This Memorial Day weekend West Coast Challengers decided to take the long weekend and trek up the coast via Highway 1 from Malibu to Monterey in a leisurely fashion and stopping along the way anywhere that seemed interesting or pictureque.

We decided to leave early Saturday morning so that those that couldn’t go with us for the entire weekend but wanted to enjoy a day cruise could accompany the weekend group part of the way before turning around at their leisure and still be home in time for dinner.

Some Club Members Stopping at the Madonna Inn

Bronze Statue outside the Madonna Inn

We planned the trip in two groups. A Southern group would meet up in Woodland Hills and a Northern group would meet up in the San Joaquin Valley, with both groups coming together in Cambria, for lunch. After lunch, our day cruisers left us to return home and the weekend group headed North continuing along Highway 1 with the coast in constant sight.

Main Street Grill in Cambria

Time for Lunch

The Southern group would begin by traveling down Mulholland Highway to the Coast Highway then turning northward. The Northern group would begin by traveling across Highway 41/46. We planned for the groups to come together for lunch at the Main Street Grill in Cambria, CA.

Elephant Seal Beach / The Piedras Blancas

Room For One More?

Just Sharing a Laugh Together

I’m Ready for My Close-Up Mr. Mills

After lunch in Cambria we bid farewell to our day cruisers before continuing onward ourselves. Our next stop would be a spot along the coast aptly nicknamed Elephant Seal Beach where thousands of Elephant Seals call the beaches there home which provides for some fun and interesting viewing from a raised boardwalk of sorts just above the beach.

Bixby Creek Bridge

Passing though San Simeon we continued north with our next stops to be Big Sur and the picturesque Bixby Creek Bridge area. However, the area around the bridge was so crowded that the CHP had to be called in to help direct traffic. Although pictures of the bridge would have been nice, once we all saw the crowd currently there, we decided that we could do without the pictures. We passed over the bridge and pressed on.

After passing through Big Sur the holiday weekend traffic had caught up with us and slowed our progress. Reaching Carmel, traffic had slowed to a crawl so we made a pit stop and watched the tourists pour into the area by the thousands.

Once traffic had thinned we traveled on and to our hotel to check-in. Once we all had our rooms and unloaded our cars, we headed over to Cannery Row in Monterey for dinner over looking Monterey Bay as the sun was setting. After dinner, we headed back to our rooms for a short rest before some took to exploring more of Cannery Row. Over dinner, we all planned to meet up again for breakfast.

On Sunday morning, most of us woke up early as planned but we had a hard time waking our president who was still fast asleep and who is known to stay up into the wee hours of the night. It took us over an hour of calling and knocking on his door to finally wake him. In a short time we were off to breakfast. Over breakfast we decided to head over to the very tip of Monetery and visit the Point Pinos Lighthouse, the oldest continuously operating lighthouse on the West Coast, and then caravan to the highly anticipated 17 Mile Drive.

At the Very Tip of the Monterey Peninsula

Along the 17-Mile Drive

Along the 17-Mile Drive

Along the 17-Mile Drive

Along the 17-Mile Drive

Along the 17-Mile Drive

Along the 17-Mile Drive

The day started off overcast but the beautiful aqua waters and shallows were no less as breathtaking in a semi-subdued lighting. Along the 17-Mile Drive, we turned into each turn out, of which there are many, enjoying everything along the way. The views were so stunning, that at the end of the 17-Mile Drive, we turned around and did it again from the opposite way, making a full day of it.

We Watched This Whale Calf For About An Hour

One of our stops along the 17-Mile Drive was at Seal Rock. We all noticed the seals evacuate the water and began barking – loudly! A whale calf had entered the area and made about a dozen passes past Seal Rock. We wholly expected to see a Killer Whale make an appearance due to how close the whale calf was to shore, maybe attempting to elude a predator. The night before, a pod of Killer Whales had attacked and killed a whale calf in the area. Best we could figure out is that the whale calf was just feeding and following its food source.

The Photo That Our President Came to Capture – The Famous “Lone Cypress”

After enjoying the 17-Mile Drive we headed into Monterey for a late lunch/early dinner before heading back to the hotel for the evening.

On Monday morning, we all met up again for breakfast before packing up and heading over to the 5 freeway for the trip home.

We all made it home safely and take with us memories of a lifetime on yet another fantastic and well planned West Coast Challengers cruise event.

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