Patrolling a tinder box …

This evening, before sunset, I met one of our local USFS FFs patrolling Plaskett. I was so glad to see him. He grew up here. His lineage dates back to one of the original settlers here on the South Coast. This land is in his blood and he knows it like I never will and probably loves it more than I do. I’ve known him since he was in 6th grade when I worked at the local one-room school, and that was … 20 years ago? Really? That long ago?

It was so good to see him, and know there were other “eyes” up here on a Friday night, when all the campers and hunters are filling the place up because there is no where else to go. Campgrounds are full.

With triple digits temps, single digit RH, and two fires having burned to the east of me in the last two days, and six in August alone here on the Central Coast, I breathed a sigh of appreciation for his presence. I did not realize how alone I felt up here, until I saw him. I think I can relax a little.

We stopped and chatted for a moment. I told him, “You know, I’d almost rather it come at me, then have all this anxiety of waiting and dreading when it does. Sort of like going to the dentist.” He laughed, but I think he knew what I meant.

I knew my banjo strings were pulled a little too tight after last Friday’s confrontation with the campers with the campfire. But to know that sometimes, and especially on these hot, dry Friday nights, other eyes will be watching out for this forest of ours, brings a quiet calm over me when I most need it.

Thank you.

10 thoughts on “Patrolling a tinder box …

  1. Kate, people are so grateful to you for keeping them posted. You’re doing a wonderful job and providing a great service to everyone. I’m relieved to know that such a good guy is out there, looking out for you and for the beautiful area you live in. Your buddy in France.

  2. Actually, I thought your response to the cretins with the fire was pretty restrained. It’s hard not to go off on people like that when you’re living day and night with “acute fire season stress.” We all know what that’s like, but our “visitors,” unfortunately, rarely have a clue. You want to know about banjo strings strung too tight, you should have seen me the day a neighbor called to say someone had a bonfire going in the brush a quarter mile below my house!

  3. Kate…thanks for all the work you put into this blog and the ‘situation reports’. I remember when this was pretty much just about your photography!! For this ‘ex-pat” (and not by my choice) who is so far away, it helps me retain my feeling of HOME while being here in Texas with my Dad. Someday, someday I’ll see the coast again…..and I appreciate you looking out for it for me and everyone. THANKS!! And: always be safe.

  4. Thanks for the reality check, Xasauan. I can only imagine your distress re: the bonfire below your house. Yes, fire season stress in the wilderness is acute right now. I admit I did come a tad unglued.

  5. appreciate your site.

    at 11:58 on Pfeiffer ridge we have 108 IN THE SHADE 8/29/2009

    anne ashley & john Alvord 831-667-8827
    couldn’t figure where to send this/who would be interested……… ideas?

  6. I wish i’d had my camera today when walking out in the forest at the dog park. I saw a man smoking and then just DROP the butt on the ground without even crushing it out with his foot. I started yelling at the man to put the butt out & he looked at me with the deer-in-the-headlight look. He just turned and walked away. I went right over to the butt and saw it was still smoldering and put it out myself plus made sure there were no other embers from it. I took the butt home and plan to mail it to our local city council and BEG they close that damned doggie park for good. All there has been is complaints about parking, dogs off leash, poop not being picked up and smokers. I’d rather walk farther away to the beach than endanger our forest here in Pacific Grove.

  7. The south coast the wild coast—lonesome alone may allow for tidy sleep,and early wake up to share the appetite dreams that don,t drain the new days menu—-hunger is the best sauce

  8. Kate, nice to see all these words of encouragement and appreciation for what you provide to your community, through your blog and your vigilance/caring about what’s happening in the wild lands of Big Sur!

    “my banjo strings were pulled a little too tight”… that phrase made me laugh. I’ve never heard that before, but it expresses it so well! Have a great day, and I hope your banjo is attuned to Hawaiian slack-key for awhile!

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