Day 20, October 30, 1997: Mountain View to Buellton, CA

I am where I am because of the soup. Pea soup. Andersen's pea soup to be precise. For some reason the memory of having a bowl of very good pea soup while on a trip to Vandenberg AFB a couple of decades ago got me off of my intended track which would have put be in Santa Barbara tonight and landed me in the middle of farm fields. Believe it or not, people come from all over to eat this soup and there are even bus tours on a regular basis. As it turns out, the soup tonight, while good, couldn't match my memories. Then again, few things do...

Today was a top-down drive from Big Sur south. The weather was superb when I put the top down and stayed good until the sun went down. Around then it started to feel a bit clammy in the car but the ride was worth the little bit of discomfort at the end.

The high point of the day was Monterey. Actually the Monterey Bay Aquarium. The other attractions such as Cannery Row, ala Steinbeck, were overly-hyped tourist traps. The aquarium made up for all of that - it is surely the best of its kind. I'm afraid that there aren't any good pictures of the most impressive displays since the light was rather dim and flash is unkind to the fishes. I urge anybody heading up or down the coast to go and see it for themselves. You won't regret it.

Pictures for today include a montage of some usable aquarium pictures and cannery row; the other is one of those "this must have been faked" coastal shots taken around Carmel.

Tomorrow will find me somewhere south of Los Angeles (which I will get through/around as quickly as possible) as we continue our 12,000-mile tour of the edge of the USA.


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