Frustration, Denial, and blessings in disguise…

Okay, there seems to be a lot of “rumbling” going on about this issue of being stranded. I am getting posts from anonymous people who, fortunately, have to be moderated so I can catch them. I am being called names like “heartless bitch” as if I am the one making these decisions re road closure, State Park closures, etc. I am simply reporting them. Please, just as in the fire, remember that who we are as a community is kind, helpful, prepared and hearty. We do disaster better than any community I know. I posted some of this on FB, but feel the need to share with a wider audience.

It has been less than 24 hours since the bridge was shut down, and we won’t get another report until after this series of storms passes. Lots of frustration and anger is bubbling up, just as it did during various times during the fire. I understand your frustration, I do, but don’t take it out on me, the community, or the agencies trying to help.  For a week, Cal Trans has tried to work with people, inspecting the bridge several times a day, openin it up to solo vehicle crossings or pedestrian crossings, so they could get out and back in, or get out and stay out, to get their cars out, get supplies back in. I don’t know what else they could have done. Those who elected to stay within the closure need to realize it was a choice they made, and hopefully they prepared for that choice. I hope that the frustration takes into account that ALL of those south of the bridge made a choice and it is time to relax and enjoy the solitude. If there is a medical emergency, call 911 and arrange for a helicopter out. Stay calm and carry on. I will do so as well.

Oh, the blessings? We got our Big Sur back in all her glory … we have a front row seat to her beauty and awe. We got this, we really do.

48 thoughts on “Frustration, Denial, and blessings in disguise…

  1. Well said Kate. I have a hard time believing that people are taking their frustrations out on you when you’re busy keeping everyone informed of what’s going on. Really! If they stayed south of the bridge, it’s a choice they will learn to live with. Of course it’s challenging, but this is when a community bands together and helps each other. Take the higher road folks!

  2. Well said. I am enjoying that the rest of the world is stranded on the other side of the closures. The old time Big Sur folks only went to town a couple of times a year. Surely we can make it a week or two?

  3. Thank you for your commitment to these updates. You actually saved me, my wife, and our two friends from driving up to spend a few days there in the midst of all of this… We might have been stranded too!

    Praying for all those displaced / stranded / severely inconvenienced because of this season…

    Keep up the good work!

  4. It is sad that you have to post this but the way you do, is impressive. Compassionate. Calming. Reassuring. It’s your SOP. I thank you and I don’t even live there, but I do, and have since day one, feel Big Sur.
    Yes – you guys got this. Stay safe. Enjoy the splendor. Can’t think of a more beautiful place to be stuck.
    As for those “others”… delete delete delete
    – that’s for both your actions and what I just did cuz… sometimes I forget to be nice 😉

  5. Thank you for keeping all of us who don’t live in Big Sur but enjoy every minute we are lucky enough to have there. Very sad it will be awhile before we can visit again. I know the locals are ready to face anything that Mother Nature throws their way❤

  6. It’s so peaceful and quite. I can hear the creeks roaring and birds singing. They’re not getting drowned out by noisy Harley’s, horns honking and drones flying over my deck. It’s going to be challenging for months but we are resilient and will get through it like we’ve done before. Stay Big Sur strong!!!

  7. Thank you for all the time you spend informing the public. For every nasty , awful commenter there are thousands that appreciate you. Next they will blame you for being “god” and causing rain.

  8. You’re providing such valuable info as always, Kate. Peeps – please don’t shoot the messenger! Today’s storm forecast hasn’t materialized here in Corral de Tierra but the predictions appear more threatening over the next few days, including Salinas River flooding. Remembering 1995 and 1998 wnen the Peninsula became an island.

  9. Bravo Kate, they know not of what they speak, such is humanity… we can be an odd bunch! It must be wonderful to have it to yourselves for a while!

  10. LOL. Funny. and I know the anonymous posters with bad intentions are a very, very minuscule minority, which is why I carry on and ignore it, for the most part, but the frustration is very real – theirs, not mine (at least not yet.)


