Inn to Inn walkers cross the Pajaro River
Crossing the Pajaro River

Many times when walkers are walking along the beaches in Santa Cruz County they are approached by locals and asked where they are going.  They reply “Monterey” and are normally told “you can’t get there from here on foot.”  The biggest obstacle is the Pajaro River.  This river meets the ocean just south of Pajaro Dunes and can be a force to be reakoned with….at high tide.  The secret? Make sure you arrive at the river at the lowest possible tide.  Unless the surf is exceptionally powerful, you’ll find success by crossing along various sandbar areas.  Be careful and follow your guide’s advice if you want to be sure to get to Monterey.

Crossing the Pajaro River – LargeCheck out this video taken by one of our Walk The Walkers who felt comfortable enough during the crossing to film a bit of the finish.

The moai are amazing on Easter Island. However, one of the most astonishing things I saw during my recent visit was on Anakena Beach, a pristine white sand beach where the Polynesians first landed.

Plastic pollution found on the beach in Easter Island
Plastic pollution from Anakena Beach

Check out the plastic debris I collected in just a couple of minutes on this beautiful empty beach. Every handful of sand had tiny particles of colored plastic. Anakena Beach was such a spectacular sight with fabulous moai perched on the sand…marred by the realization that plastic can find itself on an island that is the furtherest place from anywhere….2500+ miles from Santiago, Chile, in one direction and 2500+ miles from Tahiti in the other.

This sobering news is a reminder that we all need to reduce our use of plastic. Carry your own steel water bottle, use drinking fountains, and buy beverages in cans. Be aware that the plastic you throw away or recycle will remain in some form on this planet for at least 1000 years. Sadly, some of it will wash up on the shores of Easter Island.

Here’s a short video of the view from behind the Moai…click below

Anakena Beach Moai

If you want to do something new and different in the new year….try birding!  Yes, it’s called birdwatching by most…but, “birding” is such a better word to describe such an active pursuit that takes you out to excellent places…on foot.

Inn to inn hikers discover shorebirds along the Monterey coast
Brown Pelican

A great way to start is to take a class through an adult education provider in your community. Or, be brave and show up at a local bird club walk. You will improve exponentially by birding with excellent birders.

I resolved to spend 10 minutes each day at my home observing birds during 2011. It was a great exercise and I really got to know “my” yard birds. They are fascinating in their own right.

Regardless of how seriously you wish to pursue this hobby, know that you are in good company. Birding is the fastest growing sport in the United States.

An amazing internet resource for birds in Monterey County has been compiled and is available for your use at this link.  Use the photos and comments on this list to become a better birder….Or, search for a good list on the internet for birds in your county or region.

After watching two 10 year olds scamper around the Monterey Bay last week I can say with certainty, I’m not fitter than a 5th grader!

I must admit I was skeptical as two seemingly reasonable adults insisted they bring their daughter and her friend….both age 10, on our challenging 40 mile trip, Walk The Bay.

Inn to inn hiking around the Monterey Bay, crossing the Salinas River
Crossing the Salinas River
However, I am now a convert and must say that the two girls were delightful walkers, filled with curiosity and enthusiasm. They never stopped moving or playing the entire trip. It was great to see my favorite walk from a fifth grade perspective.

I would still caution parents that only the fittest and best behaved children can expect to complete this journey. Physically, most anyone can walk from Santa Cruz to Monterey, but, mentally, the walk is tough along many miles of empty sand and dunes.

Thanks to this intrepid and adventuresome family for taking a risk and educating a skeptic!

inn to inn hiking around the Monterey Bay family enjoys the trip
Kids make the trip!

We love hiking along the beaches of the Monterey Bay all year round. So, giving one morning to help clean a beach, is really the least we can do.

Hiking inn to inn around the Monterey Bay and helping keep the beaches clean
Sign Up to Help Clean a Beach
I’m happy to report that Slow Adventure is teaming up with Save Our Shores on International Coastal Clean Up Day – September 17th to clean the Salinas River Beach….starting at the Sandholdt parking lot in Moss Landing. Please join us at 9am and experience one of the most beautiful and remote beaches along the Monterey Bay. For more information, click here.
Bring your own bucket or container, a pair of gloves, and your enthusiasm. You’ll have a great time and the Monterey Bay will be a better place because of your efforts.
If you can’t join us….check out this website and find a beach or river near you and volunteer.