Tag Archives: summer-2015-travels

Monterey, CA

 

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07-14

…after a month on the road, finished off with most enjoyable stay at Tachi, in Lemoore, we returned back home, to Monterey!

 

  • Weather:  Sunny, until Oak Hills, here Monterey’s fog could be seen and soon felt too.
  • Travel time, about 3 hours
  • Roads were good, I-5 and on 152 over Pacheco Pass to Hwy 101 and Hwy 1.
  • Points of special interest, coming home always is special, yet after being used to lush green colors for weeks, the California style golden colors were most noticeable.
  • Good company, good food…, especially as we went back to our regular fare…
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  • In praise of the present day, a good time was been had…

 

 

Tachi, Lemoore CA

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07-13

to

07-14

After the 1 night in Laughlin we visited the Tachi Hotel Resort and Casino. Here we stayed the final night of our cross country road-trip.

 

  • Weather: Blue sky, temperatures 88 when leaving Laughlin and 94 arriving in Lemoore at the Tachi. En route we experienced 100 degrees outside, yet cozy 73 degrees in the Escalade truck.
  • Travel time 7 hours…
  • Roads were good, here and there some Road Work…
  • Points of special interest, first gas station we filled up in California on I-40, was in Ludow, at the price of $5.09 per gallon.
  • Accommodation at Tachi, very nice, truly outstanding.
  • Hotel1
  • Excellent buffet selections…
  • In praise of today’s present, another most beautiful day.

 

 

Laughlin, NV

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07-12 – 07-13

 

…coming from a 4 night stay in Farmington NM which included a tour to Chaco Canyon amidst other historical sites, as well as having fun in Durango CO and Silverton CO, we were ready to enjoy the buffet at a hotel-casino.

 

  • Weather: Nice, warm and sunny this morning as we left NM, and at arrival in Laughlin NV it was 98 degrees, and a clear blue sky.
  • Travel time, just over 7 hours
  • Roads were good to excellent, 2/3 of the way was on I-40
  • Arizona
  • Points of special interest, looking back at those thousands of miles travelled this past 4 weeks, the gasoline prices in all states were less than $3 a gallon, wonder what the price of gasoline is going to be back in Monterey…!
  • Accommodation Tropicana 15th floor with a view over the Colorado River
  • Tropicana
  • Another  most beautiful day.
  • TheSwing

 

 

Farmington, NM

a15Farmington07-08 to 07-12

 

After having spent time and enjoyed good times in the South,  we had a good time visiting the leftover ruins from the ancient  people near Farmington, and much-much more…

 

  • The weather: Leaving Amarillo 58 degrees unusual cold, arriving in Farmington we were back at 89 degrees. Good travel weather.
  • Travel time about 8 hours.
  • Roads were good, the travel speed 70-75 mph, with many trucks on I-40.

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  • Points of special interest, the beauty of the country. We did however notice some changes in the landscape as we got closer to Farmington, passing through Reservation land. Here we saw many oil pumps and indications of Fracking, which later on we were told is done by several companies including a Canadian one.
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  • Accommodation Holiday Inn Express, Farmington.
  • And we admired the remnants of the Salmon Ruins, beautiful masonry work…, …1000 year old

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Amarillo, TX

a14Amarillo07-07 to 07-08

Next day to Amarillo, to get some well deserved rest en route to New Mexico…
…we stopped in Oklahoma, filled up gas, and got some corn breaded catfish.
The store was guarded by a security guard (see picture above) and as someone was telling me, also by loaded shotguns behind the counter under the cash register.
  • Weather, starting with 84 degrees in Little Rock at 7:30 a.m.,  and was changing fast. Being 68 degrees upon arrival in Amarillo. Flash Flood warnings had showed up on our iPhones, twice. The 8 hours on I-40 changed constantly from a peak of sunshine, to dark cloud formations, and grey areas with a very limited visibility because of the rain-rain-rain and more rain.
  • Travel time, about 8 hours
  • Roads and scenic views, green with plenty of trees on both side of the road in Arkansas and Oklahoma, changing to tree less grazing land in Texas. The speed limits outside Texas 65 – 70, in Texas it is 75 going on 85.
  • Accommodation, Holiday Inn Express Amarillo.

