Resupply & Hiking Trail

Soaring gave such a wonderful report on the resupply run as comments, I thought they should get a wider audience, so I am copying them here. Also, at the end, is a call for volunteers for the hiking trial building from Carissa.

From Soaring: “I’d like to post a heartfelt thank you to all who organized, planned and volunteered to make that epic delivery of supplies for us yesterday in Big Sur Island. Isa and I drove 4 miles down to a big mudslide on our dirt road, hiked over it and down to the highway where we joined our community at the PO. We visited and swapped stories while watching the helicopter fly over us to Post Ranch with slings of groceries and goods. Drivers brought flatbed trucks where the sling nets were often still attached to the loads, evidently there must have been some skilled placement by the pilot to position the heavy loads into the bed of each truck.
Volunteers sprang into action, climbing up, cutting open the wrappings and handing boxes over the side to waiting hands, with the boxes placed in groupings by area location on the coast. Neighbors came to pick up boxes for their neighbors. Andrew stopped by the Post Office and we gave him hugs and our mail that had been waiting for weeks to be sent.
A clipboard was passed to take names for volunteers to dig the walking trail around the bridge.
Patte Kronlund is an amazing and meticulous organizer, and the unloading and sorting and loading of boxes quickly and efficiently done, thanks to her pre-planning. We feel such gratitude for the fresh food and supplies, and for all who made it possible.”

Also, the wife of the Safeway manager organized a slew of volunteers to do the shopping for 58 families. They started their day at 3:30 am, and ended about 6 hours later. Soaring again writes of her “mystery shopper.”

“I understand there were many who volunteered to help by shopping for us… to clarify, someone named Haisley signed my grocery list at the end, with the words: “Health & Happiness”. Haisley checked off the items on the list and wrote next to the request for pomegranates – “sorry, none”, and made notes that they couldn’t find the item on the shelf next to another one… and that a substitution had to be made in a couple of cases. It was wonderful to read. Those little notes gave us a such a sense of the deep caring that went into this. It must have been so hard to walk the isles to find our requests for sometimes quirky, and obscure foods. It is hard enough to find groceries on shelves when I know what I’m shopping for, but to follow someone else’s shopping list, yikes. I tried to be as specific as possible, thinking that would be easiest, to give the best description I could, still, it must have been quite a hunt… We had a wonderful dinner last night. It was the best.”

Dear South of The Bridge Friends and Family
Regarding the walking trail across the State Park for access to the north, we collected names at the Post Office yesterday during the food resupply of people who would be willing to volunteer to help build the trail. If you’d like to add your name to the list please feel email me your contact information (phone and email if possible). Should we be allowed to help, I will notify you of what’s needed and when.

Experiencing Mud Creek

Experiencing Mud Creek …

I live not on Big Sur Island, but on Big Sur Peninsula. I can get out east, and have 4 times in the last two months – once going east to go south, once going east to go north, and twice just to go east. Friday, I decided to go south, across Mud Creek. Photographs just do not tell the story. I took none. I was too busy dodging people, big trucks, small trucks, cement trucks, loaders, and watching rocks come down off the mountain, and of course, driving, to take any photographs. It is not a story that can be told in photographs. I am not sure words can do it either. As another South Coaster said, “Mud Creek is a war zone.”

I have driven across that area hundreds, maybe even a thousand times. This was an eye-opener. CalTrans and contractors everywhere working. Drains going in, dirt being hauled away… and water coming down off the mountain in rivers. So much water. Three different slides happening simultaneously. There are many places where the road is only one dirt lane, dropping off into the ocean. There is one place where the road has dropped at least 2-3 feet and one drives off into an abyss in the making. There is impermanence here. Mother Nature is making herself heard. She was too subtle for us to hear, before, so now she roars.

On the way down, I stopped at one location and the flagger did not look at me, but kept his eyes up the mountain, watching for movement. I watched, too. On the way home I was following a truck through the same area, to have him stop on the northern end to turn around and head down to his “spot” to receive all the excess dirt he was to haul away. Of course, I had to stop and stay out of the way. I looked to my right, and saw pebbles coming down the mountain right there – right where I was. First pebbles, then rocks, then boulders, is the way it happens, Rock Knocker taught me. I did not want to stick around for the boulders. I got out of there, as soon as I could scrape by the truck.

All my life I have been an optimist. I am not optimistic about this spot, right now. Maybe after a couple months of no rain, things can stabilize, but for now, I don’t see it opening to the inexperienced and sometimes unconscious travelers that want to come up Highway One, not to mention that a high clearance vehicle is now a requirement to get through the drop-offs. I would like to have better news, but I do not.

I was going to see what Paul’s Slide was like, but I just didn’t have it in me. Maybe next week. Mud Creek was enough.


Cal Trans photograph