  11. Hey Kate, we love you and value what you do. It’s ridiculous that anyone could find any tidbit to complain about what you provide selflessly for this community. It was shocking to learn that we might have not been able to cross back over yesterday afternoon. We are not hardwired (yet) to our devices, so we did our madcap town run without that worry!
    Personally I’m favoring a Shangri-La type swaying rope bridge across that canyon, the sooner the better….
    Big sur is just ours for a time, what a delight – we are blessed. Here comes more rain! Stay safe and warm.

  12. Oh my Goddess dear Kate!
    Please block these mean & ungrateful individuals from your site. Totally unacceptable & mean-spirited, & not Big Sur material!
    Love & Blessings from those of us, who are the huge majority of us, appreciators!

  13. Name calling and anger are completely useless and uncalled for.
    You, Kate, are a treasure and a resource we all should be thankful for here on the coast.
    You need a break and some time for yourself.
    Much love…

  14. Really, I am find. I don’t take these things personally, I just see them as expressions of people’s (or two) frustrations.


  15. I well remember when the bridge over Carmel River went out. I got a 5 am knock on the door from my neighbor. ‘Save water because we’re going to be without for some time!” I thought the bridge would be repaired in no time, and he said “no, you don’t understand, the bridge is gone– it’s out in the ocean. No bridge!” We managed– in fact, it was quite lovely. My one observation is that wealthy neighbors were able to comfortably stay In town, while we were stuck at home in the (lower rent) Highlands. I recall an enterprising young man with a little helicopter who was shuttling folks from one river bank to the other. perhaps a similar solution might help in this case? Good luck & thank you for all your good work, Kate.

  16. Ok so I was gonna blame Obama but since you’re closer …… gotta luv these newbies. Did they not understand the weather warnings? Do they believe that rockslides only happen past Nepenthe? This is why some of us move here; to get away from all the ‘nervous nellies’ who reside comfortably when the weather is great yet flounder like a fish outta water at the first sign of disaster. Suck it up people, there’s more to come.

  17. Thanks for your great reporting, bigsurkate. We appreciate your efforts to keep us in the know…bob

  18. Aww, poor us. Imagine what it’s like below the Oroville dam! Our household is always grateful for your reporting work and your indefatigable efforts, Kate! “Don’t shoot the messenger, people!”

  19. It’s awful that people would blame you…or anyone, for that matter, for what Mother Nature gives us.

    I’m reminded of the old newspaper headline in England in the 1930s sometime, “Storm Over Channel, Continent Isolated!”

    Who’s isolated depends on your perspective. Where you stand depends on where you sit. By this winter weather, we’ve been isolated from the heart of Big Sur, and we’re the worse for it.

  20. Although my wife is “stranded” with all of you, as she’s in the middle of a six-week course at Esalen, this post put things in beautiful perspective for me. How many people in this day and age will ever see Big Sur without a steady stream of cars running through it? How many people get to see up close how Mother Nature carves this coastline into the beautiful geology that draws awe from around the globe? There really is a silver lining to those storm clouds! (Now if the food and septic systems will just hold out! LOL.)

  21. I don’t know anyone else in our country who contributes so much to the ordinary and much needed REAL communication to sustain the life of a community. Thank you Big Sur Kate; you are a Big Sur treasure!!

  22. Hello Kate and Big Sur people. Kate has been around long enough to know that stupid self-centered remarks are either pranks or acts of frustration. She is the proverbial messenger that cannot be killed delivering the news. Regarding the closures…those south of civilization (Carmel Area) need to realize how fortunate they are. You are looking at Big Sur back in the day, when the reputation of this special place had not been exposed to the world. Enjoy it. This is likely not going to happen again for a long time.