 

 

Little Rock, AR

a13LittleRock07-06 to 07-07

 

Leaving Atlanta on I-20 we did decide on seeing a little more all in all, like:  Tuscaloosa Alabama, Meridian and Jackson Mississippi. From Vicksburg we took 65 through Tallulah in Louisiana up along the river and lakes.

  • Weather, 90 – 95 degrees and blue sky
  • Travel time was all day
  • Roads taking I-20 till Vicksburg Mississippi, than on 65 over the Mississippi river and on 530 into Little Rock.

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  • Points of special interest, we admired those endless corn fields as well the cotton fields, however a good number of them were flooded, the plants badly damaged and the crop obviously decimated.

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  • Accommodation in Little Rock the Holiday Inn Express with jacuzzi:
  • Jacuzzi12LittleRockGood
  • In praise of the present day, getting to see and to learn more about this beautiful country.

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Atlanta, GA

a12Atlanta06-30 to 07-06

And we spend a week, and got to see and enjoy Atlanta while evaluating the famous Southern Hospitality and Food…, …and more!

 

  • Weather: En route from Charlotte 80 – 88 degrees, nice! Atlanta welcomed us with a sprinkle of rain, lasting only a few minutes. 
  • On 07-01 in the early evening (on and off) rain and 85 degrees. And the next 5 days sunshine, clouds, rain, thunder and lightning, followed by sunshine…, …mixed yet we didn’t mind at all.
  • Travel time to Atlanta from Charlotte was about 6 hours with several stops in NC, SC and Georgia.
  • The roads travelled were in excellent shape, 65 – 70 being the speed limit on the Interstate.
  • Points of special interest, included the land, the rivers and lakes alike.
  • People, nice very friendly.
  • It’s a big international Southern Town, this city of Atlanta GA.
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  • Accommodation Fairmont Suites by Marriott 12th floor,  with jacuzzi:
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  • Next to the Atlanta Underground Shopping Mall.

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  • In praise of every day, good weather, nice travel, much seen, and plenty learned, happy – joyous – free.
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  • We got to see, and admire the Georgia World Congress Center and the Georgia Dome, as seen here from our bedroom window.
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  • Did visit the Tabernacle, a famous theater, and event hall..
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  • Had to check out the World of Coca Cola, because we had heard so much about it.
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  • The CNN and OMNI hotel tour was good too….
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  • And yes we admired the city parks
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  • Here a photo of a Presbyterian Church
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  • City Hall
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  • A look at history
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  • BattleOfAtlanta
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  • Capitol building
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  • The City from the Capitol building
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  • Parking at the Capitol
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  • A look at the Centennial Park, where we watched 4th of July fireworks with approximately 110.000 plus people…
  • Centennial Park

 

 

Charlotte, NC

a11Charlotte06-29 to 06-30

 

From Washington D.C. we drove to Charlotte, and spent a night there, before heading on to Atlanta…
  • Weather gorgeous, 75 to start out and low 80s in Pineville-Charlotte NC
  • Travel time about 7 hours with stops
  • Roads and scenic views, good roads, much mixed forest along the way.
  • Points of special interest included the Visitor Center for Virgina

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  • Accommodation Holiday Inn Express Pineville-Charlotte
  • In praise of the present day, it couldn’t have been any better if I would have planned the day…

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Washington, DC

a10WashingtonDC06-28 to 06-29

 

After enjoying our stay in Niagara Falls, we drove to Washington DC, and spent a night. We may come back to see the town…, …yes maybe come back at another time!

