Monterey, CA… Part 2

Cannery Row

We find a metered space and park under a brilliant blue sky, bright green leaves and luscious orange blooms.


The swift expansion of the Monterey fishing industry at the turn of the 20th century gave rise to the fish canning industry and the street that would be named Cannery Row. Frank Booth built the first cannery, a rudimentary salmon cannery near Fisherman’s Wharf. Cannery Row, however, would spring up farther out of town along Ocean View Avenue. On February 14, 1908 the Pacific Fish Company became the first major cannery on Ocean View Avenue.

Fishing and canning technology improved and prepared Monterey for the huge spike in demand for canned sardines brought about by World War I. The industry slowed during the Great Depression. World War II, however, revived the canning industry. (

After World War II the sardines disappeared from Monterey Bay, bringing economic ruin to Cannery Row.

The founding of the Cannery Row Company In 1976 began a revival of Cannery Row that transformed it from a street of burned and decrepit canneries to the number one visitor destination on California’s Central Coast. (

Clans,  cultures, and canneries

During the 1500s some 10,000 Native Americans lived along the coast between San Francisco and Big Sur. The Ohlone people comprised 40 different tribes each one with its own name, leader, and language. They boiled acorns to prepare thick porridge and bread, hunted deer, elk, and bear, and fished for whales, sea lions, and otters.

The Spanish came to the area around 1542 searching for the mythical Northwest Passage connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. In 1770 the first Spanish mission was established in Monterey near Cannery Row.

Fishermen from China arrived as early as 1814 to catch salmon. In the early 1850s they built stilted shanties against the coastal rocks. They tied up their flat-bottomed fishing boats at the back door. By 1853 some 600 fishermen were trolling the bay waters for salmon.

Portuguese whalers also arrived in the 1850s because of the abundance of humpback and gray whales. Blubber was used for lighting torches until kerosene replaced the need for whale oil.

In the early 1890s Japanese fishermen came to catch abalone. They introduced new techniques, insulated suits, and helmets to the diving process. Before their arrival the only way to collect abalone was to free dive in dangerous conditions in chilly water temperatures.

Italian fishermen from Sicily migrated here in the late 1800s. The overcrowded fishing conditions forced the Chinese to catch squid at night. In the early 1900s the Italians introduced the use of the lampara net named after the Italian word for lightening, “lampo”, because of its ability to quickly catch sardines. The strong round haul net revolutionized the fishing and canning industry and made Monterey the Sardine Capital of the World. (

Cannery row monument

Sculpted by Carmel artist Steven Whyte and unveiled on February 26, 2014, the monument pays homage to Cannery Row’s history. The $1,000,000 price tag was paid for through private donations. (

Author John Steinbeck sits at the top of the rock.

Born in Salinas, about 30 miles from Cannery Row, on February 27, 1902, Steinbeck lived in Pacific Grove with his first wife. Pacific Grove is next to Cannery Row and this area inspired much of the materials for his iconic books and characters, writing stories spiced with the vibrant tales of cannery characters and roughnecks he knew. (

Marine biologist Ed Ricketts sits toward the bottom.

Ed operated the Pacific Biological Laboratory at 800 Cannery Row. He met Steinbeck in 1930 and brought the author along with him to study the mysteries of the Great Tidal Pool at  Asilomar Beach and on a voyage to the Sea of Cortez.

Ricketts was the inspiration for the character, Doc, in Steinbeck’s novel Cannery Row. (

The 4 entrepreneurs responsible for the revival of Cannery Row are also memorialized on the statue. And no monument would be complete without characters representing the canning industry, including Chinese fishermen. (

Cannery Life


Whistles called the immigrants to work, each cannery having its own unique sound. Most days began with the arrival of the night catch and continued until the day’s catch was canned.

In the earliest days of the industry, there were no rules regulating the hours or shifts, making the days long, cold, smelly, and unsafe.

A pier constructed far out over the coastline facilitated the unloading of fish.

Each fish had to be cut by hand to remove the heads and tails. Then the fish were spread out to dry on wooden slats called “flakes”. After drying, the fish were placed in large metal baskets, drawn through boiling peanut oil, drained, and packed into cans which were soldered shut. The final step in the canning process  was labeling and boxing.

