Resolution: Walk the Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail

It's long -- 18 miles -- but not so big that you can't work up to it.

THINKING BIG... but not too big? That's part of the trick to finding resolutions that stick. Or maybe "intentions" is the catchier but truer word. If we go into a new year vowing we'll run six marathons, when we've never so much as taken on a mile, well, insert "waa waa" television sound effect here. It isn't likely to happen from the get-go. But, of course, it can happen -- the build has to be gradual and persistent. Likewise, journey walks and epic treks are a not uncommon resolution. Two friends might agree to walk the length of the redwoods or across Death Valley. Also a noble goal, but one that's best worked-up-to (like any plan that one intends to stick with over time). The best solution? Find the shorter walks that are still stunning and hold interest, without having to go in for the three-day leg-its over vast distances from day one. And a rather lovely one? The Monterey Bay Coastal Recreation Trail.

YEP... you'll share it with bikes and surreys, so, nope, it isn't just about you and the otter barks and the crashing waves. But you'll get in the zone soon enough, so, yeah, you'll have those otteriffic moments along the way. It's eighteen miles, winding "from Castroville in the north to Pacific Grove in the south." Pretty, pretty vistas, so pretty we had to type the word twice. And, yes indeedy sir or madam, you'll head past Cannery Row and Fisherman's Wharf, meaning there may be something bread-bowl-y or chowder-like in your day's lunch plans. Feel invigorated, but not so invigorated that you're going to go out and walk the entire length of the Sierra next week? Good. That's the way to keep those healthy resolutions nicely invigorated. Then, once you take this trail, you can move onto our state's dozens and dozens of other scenic toodles that can be taken in under a day.

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