En route there was so much to see and do…, …that we arrived in the evening at the hotel with plans to get an early start to Charlotte SC

  • Weather wise: Cold and wet in Niagara Falls this morning, changing fast to being nice as we entered Pennsylvania. Met some nice people too.
  • Getting into Maryland it was summer weather again, and once we arrived in Washington still some clouds in the distance, yet blue sky and better than 80 degrees. 
  • Travel time, it took us 11 hours, yet actually on the road only about 7 hours. The land lush green, the dams overflowing with water, the lawns in front of homes healthy green…

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  • The main-roads we traveled were in mixed conditions. Much road work going on too. Posted speed on Interstate and Highways 55 and 65  mph, amazing enough, getting to Washington D.C. many motorists drive what ever they want…, …with speeds far in excess of the posted limits.
  • Points of special interest:

Maryland

  • People and places…

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  • Unique decor…

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  • Accommodation Holiday Inn Express Washington D.C.
  • In praise of the day, beautiful entertaining, and a learning experience as well…

 

 

Niagara Falls, NY

a09NiagaraFalls06-27 to 06-28

 

Left Akron early, had breakfast on the road, and were looking forward to see the world famous falls, and as we hit the road rain was coming down on us…
  • Weather: Hundred 100% rain! The weatherman was right. All the way from Akron to Buffalo it rained, first heavy then less. Yet as we arrived at the Niagara  Falls, it was truly raining cats and dogs…
  • Travel time, about 4 hours
  • Roads and scenic views, much rain, yet light traffic in Ohio and Pennsylvania, as we got to upstate NY, traffic was heavy, never mind the rain.
  • Points worth mentioning: Over I-90 another Service and Reststop with stores and gas stations.
  • The Niagara Falls themselves busy despite the pouring rain, crowds of people and yes the Falls don’t disappoint, they deliver, even in the rain.

Click on this link for a 10 minute video we made while getting wet!

  • Niagara2 
  • Accommodations the Holiday Inn Express in Niagara with jacuzzi which was a pleasant refreshing welcome part of our stay at the hotel.
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  • In praise of the present day, beautiful people we met, aside some very courteous drivers, to not so friendly ones – yet maybe the weather was getting to them.
  • We however had a most beautiful day, all day…
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…nothing but fun, smiles and laughter…

 

Akron, OH

a08Akron06-25 to 06-27

From Chicago we headed to  Stow near Akron. For a relaxing couple of nights and to enjoy visiting Akron, as well as the Cuyahoga National Park.
  • Weather: Overcast on the 25th, and here and there a sprinkle of rain, the showers didn’t materialize. There wasn’t even enough rain to wash the windshield. Temperatures 70 – 78 degrees. On the 26th blue sky and 80 degrees.
  • Travel time to Stow from Chicago, just about 7 hours
  • Roads in and around Chicago were very busy, and the roadwork signs and detours did create a fast snail tempo compute.
  • Using I-80 being a tollroad from Chicago all the way through Indiana and Ohio, was costing us over 20 bucks. Was it worth it? Maybe, yet here too plenty of ongoing roadwork, and the maximum speed variety included  45 – 60 – 70 – 60 – 45 mph.
  • Points of special interest, for sure those Service Plazas are the best rest stops I have seen so far, while traveling America’s roads. They reminded me of the Rest Stops called “Rastplatz” along the Autobahn in Germany. Those Service Plazas along I-80 do offer conveniences for those traveling by car. There were  gas stations, restaurants, and shops aside from the usual rest rooms and plenty of parking too, for cars and trucks alike.
  • Accommodation the Staybridge in Akron-Stow.
  • In praise of the present day, we got several times stuck in heavy traffic, and roadwork sections, as well as those detours, yet were impressed by the beauty of the land and the courtesy of other drivers, especially America’s truckers.

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  • Did visit the Cuyahoga Valley National Park as well.
  • In the older part of town in Akron the roads are paved with red bricks! First time I have seen such and I have been many places, many continents.

 

 

Oswego, IL

a07Oswego-Chicago06-24 to 06-25

 

From Lake Superior we drove to Oswego-Chicago,  resting up before getting back on the road the next day…
  • Weather: Unexpected blue sky, no rain, no thunderstorms, no tornados…, …temperatures 75 – 85 degrees.
  • Travel time, 8 hours
  • Roads and scenic views, busy roadways, 70 – 65 – 45 and 30 mph. The gasoline prices under $3 per gallon.
  • Special people, next door to the hotel in Oswego-Chicago, we met some beautiful people, professionals who actually care and are willing to go an extra step for their customers. At closing time I got talk with the owner and mentioned that I had been already 1000 miles past my supposed to be done oil change. He graciously offered to do such for me right then and so he did.