Eventually machinery and conveyor belts took over the hand labor and enabled mass production. (

More pics

The Aquarium sits at the end of Cannery Row.

Monterey Bay

Monterey, CA… Part 1

Pebble Beach 17-Mile Drive

One of the most famous scenic drives in the country… for $10.25 per car, you can follow the red-dashed line in the roadway through the Del Monte Forest featuring beautiful coastline views and some of golf’s greatest landmarks.

A brief history

Before the automobile became a way of life, horse-drawn carriages explored 17-Mile Drive from Hotel Del Monte, now the site of the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey. It was 1881 and early excursions through Del Monte Forest marked the beginning of visitors to this legendary location. 

1919… Pebble Beach Golf Links and The Lodge at Pebble Beach open to the public

1929… The first national golf tournament, the U.S. Amateur Championship, is held at Pebble Beach

1972… The first U.S. Open is held at Pebble Beach and again in 1982, 1992, 2000, and 2010

2019… The centennial celebration of Pebble Beach will include the 2019 U.S. Open Championship 

(17-Mile Drive Map brochure)

Points of Interest along the Drive


This elevated view looks down on Monterey Bay and is named after Abraham D. Shepard who built the upper scenic route on 17-Mile Drive in the forest. (A typo on an early map, complete with illustrated sheep, changed the name from Shepard’s Knoll to Shepherd’s Knoll.

I am disappointed too. I have to circle the peek of the bay and you have to look closely at the skyline to see the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Huckleberry hill

These hills filled with huckleberry bushes sit on the highest elevations of the Del Monte Forest. Writers Robert Louis Stevenson and John Steinbeck were rumored to frequently visit here. Today these hills have been permanently set aside as preserved forest.

Spanish bay beach

Don Gaspar de Portula and his crew camped here in 1796 searching for Monterey Bay based on a description from 1602. It took them a year to find Monterey Bay but this beach was named for them.

The restless sea

Take a hook around Spanish Bay and note this turbulent and bouncy section of the sea where waves are constantly converging and crashing into each other because of the clusters of submerged rocks.

Point joe

Early mariners mistook Point Joe as the entrance to Monterey Bay, making it the site of many shipwrecks as their boats crashed upon the rocks.

In the early 1900s, a man named Joe lived in a driftwood hut here, selling trinkets to tourists and tending goats.

Was Joe named for the Point, or was the Point named for Joe? No one knows…


Golf course links…

And ocean views…

China rock

This was the site of a small Chinese fishing village of lean-tos in the late 1800s.

You can still see old cooking smoke caked onto the rocks!

Bird rock

During spring and summer nesting cormorants and gulls and perching pelicans flock here.

Bird Rock was actually covered in 4 to 5 feet of pelican and cormorant guano until 1930, when it was harvested as a fertilizer. Since then belching sea lions have been sun-bathing here. Harbor seals jump out of the waters near the rock like dolphins.

Closer to the beach, shore birds and ground squirrels strike a pose…

Fanshell beach overlook

The white sand is a primary pupping habitat for harbor seals who return each spring. This section of the coastline is closed from April to June.

Cypress point overlook

A preferred view of the dramatic Pacific coastline and a spectacular spot to catch sunsets, it overlooks an exclusive neighborhood populated with mansions from the Roaring Twenties.

Crocker grove

This 13-acre nature preserve is home to numerous species of native pine and to the largest and oldest Monterey Cypress trees in existence. It is named after Charles Crocker, the railroad baron responsible for building the luxurious Hotel Del Monte and the original 17-Mile Drive in 1881.

I spy a buck and a doe…

The lone cypress

One of California’s most enduring landmarks, the Lone Cypress has braved the elements atop its rocky pedestal overlooking the Pacific Ocean for more than 250 years. This iconic tree has been the logo for Pebble Beach since its founding in 1919.

Ghost trees

With trunks bleached white from sun and wind, these Cypress trees create spooky silhouettes.

Pescadero point

Ocean views beyond the ghost trees…

Pebble beach golf links

(pebble… 17-Mile Drive Map brochure… plaques at Points of Interest)