  23. Thank you Kate for all that you do for those in Big Sur and beyond. We’re with you.
    ‘The strength of the wolf is in the pack and the strength of the pack is in the wolf’. (The Law of the Jungle by Rudyard Kipling)

  24. I love that quote, David. Thank you. I do feel like a lone wolf sometimes, but whenever I need it, the pack surrounds me. Love my tribe!!


  25. Kate, How wonderful you are to take your time to inform all of us what’s going on in “our neck of the woods” . What would I have done without you during our fire? You were my only source of reliable information. It’s a “given” that I read you every day to keep informed in this isolated area, whether fires, floods, weather, etc. I appreciate you.

  26. And this? This is my dear sister of the heart speaking in the face of those who wish to sling anger, frustration and rage at her, with class, integrity and positivity. Sarah & I honor you so much. Well done you!

  27. Ah, sister of my heart. I have been watching your birthday treat and so glad to see you having fun with your other sister of the heart. Thanks to both you and Sarah. Happy Birthday again. Love and hugs.


  28. It’s times like these that bring the Big Sur Community together, at least within our own localized, isolated neighborhoods between the slides. Those who are cutoff from loved ones on the other side of an impassible slide are among the ones who struggle greatly with the current situation. My heart goes out to them, but I know they will survive the forced isolation and separation from their friend(s). Some time in the future, they will look back on the experience as an interesting distraction and a test of their character and realize that, seen in retrospect, it was but a small blip in the course of their lives, and perhaps a time when they felt more a part of their community than anywhere else.

  29. Don’t let them get to you. So many appreciate all the weather and fire information you provide.

  30. Kate, thank you for being the only consistently reliable source of info.a labor of a n elderly survivor of the 70,80,@90’s disasters who now lives in town , I would offer sympathy for all those who are suddenly without paychecks in addition to all else going on.

  31. Dear Kate,
    Thankyou for your continuous effort to gather data and post. Your candor and sentiments are also appreciated! The wild & raw beauty of Big Sur takes our breath away. Based in Massachusetts, we are long time visitors, here now enjoying our short term residency. We chose to stay, are prepared and ready for what may come, ( we think) soaking up solitude and isolation. ( aside from our visits to the Taphouse, such great people):)
    Hunkered down, Witness to mother natures fury and here to help if needed.
    Down & In,
    Kim & Ted

  32. I live in SLO and visit this site regularly whenever I’m planning a visit to Big Sur. This past weekend I actually called the Monterey Ranger District hoping to get more specific information about hwy 1 use by non-residents. They referred me to your site for the best information. Thank you for everything you do.

  33. Long time Morro Bay resident here, watch this site daily, you should be proud of yourself…old friend of Ralph and Phil Novoa, if any connection…Dan

  34. Kate,
    it saddens me to hear how people are reacting which also leaves me to contemplate the privilege the community at Esalen has compared to the greater Big Sur community. The privilege to have daily gatherings and updates you do not have to use precious gas to get to, the privilege of all of your food, propane, water, heat, and power are provided for, the privilege of a pristine paved enviornment you dot have to dig, drive or worry about sliding on an hourly basis, the privilege of not having to worry about losing your housing if you can’t pay your rent, and the privilege people feel to critsize and blame those who are in service of the greater community.
    Part of the beauty of living in Big Sur is the upredictability of life on the edge and the price many of us have paid to live there over the course of many years is the discomfort and challenges these pose. So people, please check your privilege and deal with the inconveiniance of not being able to get to town ad take a moment to look at how lucky you are and thank those who are working to serve you and maybe just maybe ask what you could do to make their jobs easier.

    Jessica F

  35. We all really appreciate all that you do for us. You do it out of dedication, and soul. I remember back in the days of CB radios being the way to get the word around. Now that it is gone, you are the #1 “light in the sky” of the crucial news between the Big Sur communities. God Bless you.

  36. I’ve lived here for 2.5 years and have come to rely on your timely reports- thanks so much for your service to all of us on the coast!!

  37. Haven’t been there in over two years but I read your site everyday. Keep up the goodness of your work.

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