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  • Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express, with jacuzzi:
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  • We must say the Holiday Inn standards were greatly appreciated by both of us, even as all these properties have different owners, because of their common sand arts each hotel made us feel at home.

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  • In praise of the present today: Another great experience and learning process,  very enjoyable.
  • At any of the Holiday Inns we had the use of their fitness room, and we surely made use of it every morning before breakfast.
  • I shouldn’t forget to mention that breakfast is included at HIX.

 

 

Superior, WI

a06LakeSuperior06-23 to 06-24

 

From Detroit Lakes we traveled through lakes country, and stayed one in Lake Superior.
  • Weather: It was quite something and surprising. According to the weather reports we expected rain. Yet all we had was 75-80 degree weather, some clouds, yet the rest nothing but blue sky, …nothing but blue sky above us, and dark monster-clouds in the distance on our right, to the south.
  • Travel time, 6 hours with stops.
  • Roads were good, the speed limit between 65 – 55 – 45 and 30! Scenic views included flowers, plenty of flowers along the roads.

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  • Points of special interest, the largest of the Great Lakes, lake Superior
  • In Lake Superior there are many attractions including this unusual shaped ship, now a museum.

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  • Accommodation Holiday Inn Express, Superior with jacuzzi, allowing us to relax in comfort.
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  • In praise of the present day, thus too was a most beautiful trip, so much to see, such a big country, so much variety.

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Detroit Lakes, MN

a05DetroitLakes06-22 to 06-23

 

The next night we spent in Detroit Lakes, a welcome break from being on the road all day…

 

  • Weather, contrary to the weather report — which was 60-90 % showers and thunderstorms, whereby much of the Dakotas were under a Tornado watch warning as well — we had nothing but sunshine.
  • Travel time was just about 10 hours, with stops, as we took the longer route on I-90 via Sioux Falls before heading up north.
  • Roads and scenic views: Most Interstate Highways have a 80 mph speed limit. Because of much rainfall lately it’s all green, lush green, and flowers are blooming. There was very little traffic.

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  • Points of special interest. We admired the wide open areas with little population,  as well as the change from rocky outcrops in the Black Hills, to the Great Plains, as well as the out crops of the Bad Lands, which reminded us much of Death Valley.
  • Accommodation: Holiday Inn Express Detroit Lakes with jacuzzi, which at the end of a long travel day was worth having…
  • Jacuzzi05DetroitBB
  • In praise of the presents today, we greatly enjoyed the weather, and natures beauty. All gifts received much better than expected.

 

Rapid City, SD

 

a04RapidCity06-19 to 06-22

…a three night stay to  see and admire Mount Rushmore, the famous Caverns and the Black Hills, and more…
  • Weather: We arrived in sunshine 80 degree weather, not a cloud in sight, for the evening hours, however there were thunderstorm warnings… :
  • Travel time about 6 hours
  • Roads and scenic views, much land, open land, very few homes, a wide open country, not counting the barb wire fences…
  • Points of special interest, so many.
  • Accommodation Holiday Inn Express Rapid City, here we got to learn where they hide the on-off switch for their in room  jacuzzi “South Dakota Style?”
  • Jacuzzi03RapidCityBB
  • In praise of the present day, nice people, beautiful land, worth the travel…

And on 06-20 a full day tour…, …on a sunny day. Rain came later in the night:

  • Drove through Black Hills National Forest
  • Did  the Mt. Rushmore Walking Trail, and got to see what taxpayers money can do.

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  • Visited the Museum and gift-shops

Borglum

According to what we were told:

“Borglum and later his son and all their workmen and equipment were paid from moneys allocated from Washington, which created  this unique tourist attraction, guaranteeing the ongoing cashflow for the nearby communities!”

  • We also went to the Sculptor’s Studio at Mt. Rushmore
  • Next we visited Crazy Horse “a work in progress!”
  • In  the Indian Museum of America at Crazy Horse we found out about the dimension of the sculptors plans. It’s so huge, this memorial whenever finished will be the biggest of its kind.

