Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Carmel-by-the-Sea - Veterans Day 2013

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"Veterans Day, a day to honor those
 veterans who are serving
and who have served."  Commander Banks   

 A small town thanks their veterans
and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Carmel-by-the-Sea Walk Ocean Avenue to the Beach Tour and Map

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One Hour Walking Tour from Tour Bus Stop
Down Ocean Avenue to the Beach and Back 
(with no stops or lollygagging 40 minutes) 



Welcome to Carmel-by-the-Sea! Tour buses roll down Ocean Avenue and park at the corner of Junipero and Ocean, behind the Carmel Plaza.  

Bus drivers give their fare one hour (sometimes more, sometimes less) to tour town on their own.  The purpose of these walking tours is to offer some direction for a short time well spent in our quaint town. 

From Carmel Plaza it is 10 blocks to the beach.  The last five blocks (from Monte Verde) down and back are moderately steep. There are benches along the way for resting, but remember it takes about 40 minutes to walk down and back at a medium pace without stopping.


Here is a sneak peak at the Carmel Beach
 at the foot of Ocean Avenue.
Of course I can not guarantee the
weather, but even in the fog
the white sands are beautiful. 



Begin by crossing Ocean Avenue and heading down the north side of Ocean toward the beach. For more information on the shops between Mission Street and Monte Verde see the Window Shopping Ocean Avenue Tour.

To your right is  Devendorf Park named after the Father of Carmel, Frank Devendof. There is a public restroom at the northeast corner of the park, and at the southwest corner the largest specimen of the Coastal Live Oak in the village. Cross Mission and stop by  Cafe Carmel for coffee or snack to carry with you on your walk.  



Three more blocks and you will pass the  Pine Inn Carmel’s oldest hotel, built in 1889 by city founders Frank Devendorf and Frank Powers.   


It is worth a peak inside, 
so make a quick detour and 
walk up the red carpeted stairway



 to the lobby and back out.


At the corner, cross Monte Verde pass the
 Lobos Lodge which runs the entire block.


After Lobos Lodge cross Casanova and you will be entering the residential area and last four block decent to the beach.  If you find it difficult walking down hill, remember you will be walking up the same blocks in about 20 minutes.  If you think it is too strenuous cross Ocean Avenue at any point and make your way back toward the bus stop on the south side of Ocean Avenue. Or if part of your group wants to go further, and you don't, cross Ocean Avenue and make yourself comfortable on one of the benches and wait for your party to return to you.  


The landscape changes dramatically after crossing Casanova.  Much of your walk now will be covered by meandering tree limbs, which have the right-of-way so watch where you walk.



Behind the orange heart and 


and green moon gate 


on the northwest corner of Casanova and Ocean are two historical cottages built in 1925 for  Charles and Eleanor Halstead Yates by master-builder M. J. Murphy.  It is estimated that Murphy built 80% of the homes in the village by the 1930's.  Behind a bougainvillea and ivy covered fence,


  the two cottages share a front yard.  


 Murphy built them in a "T" style and 
they remain largely original.  


From the Yates Cottages to the end of the block watch out for  the low growing limbs of the Coastal Live Oak

Cross Camino Real.  At the northwest corner behind a fence covered with shrubbery sits another historical home, the  Alfred P. Fraser House a wood framed Craftsman style house built in 1913.   

The house is built on three lots and does not become visible until midway down the block behind the grape stake fence.

Alfred P. Fraser was Carmel’s first mayor, elected at the town’s inception in 1916; he served until 1920 during the formative period of the Carmel city government.  Fraser also served as Carmel’s police court judge and superintendent of streets. 
Interspersed amongst the smooth light color trunks of the Coastal Live Oak are the dark deeply-grooved trucks of the Monterey Pine. This tree grows tall and straight with few lower branches.
Rare in the wild, the Monterey Pine occurs naturally in three areas along the California coast, one is here on the Monterey  Peninsula. You will see quite a few on this walk. Leaves (needles) are in threes.



