17 MILE DRIVE OVERALL WARNING AND DANGERS
Warning. It cost money to take the 17 Mile Drive and you pay the fee ($10) at the entrance toll gates.
Warning. Don't read the road guide map while driving. You may wind up in a sand trap.
Warning. Make sure that if you pull off the road leave room for cars to pass.
Warning. The speed limit is 25 mph throught the Del Monte Forest area and you may have to drive slower under caution with traffic pulling off or on the road.
Danger. Due to the forest nature of the area, deer are roaming free. Keep your eyes on them if close by and do not feed the animals. Sometimes they cross the road without looking both ways. Make sure if you cross the road you do look both ways.
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Watch for Animals
Like other areas of the Monterey Peninsula, Pebble Beach is full of a variety of wildlife. The obvious ones are the seals and black cormorants at aptly named seal rock and bird rock, which have their dangers if you decide to jump in the ocean and wrestle with them.
Though you'll rarely spot otters on this unprotected ocean coast, land-based animals such as raccoons and deer are very common here. From the curiously goofy California ground squirrels to the always-hungry deer and seagulls, you are sure to see a lot of animals if you spend much time here. Raccoons could carry diseases such as rabies and the deer might put a little dent in the hood of your car.
It is illegal to feed the animals according to California state law. Visitors should use caution to not approach the wildlife, even if they seem tame. Deer can also be aggressive, especially during certain times of the year such as mating season (known as "the rut"). Raccoons are ferocious little devils and could bite your finger off.
At Point Pinos, we also saw a sign announcing that mountain lions had been spotted in the area. Their advice: don't run, don't stand still, don't yell, don't be quiet, don't approach, don't retreat, don't hike alone, don't hike with children...basically the only thing they can offer is fight a mountain lion if you see it. Woo hoo! Just like Davie Crockett.
Stay off the rocks and out of the water!
In past generations it was possible to climb down the rocks and pick off a huge abalone shell and take it home for culinary delight. Now, such harvest is impossible due to the low likelyhood of finding such a sized shell, and the fact that such harvesting along Pebble Beach is illegal. Please allow the sea otters this delicacy. If you want to eat abalone, head for Carmel where farmed abolone is available on the many restaurant menus. Even in times of old, climbing down to the tide pools was risky business, and so it's best to stay out of the water. Between the rocks and the waves, should you climb in your shell will be quickly cracked and your carcass taken away for shark feed by the undertoe. The water is cold, and should you survive the crashing waves, you'll quickly lose out to the cold.
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