Two Fires in SLO Co.

The first is just north of the “Y” of 41 and 46 ….B3422, AA340, Tankers, Helo, Engs. 52, 3484,4686, 3472, 3469, 3470, 4684, WT50, D3442 an 3440, Questa crews 3 & 5 are all responding.

The second is on Pozo, just off of 58. I don’t have the responses, but it was as heavy as the first one.

Hopefully, both of these will be kept small and stopped fast.

Highway One Closure Update, 7/31/17

Not really any changes. It still stands the Mud Creek is still closed with no anticipated date of opening; Paul’s Slide is still under 24/7 reverse traffic control; and the bridge is getting its girders – 15 total, 62 feet long, and 62 tons each. I think 3 were delivered last week.

Here are the CT photos:

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Photo Sunday, 7/30/17

These are not my photographs, but ones I got from Monterey Bay Aquarium. I liked them and thought you might, too.



And while we are looking at marine life, just a reminder:

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced this week it would formally reopen the public comment period on a federal review of 11 marine sanctuaries and monuments, including Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary, that could open the areas to oil and gas exploration.

The comment period originally ended Wednesday, but the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced that day it would reopen from Monday through Aug. 14 after Rep. Jimmy Panetta and 19 of his colleagues in Congress asked for an extension. Comments can be made at A total of 68,176 comments were received so far in 30 days.

Cultural Differences in bathrooms

One of the complaints Big Sur residents have about our tourists is the failure to use bathroom facilities, but to turn our entire coast into a bathroom.

I have traveled a fair bit, and often times to countries not as advanced as ours. I always carry my own tp in another country unless I am staying in a hotel that caters to western travelers.

One of my readers has been meaning to send me this article, Lana Weeks, which I found fascinating. I have not traveled to India, only Europe, Peru, Morocco, Greece, Egypt, Kenya, Tanzania, Zanzibar, New Zealand, Mexico. Some of these have had different toilet etiquette than we have at home, but it has been easy to adjust. I had never really thought about all this when we are facing this health issue on our coast, but it is time we do.


So, I did a bit of research on line, and found this sign meant for people from other cultures who are not used to western toilets.


But even more fascinating is a comparison of the different bathroom etiquettes in different parts of the world. I have known and experienced outdoor toilets in Paris in the mid-60’s, the whole in the floor toilets in many of my stops, and no toilet paper in most. But for a comparison of different provisions re toilet facilities, nothing beats this comparison.

Until we understand cultural differences and address them, we will never resolve our “Big Sur as a toilet” issue with all the international tourists we attract. Something to think about… Maybe we don’t merely need to make it known WHERE bathrooms are, but how to use them.


Most of Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park to reopen tomorrow

Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park is reopening tomorrow afternoon, Friday, July 28. This will allow access to the Overlook Trail, the parking and picnic area. The environmental campsites will remain closed until further notice.

Andrew Molera State Park opened earlier this week and they have expanded the trail openings to include the Bluff, Panorama, Ridge Loop trails. This includes access to Spring Beach from Bluff trail.
Bobcat trail is also open.
Creamery Trail is open and the only access to Molera Beach.

Molera Horseback Tours has been given the green light to resume operations on Creamery Meadow Trail.

Ventana Wildlife Society Discovery Center has been given the green light to resume operations in Andrew Molera State Park.

John De Luca, Sector Superintendent/ SPS III (acting) states, “Parks has made great strides and has been working continuously to improve recreational opportunities since the beginning of 2017. Although many of the beloved trails are still currently closed, I encourage the community and the visiting population to celebrate what is now currently open.”

This is good news as it will probably prevent the illegal camping and campfire that took place here earlier this week.

Dispersed Camping on Nacimiento Rd to be banned

The paperwork has been completed to ban dispersed camping along Nacimiento-Fergusson Rd. It is currently out of the district for review before it comes back for signature. We won’t know for sure how long it will be banned until the order comes back into the district. It is not in effect until signed, but it is a very good step.

Monterey County Visitors Bureau Response

Hi Kate

Thanks for sharing this feedback. And I’d also like to thank you for sharing with your followers the list of things we are doing to support responsible tourism in Big Sur ( One of the main points of that list was to illustrate the wide range of ways we are trying to support the businesses in Big Sur and the people they employ – but do so in a way the emphasizes respect for the environment and the people who live in Big Sur.

As much as we are doing to maintain balance, there is always room for more ideas and collaboration. So appreciate your sharing this latest comment. Some feedback on that:

· Bixby Bridge – clearly we know people are going to take pictures. So much of our messaging is designed to encourage people to be safe and smart. To use proper parking/pull-outs and be cautious at all times… We’ve posted such messaging in our social channels, stress this with travelers who come to our Visitor Center and among other things on our website, we have a Dos & Don’ts page for Big Sur on our website that further elaborates on this.
· On the line of copy about “sleep under the stars” – this was vague so we made more specific and refer directly ‘sleep under the stars… at Fernwood Resorts’. This has been updated in our material.
· One of the comments in today’s post ( was whether MCCVB was directing people – on purpose or inadvertently – to private property. We certainly do not do this, in fact, we ask travelers to be respectful specifically of private property. But we’ll look at our messaging to see how we can further emphasize.

Again, we appreciate your sharing the outreach we are doing with your followers as well as receiving critical comments so that we can address. In fact, we’ve gone to great lengths over the years – not just related to the road closure – to ensure we are not ‘disconnected with Big Sur’. But there is always opportunity for more and better connectivity. So please feel free to reach out to me directly anytime with any suggestions.

Given that Big Sur is one of the most iconic and beautiful places on Earth, we know people are going to travel to experience it. The question is how can we make them more respectful tourists – that is a top priority.

Please let me know of any further questions/suggestions/ideas. We’ll take all the collaboration we can get…

Many thanks

Rob O’Keefe

Thanks, Rob for being so receptive. Now, if we could just find ways to get the “on the ground funding” we need for porta potties, trash collection, and patrolling to prevent campfires and illegal camping. Anything you can do in that regard, we would be very appreciative of, because no matter how much educating we try to do, it will not reach probably more than 1/2 the people it needs to reach. Of the 4000 people a day who contact you, how can we know how many don’t bother?