At the northwest corner of San Antonio and Ocean is that largest tree in the village, a Blue Gum Eucalyptus.


At the gateway to Carmel Beach, the Carmel-by-the-Sea Garden Club began a dunes restoration project in 2009 to return the dunes to their natural state.


The goal of the restoration project, conducted under the supervision of a dunes restoration biologist, is to eliminate the invasive non-native plants such as those in the Ice Plant Family,


 and recreate a self-sustaining natural dunes ecosystem with thriving populations of native species, such as the Pink Sand Verbena.
This will take some time and there will be a transition period.  Depending on the time of year you happen upon our dune restoration area you might see Dune Sagewort

 in various degrees of growth.  Small silvery gray mounds send out a spike of yellow flowers that dry out and die off.

Among the Sagewort, Narrow-leaved Ice Plant (non-native and very invasive) poke through the sand.

If left the Ice Plant will take over


and choke out the other native
 plants such as the Beach Evening Primrose 



or the Yellow Sand Verbena. 


  Continue down the sidewalk  past the dunes restoration project and stand of  Monterey Cypress,


 past the public restroom, 

the "Ghost Trees" Monterey Cypress 

 that have died off, 


to the wooden board walk


 and the  Carmel Beach Overlook

You have arrived at the
beautiful white sand Carmel Beach. 

 To the left in the distance is Point Lobos, and 

to the right, Pebble Beach. 
Time to make the hike back to the bus stop.  At the parking lot follow the brick pathway across to the south side of Ocean Avenue. On the corner is a rusty steel sculpture with no official name, but it was created in 2005 by local artist Michael Largent.  
Originally there was a similar sculpture here done by Mark Perlman, but over the years it became damaged and was replaced by the current piece. I have heard that there is a Geocache hidden somewhere on this sculpture.
The next five blocks back to the bus stop will be a bit steep, but there are still things to see.   At the end of the first block is Scenic Avenue. Worth a right turn, if you have an extra hour to walk along the beach via Scenic, if not stay on target and keep hiking up Ocean.

As you make your way back up Ocean Avenue there are two homes which always catch my eye.  They are not historical but do show off the unusual character that is Carmel-by-the-Sea.  No two homes will be alike here.

On the south east corner of Ocean
 and Scenic the house
behind the wrought iron gate, 

has a Spanish Eclectic style. 

One block further and you will pass "Ocean's End" 
with the garden that never fails to amaze

 no matter what the season. 
Cross Carmelo Street and pass an old wooden door with chipped paint surrounded by ivy. There is nothing behind this door right now, the house was taken down to the ground.  But the door, stayed.
Cross Camino Real and you are back in the commercial district.  On the corner find  the historical Lamp Lighter Inn  a charming pet friendly Carmel Boutique Inn. 
The first structure of the Lamp Lighter Inn was built in 1924 on the north east corner of Camino Real, today this cottage is known as the Hansel and Gretel Cottage.  
Two more cottages were added by
 owner builder Maude Arndt in 1926. 


She selected a medieval English cottage style because of her intense interest in the character of Peter Pan, for whom the Inn was originally named.  

Cross Casanova to Normandy Inn nestled in a beautiful garden setting. 



This historical hotel began life in the early 1920's when architect Robert A. Stanton designed his office in French Norman style.


  In 1936 he designed the main part of the hotel to emulate a French country manor house and grounds. 


Stanton continued to add to the hotel over the years, adding the current office and entrance to the Normandy Inn in 1958.
From  here it is five blocks back to the tour bus stop at Carmel Plaza. For more information on the shops between Monte Verde and Mission Street see the Window Shopping Ocean Avenue Tour

Thanks for visiting.  Until next time, Happy Adventures!

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Photos by L.A. Momboisse - www.carmelbytheseaca.blogspot.com