BigSurKate – the blog

Sounds like the movie The Blob doesn’t it? Today marks the start of my 10th year doing this blog. So much history has been recorded as it was occurring…some painful, some joyful and sometimes, just pretty photographs for an escape and calm.

I recreated and published the story of how the blog came to be a year later in 2009. I re-posted it last year, as well, BEFORE the Soberanes Fire took over my life. I’ll reprint that below,  edited for clarity.  I am working on a complex article that I hope to have ready by tomorrow. So, absent an emergency, I am working on tomorrow’s post today.

“I cannot find my notes, and I did not write in my journal for much of July, as I was far too busy, … I am recreating the day [July 4, 2008] based primarily on a memory with holes in it – swiss cheese holes – a moth-eaten sweater. I also have no photographs taken that day, at least that I can find. The road was closed, as previously posted.

When I first got a copy of the 409.5 memo on 7/4, I called OES (Office of Emergency Services), and they had a Commander Teter of the MCSO call me back. When I got no satisfactory explanation about the issuance of the memo, other than it was to “educate” the Big Sur community about the power the MCSO had, I was furious. The MCSO was flexing its muscles and declaring a police-state in Big Sur, and fully intended on arresting who ever got in their way.

It was a holiday. Everything was closed. What could I do? The only places open were newsrooms. Having lived and worked in Monterey County, much of that in the justice system, I knew I needed to go outside of the county. I called the LA Times newsroom and the SF Chronicle newsroom. I posted something on Before my post was removed from surfire2008, Deborah Schoch, a staff reporter from the LA Times called. After speaking with her for some time, I got her phone numbers, and said I’d pass it on to a member of the Curtis family who was not in Big Sur, and if they wanted, they could pass it on to Micah and Ross. This resulted in more phone calls, and more long conversations with Curtis family members and LA Times reporter, Eric Bailey. Only a few days later, he and Deborah Schoch published a 3-page article about the police state in Big Sur. It [was] accessible at:,0,3314737.story

This was the start of the battle between Big Sur Locals and Mike Kanalakis, Sheriff of Monterey County. Kanalakis also made the mistake of taking on Cachagua in Carmel Valley. Both were big mistakes.

Thanks to Jim Kimball for archiving posts from surfire2008 and other sources, we have an excellent record of all that happened on this day last year. It was a busy day, with reports from locals coming in up and down the coast all day long. Let’s not forget what it was like to live in this police state from July 3, 2008 to July 8, 2008, when the road opened to locals and their employees, and July 11, 2008 when the road opened completely….”

And here we are in 2017, and the road is closed yet again, but for completely different reasons. July has always been an interesting month. Let’s hope for a little bit of boring this year, shall we?

5 thoughts on “BigSurKate – the blog

  1. Just keep doing the Voodoo you do…. so well…. It’s much appreciated…. I hope we can return the favor….somehow.

  2. Look forward to reading this…and more “just pretty photographs”.

  3. Thanks for your years of good work, Kate, keeping us posted on things and helping with Big Sur isssues.

  4. Allison from Cambria here. We are thinking of coming down NF Road tomorrow for a wee visit. Anybody need anything? Besides fewer campers (we’re day trippers, not to worry).

  5. Would be nice if the county & Caltrans would release the little NF stability observation and soil bridge report.

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