There's just something about Carmel Valley. Maybe its the perfect weather, that touch of humidity drifting in from the ocean, that hint of brisk to keep you sharp. It could be the sounds -- silence occasionally breached by fortunate birds and the lucky dogs who chase their calls. Or perhaps its my family history, roots that run deep to that part of the world, back a hundred years when mountain lions had good reason to fear my grandfather's bow.
I end up there from time to time and can never stay long enough. There is no doubt that next Labor Day for the 3-day novel contest I'll end up there, looking for that valley full of quail.
We were down there for Maura's 30th birthday, holed up in a Mansion in the hills. It was vintage Carmel Valley. An amazing mix of humble, breathtaking views. Fog, rolling in from the coast, then back out again as quietly as it came.
Maura, Tyler, Gaucho and I hit the trails as the sun set, a quick jaunt out and back. I could have run forever -- and indeed wanted to. Its almost a blessing that my leg wouldn't have let me, or I would have been disappointed. But to just get out there, dance along the dirt and move in the wilderness, was enough.