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  • As an example the average height of the Egyptian pyramids is 480 feet. the Crazy horse monument is 560 x 640 feet.
  •  The Native American Indian Educational and Cultural Center at Crazy Horse is impressive, to say the least.

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  • We truly admired Korczaks Studio and Home, at the Crazy Horse monument education site.
  • And all is done with private money, donations and fees and volunteers.

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  • Not to forget: We took a one hour train-ride in an old steam-train up to Hill Town.

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  • We watched Wildlife of Custer State Park including buffalos, burros, prairie dogs, deer and antelopes.
  • And yes we got to experience three tight tunnels on Iron Mountain Road w/views of Mt. Rushmore too.

 

After a rainy night, on 06-21 we spent our time visiting…

  • …Hill City
  • …Custer
  • …Custer State Park
  • …and took a 1 hour guided tour at the Wind Cave, supposedly one of the longest caves in the world.

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Our guide’s retelling a story told to him by a Native co-worker was not only entertaining but it was so good, that we actually believe that the Native Tribe does believe in all humans and buffalos having come from below the ground to live and be on the earth above…, …under circumstances worth a story told and listened to.

 

 

Rawlins, WY

a03Rawlins06-18 to 06-19

 

Our route, traveling on  I-80  from Elko to Rawlins took us past the Salt Lake and Salt Lake City up into the mountains on the Lincoln Highway over passes and summits, and impressive rock formations along the road.
A one night stay in Rawlins  helped to get some rest before heading past the Badlands into the Black Hills…
  • Weather: Sunny, clear, and in the mid eighties.
  • Travel time about 6 hours
  • Roads and scenic views, excellent roads, high mountains, very impressive the stretch of I-80 past Salt Lake City…
  • Points of special interest, so much to see…
  • Accommodation Holiday Inn Express Rawlins
  • In praise of the present day, beautiful landscape, good roads, good company, nice ride…

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Elko, NV

a02Elko06-17 to 06-18

 

…a stopover between Tahoe and Rawlins…
  • Weather: 90 to 95 degrees, outside! 71 degrees in the truck
  • Travel time, about 7 hours, after leaving the Holiday Inn Express Lake Tahoe, we went to the north shore, before heading in direction of Elko via Hwy 50 > 395/588 > I-80
  • Roads and scenic views, on the Nevada side the scenery changed fast from forested to barren. The roads travelled at 75 mph were good, actually in better condition than many in California.
  • Accommodation, the Holiday Inn Express in Elko, with jacuzzi
  • Jacuzzi02ElkoAA
  • In praise of the present day, a very enjoyable drive

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Tahoe, CA

a01Tahoe06-16 to 06-17

Lake Tahoe, was the first stopover, after leaving home, at the beginning of a month long journey.

We left at 8:30 a.m. and drove to Lake Tahoe via Hollister > Pacheco Pass > I-5 > Hwy 4 > I-99 > Hwy 88 and Hwy 89, and arrived in Tahoe via the Carson Pass.

A very scenic ride, little traffic and we surely took our time.

  • Weather:  Light fog in Monterey, 75 – 85 degree en route, 78 and nothing but sunshine  in Tahoe
  • Travel time, with stops about 7 hours
  • Roads and scenic views, I highly recommend Hwy 88 and 89
  • Points of special interest, several lakes, tall trees and views of high peaks with remnants of snow
  • Accommodation: We enjoyed our stay in room 127 at the Holiday Inn Express, huge room, with a small microwave and coffee station, shower for 2,  jacuzzi and a fire place.
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  • In praise of the present day and the spectacular surrounding along the roads we travelled…

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To travel…

Using all168 hours a week, we shall use those next four weeks to widen  our horizon and to see more of the country we love so much, therefore we travel the roads of the USA.

2015TripMapLStates planned to visit:

California – Nevada – Utah – Nebraska – Wyoming – South Dakota – North Dakota – Minnesota – Wisconsin – Iowa – Illinois – Indiana – Ohio – Michigan –New York – Pennsylvania – Delaware – Virginia – Tennessee – South Carolina – Georgia – Alabama – Mississippi – Louisiana – Texas – Oklahoma – New Mexico – Arizona

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Monterey, our starting point…

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