Sunday June 1, 2008

6:00am – Mouth tastes like reclaimed greywater. Amtrak coffee changes this taste, but does not substantially improve it.

8:00 AM – Breakfast of high-fat French toast with high-corn-fructose syrup and nitrate-preservative-drenched sausage patties may help. I wolf this down as we rumble by the abandoned asbestos-laden rusting battleship hulks and refineries of Martinez on our way to Oakland. I love train travel for the more complete visual slice of life it offers when compared with the roadside views. 


10:30 – After a few hours of slow cruising through fertile farmland, we arrive on-time in Salinas. The town itself has a southwestern feel to it, and the small train station carries this motif rather nicely.

A small bus is waiting to take us to Monterey. (The Amtrak train/bus routine. connections have certainly been good) He ends up taking me right to my little Oceanside Inn Hotel, instead of the scheduled stop at the Hyatt.

The Oceanside Inn is like an old-school roadside motel but smaller. It’s beside a busy road, but the sound is not too bad inside. It is closer to the ocean than the Hyatt, soI walk into town along the beach. The air is quite crisp, especially with the brisk wind whipping up the chop. Somewhat cool and hungry, I arrive at the Fisherman’s Wharf, and ingest a bread-bowl full of clam chowder, which hits the spot brilliantly.

Cannery Row is like Monterey’s Gastown, historical roots of the city etc etc. Located in this neighbourhood is Bay Bike Rentals and they set me up with a Brodie hybrid bike. I now have my freedom back! I scope out the location of the Hyatt (about 3 bike-minutes away) and am now ready to overfill my brand brain.

One in a series of articles on Lorne’s Sustainable Journey to the Sustainable Brands 08 Conference in Monterey CA. Click here for the full list of sessions, or here for the ‘Fear & Loathing’ road trip journals.

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