New Year’s Eve

After an eventful day yesterday, And a surprise last night in the form of a chimney falling on my head as I was reaching for that elusive sleep, I am just grateful for warmth tonight due to a repaired chimney, and the blessings of friendships I cherish.

I wasn’t going to write today, but a dear friend got the Big “C” notice today, and while I am positive she will lick this easily as it has been caught very early, it simply reminded me to take that retrospective step tonight as I say goodbye to 2014.

I have always been blessed with magnificent family and friends in my life. I never take that for granted any more than I can take this magical place I live for granted. The sounds of laughter and the silence of the mountain tops help me be grateful for this mystery of life. Mine, like yours is special. I have had many lessons to learn this time around, and I am hopeful I have learned them well.

I look forward to tomorrow – and all my future tomorrows – with joy and wonder. I wish you all the same. May Peace and Joy be the rule for you and all of us in 2015.

Don’t make me thread the needle.

You are right, Big Surians. The fu**ers are trying to kill us … And themselves. I have been reading all the horror stories about the traffic and tourists and crazies, so I kept putting off running down to Cambria. Finally wanted fresh veggies, so I went today. Oh, joy …

On the way home, I went to pass the car in front of me, car #1. Legal passing area. Plenty of room and time to get between him and the car in front of him, car #2, before the SB car, car #3, came to us. Well, there would have been, had car #2 not panicked, or decided he did not want me behind him, or whatever the hell his pea brain was thinking. I got along side car #1 when I watched car#2 slam on his brakes and watched the space between the two cars rapidly dwindle. I had no choice but to “thread the needle” that is squeeze between car # 2 heading north and car #3 heading south, as the car behind me had now moved up closer to car #1. I hope someone recorded that … I certainly didn’t have time to.

Yes, they wanted to kill me and themselves … But … Not today.

Eat out Presidents Day Weekend – support the Health Center

Eat Out. Have Fun. Support a Great Cause!

Monterey County Restaurants Work Together to Help Launch the Foragers Festival Weekend and Raise Funds For The Big Sur Health Center

MONTEREY COUNTY, CA (November 2014) — On Friday, January 16th, several Monterey County Restaurants will be donating a portion of their profits to help launch the Big Sur Foragers Festival and raise funds for the Big Sur Health Center.

“The Health Center could not exist without the continuing support of our generous donors and community,” said Sharen Carey PA-C, Executive Director. “We rely on donations and grants to provide 65% of the cost of bringing you the local high quality health care service you have come to expect. We are very excited that all of these restaurants are helping us kick off the Foragers Festival by donating a portion of their proceeds for the evening to the Big Sur Health Center.”

Save the date for Martin Luther King Weekend! Starting Friday, January 16th, 2015 the following restaurants will be supporting the Big Sur Health Center and helping launch an all-weekend festival in support of the Health Center. This is a great way to support a much-needed community service while enjoying a great holiday weekend in Monterey County.

Friday, January 16th:

• The Beach House located at 620 Ocean View Blvd, Pacific Grove will donate 15% of dinner sales from 6:30 p.m. – closing.

• Big Sur Bakery located at 47540 Highway 1 in Big Sur will donate proceeds from their Friday night Foragers themed dinner.

• Will’s Fargo Steakhouse + Bar located at 16 W. Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley will donate 10% of proceeds from dinner.

• Abalonetti located at 57 Fishermans Wharf, Monterey will donate 15% of lunch sales from 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

• The Whaling Station Steak house located at 763 Wave St, Monterey will donate 10% of dinner sales from 7:00 p.m. – closing

• Rio Grill located at The Crossroads, 101 Crossroads Blvd, Carmel will donate 10% of dinner sales.

• Montrio Bistro located at 414 Calle Principal, Monterey will donate 10% of dinner sales.

• Tarpy’s Roadhouse located at 2999 Monterey Salinas Hwy, Monterey will donate 10% of dinner sales.

• Kula Ranch located at 3295 Dunes Dr, Marina will donate 10% of lunch and dinner sales.

• Haute Enchilada located at 7902 Moss Landing Rd, Moss Landing will donate 10% of lunch sales.

Big Sur Forager’s Festival


Friday, January 16th:

· Kick-off Dinner at Big Sur Road House. This is always a great way to start the Foragers weekend! Details to come.
· Big Sur Bakery is also doing a dinner to benefit the Big Sur Health Center. Details to come!
· Save the date! More than 10 Monterey County restaurants will be donating a portion of their sales on Friday, January 16th to support the Big Sur Health Center. Details to be announced the week of December 15th.
Saturday, January 17th:

· This year there will be two “Wild Foraging Walk and Talk” – one at Pfeiffer State Park (level beginner) and one through the Big Sur Wilderness (level intermediate), both led by expert foragers. The intermediate hike through the Bug Sur Wilderness will be led by Stephen Copeland of Big Sur Guides and Hiking. Cost per hike $35.00. (Saturday, January 17th 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

· “Fungus Face-Off” on the deck at Ventana Inn & Spa. “Fungus Face-Off” on the deck at Ventana Inn & Spa! “Fungus Face-Off” at Ventana Inn & Spa from 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Cost per person is $60. A friendly competition among some of the area’s notable chefs featuring chanterelles and other fabulous fungi. Celebrity judges include Jim Dodge, Russ Parson, LA Times Food Editor and Wendy Brodie. Attendees also have an opportunity to cast their vote for “People’s Choice”. (Saturday, January 17th 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.)
· A silent auction full of culinary delights, hotel stays, tickets to explore the area, art and so much more will take place during the food and wine sampling. There will be more than 60 items this year! Purchase raffle tickets for $5 per ticket of $25 for 6 tickets. Enter to win your choice of 7 culinary delights or hotel packages! Raffle package values begin at $200 to $700! Tickets available for purchase at the event.
· Fungus Face Off Chef Partners Announced:
§ The Restaurant at Ventana Inn Executive Chef Paul Corsentino
§ Chef Sean Garrett, Fernwood
§ Chef Johnny DeVivo, Porters in the Forest at Poppy Hills
§ Chef Phillip Burrus, Esalen
§ Chef Tim Wood, Carmel Valley Ranch
§ Kim Solano, Haute Enchilada and Social Club
§ Chef Brenden Esons, Big Sur Roadhouse
§ Chef Tony Baker, Montrio Bistro / Baker’s Bacon
· Tasting:
§ The Quail and Olive

· Winery Partners/Brewery
o Chappellet
o Alvarado Street Brewery
o Tudor Wines
o Holman Ranch
o Morgan Winery
o Mesa Del Sol Winery
o Comanche Cellars
o Ventana Wines
o McIntyre Vineyards
o Bernardus Lodge
o Dawn’s Dream
o Joullian Vineyards
o Fillipponi Ranch

Celebrity Guest Chefs Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, Chef Proprietors from State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, California along with Paul Corsentino from Ventana Inn & Spa

BIG SUR, CA — The Big Sur Foragers Festival announces its Grand Celebrity Chef Dinner at Ventana Inn & Spa. The “Foragers Dinner” at the Restaurant at Ventana will be held Saturday, January 17th, 2015 beginning at 6:00 pm. The multi-course dinner, destined to be a memorable feast paired with an incredible wine selection, costs $175.00 per person .
Celebrity Guest Chefs have been announced! Guest Chefs include Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski, Chef Proprietors from State Bird Provisions in San Francisco, California along with Paul Corsentino from Ventana Inn & Spa. Tickets are now on sale at Eventbrite.

Celebrity Guest Chefs

Stuart Brioza and Nicole Krasinski
State Bird Provisions
San Francisco

Sunday, January 18th:

· Morning Brunch at the Big Sur Lodge. The Big Sur Lodge will offer a multi course menu and live music!
· Afternoon “Foragers Kitchen” master cooking class
· Big Sur River Inn will donate a percentage of breakfast on Saturday and Sunday. Details to come.
Big Sur Foragers Festival Media Partner:

About Edible Monterey Bay

Founded in 2011, Edible Monterey Bay produces an award-winning quarterly magazine, a weekly e-newsletter and occasional events that celebrate the local food cultures of Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito Counties, season by season. For more information, go to or call (831) 298-7117.
Edible Magazine Monterey Bay is this year’s Big Sur Foragers Festival Media Partner.
Follow us on Facebook for this year’s new event venues or at

Traffic Conditions, heading north to town

6:30 pm – as of 15 minutes ago, The CHP website is reporting that NB traffic into Carmel is backed up all the way to Mal Paso Creek, which is the southern boundary for the Carmel Highlands. I have been hearing stories about how bad traffic has been this holiday season, particularly in that direction. Avoid if you can wait.

Road Work Christmas Weekend

Today’s Date: Wednesday, December 24, 2014
District: 05 – Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa
Cruz Counties
Contact: Susana Z Cruz (bilingual) or Colin Jones
Phone: (805) 549-3138 or 549-3189

MONTEREY COUNTY– An emergency culvert repair project on Highway 1 at Ventana/Post Ranch, two miles south of the Big Sur Park/Campgrounds began on Monday, Dec. 22 and continues this weekend, Caltrans officials have announced.

Roadwork hours are from 7 am to 5 pm weekdays under one-way traffic control with flaggers. In order to expedite the repairs, crews will also be working this Saturday and Sunday from 7 am until 4 pm (no roadwork on Christmas Day). Motorists can expect a delay not to exceed 15 minutes. Electronic message signs have been activated to alert motorists.

The purpose of this emergency project is to repair the damaged culvert and embankment erosion from the recent storms. Roadwork is necessary to ensure that all maintenance needs of the coast highway are met, and will be completed by Wednesday, Dec. 31, weather permitting.

NOTE: Access to businesses will remain open via Highway 1.

The contractor for this $300,000 project is John Madonna Construction of San Luis Obispo.

Photo to follow when Cellular Internet will let me upload.


Pfeiffer State Park partial opening tomorrow, Christmas Eve

Pfeiffer State Park will have a partial reopening December 24. The following areas will be open: Main Camp (campsites 131-189); The Big Sur Lodge Restaurant, Store, and Lodging; Buzzard’s Roost Trail, Pfeiffer Falls/Valley View Teail; and the Picnic Areas near the Day Use parking lots. All other areas will remain closed.

The Pine Ridge Trail between the Big Sur Station and Sykes Hot Springs is closed until further notice. This closure also includes the Pine Ridge parking lot at the Big Sur Station. Heavy rains and large mud slides have created extremely hazardous and impassable conditions. Further segments of the trail are in imminent danger of failure or collapse which could result in serious injury.

Inquire at the Entrance Station for further information. The SP apologizes for any inconvenience.