Sally and I packed up the camper and headed over to Marina to breathe the fresh ocean air, feel the the sand beneath our toes, play on the beach and watch the waves crash in.
I stopped by Phil’s Fish Market in Moss Landing on my way in to pick up some basic supplies that included crab for a big crab salad the first night and cioppino for the next night. I couldn’t resist ordering a calamari sandwich for lunch and drove over to parking area to eat lunch. Not a bad view!
Sally had been such a good sport on the ride over and after lunch, we took a walk along the trail that connects the Salinas River State Beach access at the west end of Sandholdt Road with Potrero Road. It was about a half mile walk one way along the Old Salinas River.
We drove the short distance over to the Marina Dunes RV Resort, got settled and then headed to the beach. One of the reasons I stayed here is that is right across the street from access to a dog friendly beach. There are many beaches in the area but many do not allow dogs.
Sally and I headed along the trail to the beach, bordered by preserve land that was fenced. Since 1990, this preserve land has been steadily restored from his prior heavy use from an abandoned sand mining site and a lot of off-road vehicle damage.
This property was purchased by the Monterey Peninsula Regional Park District in 1988 to enhance and protect public access to the Monterey Bay seashore and restore native vegetation to the site for more natural habitat conditions. The District’s first act was to remove the old sand processing plant. Those foundations can still be seen just before you reach the beach.
Sally and I followed the accessway to the beach, which was really an old sand mining roadway back in the day.
Sally and I continued down the path to the beach, bordered by fencing to protect the coastal dunes. This strip of land is always changing from wind and wave forces. During especially strong winter storms, this change can be quite obvious along the foredune. Beyond the storm-wave run-up area the rate of change is less perceptible. The reason for this is the native plant cover that has evolved with and adapted to these “shifting” sands. This living blanket insulates the dunes from the constant erosional force of wind.
These dunes are like a living fabric interwoven with a diversity of strands of life. If one of these strands is allowed to deteriorate, then others weaken and soon the fabric can begin to unravel. The Park District is restoring endemic coastal dune habitat to the site in an effort to stabilize the exposed dunes and increase wildlife habitat value.
We walked along the Preserve Lands, which were beautiful in the morning light.
This was Sally’s first time on a beach and I wondered what she was thinking, hearing the sound of crashing waves as we approached.
Once we reached the beach, I couldn’t believe that no one was on this wide stretch of open beach.
Sally and I walked along the beach, heading up one direction then checking out the other direction. After that exercise, I headed back to finish off the other half of my calamari sandwich from the prior day and relax. That night I sure enjoyed my big crab salad and Sally really chowed down on her dogfood. The next morning I tried to get up early to catch the sunrise at the beach.
After the sun had fully risen, Sally and I headed back to the camper for breakfast, then headed back to the beach. This time I brought my blanket and reading material to hang out for a while.
But Sally and I also just watched the waves come in.
After a lazy day at the beach, we headed in and I had my cioppino for dinner. Boy, that hit the spot! Sally and I had a fun time over at Marina. We lucked out and had perfect weather for our visit. We will return!
Both the RV resort and the beach that Sally and I visited were dog friendly but that doesn’t mean that they are without rules. Dogs are allowed on leash in the Monterey State Beach area that we visited and you need to pick up after your dog. For the Monterey State Beach, dogs are allowed in some areas and not in others. There is a link to their website to make it easy for you to check these details out. I also recommend that if you plan on visiting, you check on the latest rules because I have found that sometimes the dog beach rules change.
Regarding the Marina Dunes RV Resort where we stayed, it is right next to Hwy 101 but so convenient to the beach access. Some of the RV spots are pretty noisy with the Hwy traffic and if you are a light sleeper, this may not be the spot for you. But it is very convenient to the beach access. Some friends of mine stayed a couple of days after I left and it was way too noisy for them. Just want you to have a heads up.
Prior Blogs in the Area: