist John Muir. It is located on Mount Tamalpais just about 12 miles north of San Fran, it is one of the first times the Boys drove through an old-growth redwood forest. The Park was founded on January 9, 1908, by President Theodore Roosevelt, who declared the land a national monument, and was the first park to be created from land donated by a private individual, Mr. William Kent. Kent, who was a rising California politician and eventual congressman. He and his wife, Elizabeth Thacher Kent, purchased 611 acres of land from the Tamalpais Land and Water Company for $45,000 with the goal of protecting the redwoods and the mountain above them. The deal was facilitated by banker Lovell White and his activist wife, Laura Lyon.  The original suggested name of the monument was the Kent Monument, but Kent insisted the monument be named after naturalist John Muir, whose environmental campaigns helped to establish the National Park system. Kent sent Teddy some amazing pictures of the area to incent him to make it a monument.Writing back, Roosevelt agreed stating “My Dear Mr. Kent: By George you are right! Those are awfully good photos!” Hence the name, Muir Woods! PCH is a very narrow two lane road with lots of switchbacks, going up and down hills. Mike and Bone had to be very careful of the flora and fauna in the area.  


Oh Deer! In Muir

Because even though it was a rental car, hitting an animal could cost a few bucks, which is some doe. Mike and Bone stopped to check out a very cool relic of the 1940's and part of our National defense from Japan.


Observing the Observation Bunkers of World War II

During WWII, especially after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the American's set up a series of observation bunkers along San Francisco Bay as part of the American coastal defense. The steel parts of the bunkers were removed after the war.  At the top of the overlook Mike and Bone had an awesome view of the coastline, it was about 75 degrees, with a gentle breeze, simply a great place to hand for 30 minutes in the warm sun. Eventually and almost sadly, the Boys headed back to their car to find somewhere to eat. 


Mike and Bone stopping at Tonys for Seafood!?!

After driving out of Muir Woods, PCH threads to the east on Tomales Bay which looks like a beautiful in-land lake. After 40 more minutes wanting seafood, Mike saw a cool place on the water called oddly enough Tony's in a little villiage called Marshall, where he woke a passed out Bone for a late day lunch.  Enjoying a great view, the food and drinks were exactly what the Boys needed for an afternoon pitch into virgin territory, neither had either together, or separately driven this far north on PCH!  Around 2:30 the Boys hit the road into the unknown !


Boogieing thru Bodega Bay

Just as Mike and Bone drive into Sonoma County they found a particularly beautiful stretch of  Pacific Coastline called Bodega Bay. Its 55 mile of untarnished coastline was a great backdrop for a late afternoon drive into a place with out any drops, particularly water!


A Mendocino, Very Dry Please !!

When Mike and Bone embarked on the PCH Tour, they knew that the West Coast was going through an epic drought, but Mendocino was ridiculous! While California is known for extra dry reds, this county was "Bone"-dry! Originally Mike and Bone considered putting in for the night in Mendocino, when someone in a gas station told the Boys that the State was trucking water in to the city! Because of the fact there was no water, all hotels, motels, and airB&B's were closed for further notice.  With the idea of staying the night all wet (really the opposite), the Boys continued on up PCH to a city that was supposed to be in North Carolina, Fort Bragg?!


Ain't Fort Bragg in North Carolina!?!

Fort Bragg, California has the unfortunate designation of being the second city named after a really bad Confederate General Braxton Bragg.  Bragg was a better politician and general, being a personal friend of the Confederate President Jefferson Davis.  Apparently in the summer of 1857, 1st Lt. Horatio G. Gibson, then serving at the Presidio of San Francisco, established a military post approximately a mile and a half north of the Noyo River, and named it for his former commanding officer Capt. Braxton Bragg, who later became the infamous Confederate General. These days it seemed to be a small fishing village. Finding an extremely cheap and sketchy motel (right up Mike and Bone's alley) the Boys noticed a very cool Bay area they could walk down to with a couple of places for dinner!


Something Fishy at Silvers at the Wharf

Down on the Wharf, there was a restaurant that offered an iconic view of the Pacific, Silvers on the Wharf. With tourist season over and the pandemic in full swing, Mike and Bone masked up to walk into a a restaurant right out of the 1950's.  Sadly, so was the food and drink! Mike got a red wine and Bone an Old Fashioned, that was mostly whisky. The dinner was not much better in that the fish and chips must have used Aunt Paula's Frozen Fish Sticks! It was so odd to be in a seafood restaurant, on the Pacific Ocean, in a fishing village, and get this kind of food!

Dumbfounded the Boys walked back up to the Ocean Breeze Lodge to pass out under a full moon around 10:30.