What if?

On Friday, we cycled southward along the entire coast of the Monterey Peninsula, 17 Mile Drive, Scenic Drive in Carmel-by-the-Sea, past Carmel Mission, up Rt 1 to Point Lobos Park, and on to Big Sur.

When my husband first came to the US from Italy, nearly half a century ago, he was looking for work. There was an opening for an instructor of Italian at the Defense Language School in Monterey and he applied for it. Perhaps it was a temporary opening. Maybe it didn’t pay enough. Possibly another job had just come through for him. Maybe I had a job of some sort that served as a base. In any case, we didn’t move to Monterey.

What if things had gone differently? Where we cycled on Friday might have been our home and the coastline our regular playground. We’d have seen thousands of sunsets off the craggy coast. It might have fed my husband’s soul, more like the craggy west coast he’d grown up on in Italy.

Would the seals jumping for joy at Bird Rock been our normal entertainment?

Would we have come to love the fog interspersed with days of crisp sun? Would the intense blues of the sea have been a high point on our color palette?

Would we have had the same children? Might we have taken them for picnics at Whalers Cove in Point Lobos State Park?

How might our life have turned out?

Ride statistics

Start: Monterey

End: Big Sur

Distance: 44.4 miles

Cumulative distance: 1597.7 miles (78% done)

Elevation gain: 2598 feet (a little along Monterey Peninsula but most on CA-1, including long steady climbs like the one after Bixby Bridge)

Strava track

Relive video

© 2021 Lynnea C Salvo

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