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Masking in Monterey

The hotels industry reopened this week in Monterey, so I booked a room at the Spindrift Inn on Cannery Row. Situated on the beach, the hotel has a spectacular view of the bay and the nearby pier. The ocean waves are a constant and soothing sound, loudest during high tide, but still perceptible during low tides.

I live in the mountains where I see trees, land mammals (deer, squirrels, bobats), and forest birds (towhees, Stellar jays, woodpeckers, juncos). So I was thrilled to see gulls, cormorants, and grebes outside my hotel window in Monterey. A difference in scenery was wonderful. (Image: From the hotel room, Cannery Row pier and a gull.)

It rained the first two days I was there. Then,t he coastal walkway was essentially empty. I passed by just a few locals during my almost three mile walk. The sea lions, however, were beached in their usual spot, unfazed by the lack of people and the rain.

The rain stopped and the sun was out on the third day. It was Friday, so tourists started to arrive. The population on the coast trail picked up considerably. Despite the well-spaced signs warning of a $100 fine for being unmasked, about 5% of the people I passed that day did not wear masks. There were also a few slipped-nosers and chin-strappers—those people who hadn’t learned how to properly wear a mask or thought they found the loophole to avoid a fine. (Image: From the hotel room at night.)

Most of the runners and bikers wore a mask. Only a few had not gotten the memo that scientific studies showed no difference in oxygen efficiency between the masked and unmasked athlete. It’s only the unmasked runner who cares not about their fellow human beings. The fast athletes spew goes travels much farther than the unmasked person lying on a bench. Some people refer to these maskless morons as maskholes, I prefer to label them as inconsiderate. Unfortunately, there will always be inconsiderate people in the world.

On Saturday, when the crowds really started to build in Monterey, I was happy to check out and make my way home to my 15 acres where I can roam mask-free. I look forward to the day I can get vaccinated. In the meantime, my best bet for worry-free travel is to take local trips Monday through Thursday when it is raining.

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