Hello Friends and Family,

Pacific Grove and Carmel Beach

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One of the jewels of Pacific Grove is the Pacific Grove Golf Links. It is a municipal course but beautifully designed and well-maintained. Initially, when it opened in 1932, it consisted of only nine holes. The excellent back-nine was later designed by Jack Neville (who also designed Pebble Beach Golf Links) and opened for play in 1960. Pacific Grove Golf Links is considered one of the best municipal courses in the state of California and is often referred to as "the poor man's Pebble Beach".

The newer back-nine surrounds the Point Pinos Lighthouse, visible in the distance of this photo. As I was taking the picture, the golfer decided to stand perfectly still until I was finished (didn't take long). I guess he did not want a distraction as he was about to putt.

This is a closer shot of the Point Pinos Lighthouse which opened in 1855 and is still in operation today, making it the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast. If you look carefully, you can see two workers through the window above the covered porch. The lighthouse is owned and operated by the City of Pacific Grove. They even provide docents to guide visitors and answer their questions.

This buoy sits next to the pathway leading to the lighthouse. I am amused by the sign telling folks not to climb on the buoy — old folks wouldn't think of it and kids won't read the sign.

Here we see the lighthouse from the other side, gaining a picturesque view of the Pacific Ocean beyond. The all-volunteer Pacific Grove Heritage Society has undertaken the task of restoration, targeting the mid-1930s as the period to reproduce with their efforts.

It was getting to be late afternoon so I drove over to Carmel-By-The-Sea (AKA Carmel) which, for those who don't know, is a picturesque, almost fairytale-like village. Due to the late hour and the heavy marine layer, I decided to spend my time at the beach. And what a beautiful beach it is, perhaps the most scenic that I have ever encountered in California.

Carmel is known for its artists — performing artists, painters, sculptors, authors, photographers, etc. Interesting tidbit from Wikipedia — "After the 1906 San Francisco earthquake the village was inundated with musicians, writers, painters and other artists turning to the establishing artist colony after the bay city was destroyed. The new residents were offered home lots – ten dollars down, little or no interest, and whatever they could pay on a monthly basis.

Jack London describes the artists' colony in his novel The Valley of the Moon. Among the noted writers who lived in or frequented the village were Mary Austin, Nora May French, Robinson Jeffers, Sinclair Lewis, George Sterling and his protege Clark Ashton Smith, and Upton Sinclair. Visual artists of Carmel in the early twentieth century included Anne Bremer, Ferdinand Burgdorff, E. Charlton Fortune, Arnold Genthe, Percy Gray, Armin Hansen, Alice MacGowan, Charles Rollo Peters, William Frederic Ritschel, and Sydney Yard."

Looking in the other direction is Pebble Beach, home of the famous golf course. In case you are interested (maybe it's on your bucket list), the current rate for a standard round is a whopping $550 per person. In addition to that initial price, it costs $45 per person to use a cart. If you choose to go the caddie route and walk, which is recommended, the caddie fee will run you another $95 per bag.

Back among the trees is the equally famous 17-Mile-Drive. Their website describes it, "Follow 17-Mile Drive’s red-dotted line to arrive at an enchanting world full of dramatic coastal cliffs, snow-white beaches, mystical forests and iconic golf courses. Discover one of the most scenic drives in the world as you meet the inspiring Lone Cypress, ponder the giant trees at Crocker Grove, digest the untouched beauty at Fanshell Beach, behold the power of the Restless Sea at Point Joe, stroll the boardwalk above the beach at Spanish Bay, and much, much more." The cost is $10.50 per vehicle. As best I recall, that entrance fee has not changed much over the years — compared to the inflation of other attractions, it almost seems like a bargain.

Zooming in, you can see the hospitality tents which, at the time, were awaiting the crowds expected for the 2019 US Open Golf Tournament. I always enjoy watching tournaments played at Pebble Beach since the cameras often seem drawn to the oceanfront and especially to Carmel beach. They often capture images of folks walking along the sand with dogs frolicking around them.

It is surprisingly cool today (June) — probably due to the heavy marine layer — with most folks wearing warm jackets so they can enjoy the sights without freezing their butts off. The scenery is definitely worth it.

One last item — a photo of the Carmel Beach sand. It is the whitest sand I have ever seen on the West Coast (some sand in Hawai‘i is whiter) — almost like crystal sugar. Here you can see where bare feet and dog feet and sandaled feet have tread. You gotta see it for yourself.

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com