Tourist Tuesday, 11/28/17


For years, the Grove of Titans was barely more than a myth. Incredibly old. Incredibly large. And incredibly hard to find.

It used to be that the grouping of eight old-growth redwood trees deep within Jedediah Smith Redwoods State Park near Crescent City (Del Norte County) could be reached only by following clues in a book about tree hunters. There were no direct hiking trails, and the nearest road was miles away.
Then, in 2011, someone uploaded a geotag marking the trees’ location online. As many as 50 people a day began finding their way to the grove and loving it to death.


The onslaught of tourists bushwhacking through the rain forest is slowly killing the giant trees, park officials say. The damage can be reversed by building elevated walkways and viewing platforms, similar to the ones used at Muir Woods, they say. But it’s going to cost more than $1.4 million.

For the rest of the article, go here:

(Thanks to Susan Layne for pointing me to this article. I felt it was so important, I delayed the others I had planned on posting.)

11 thoughts on “Tourist Tuesday, 11/28/17

  1. I own the canyon inland from Esalen and allow them to use it, as well as my own guests and I can and DO give explicit instructions to MY guests but the Esalenites, well they just don’t get it sometimes. carving stupid hippie glyphs on the trunks of Grandfather trees, cutting pieces out of them, pioneering paths instead of following the paths already there, candles, smoking, trash, it all blows my mind!

    these are folks at ‘groovy Esalen’, go figure!!!

    I am almost at a loss about how to guide the thinking and consciousness of people who are complete fools and feel somehow entitled to do whatever they want ON MY LAND! this is my church as well as my yard, how in the world am I supposed to manage the fools, how in the world are the parks supposed to manage the fools?

    I have and do meet them with a machete in my hand sometimes, they get it then, but I can’t be there 24/7….

    geez, is there an app for that?

    the larger picture? to begin, STOP BREEDING for one!

    too many people and way way WAY too many raised by indulgent parents…

    so what do we do NOW? suggestions, anyone, please?

    rant over for moment…..

  2. I couldn’t agree more with Richard’s rant! In this day and age it’s hard to protect birth control, much less to consider some sort of breeding control. I’ve often said that people should be licensed to have kids (fat chance), only half jokingly!
    I suspect that Mother Earth will ultimately provide the answer to the population growth eventually whether through disease or natural disaster, not to mention our self inflicted wars of extermination. Pity we’re likely to wipe out everything else worthwhile in the process.

  3. Hi Richard –

    Although I’ve attended seminars at Esalen a number of times, I’ve never wandered very far up the canyon, so I don’t really know where the edge of your property is, but a sign at the border delineating your generosity and your expectations might be a good first step if you haven’t already done this.
    That being said, based on my experiences at Esalen, many of the attendees seem to be young, overprivileged and without discernible personal boundaries, so they tend to not recognize any other boundaries and therefore have little or no respect for the rights of others. This is also true of many older attendees who, being loosed from their usual restraints by the ‘atmosphere’ of Esalen itself tend in the same direction as the younger folk.
    As far as I can tell, there is no cure for this – and I’m not attempting to excuse their behavior – but that being the case, you may be wise to remove the invite and ‘lock the gate’, so to speak, or continue to suffer the consequences of your generosity. I’ve owned a large, semi-wild property myself in the past; nothing as sublime as your holdings, but I know exactly what you’re experiencing and how you feel.
    I wish you, and your sanctuary, much luck….

  4. and look, I’m but one example in Big Sur of this issue. every other property within the ‘fool zone’ of highway 1 is similarly afflicted. Marcus at Rancho Grande is always having to play unending defense, other friends and neighbors similar, and everyone else up and down the highway…..

    I don’t want to have to shut the canyon down, and how anyway? big fence, barbed wire, and then the idiots who think ‘it doesn’t mean ME’ will still hop the fence, eh? and the idea of barbed wire down there in the Cathedral offends my sensibilities just as much as the fools carving on the trees, feh!

    really, perhaps a toll road IS the solution? “here is the information handout along with your receipt, have a nice day…. ” fees could certainly help with restrooms and such.

    larger picture is that it’s a GOOD thing for these ninnies to get their heads out of their navels and touch Nature, just sad they’re spoiled children lacking respect and understanding when they do it. and that is EVERYWHERE as Tourist Tuesday is showing!

    but how do they learn respect and understanding if they haven’t already? how do we reach and teach them? vast hordes of them…… feels like the labors of Sisyphus.

  5. Richard is right, if you live along HWY 1 it is a constant battle. People climbing over gates with no trespassing signs on them, illegal camping and fires in pullouts along property, graffiti, trash thrown over fences, drones flying over property, etc. That’s why I enjoyed the bridge closure so much because it was the first time in a long while I could put my guard down. The problems literally came back the day after the bridge re-opened.
    I have also been saddened to see the drastic change in areas of our coast that used to be locations that locals went to escape the madness of living in this ever increasing tourist destination. These “secret” locations have been ruined by social media and internet sites. The millennial generation has to share every move they make and every place they find to all there Instagram followers to make them feel “cool”. There are very few secret and sacred spots left.
    Final note regarding drones. I had several incidents over this past busy holiday weekend. People that are in highway pullouts flying over the ranch, sometimes over a mile away, spooking my horses, inavading our privacy by flying over my house and deck and also illegally disturbing animals over the Marine Sanctuary. Most of us chose to live in Big Sur for our privacy and I feel that is being violated by these flying cameras. This problem has increased so quickly with it’s popularity and decreased cost that it’s only going to get worse. I usually drive up on highway and find the individual controlling the drone and let them know it is illegal to fly over private property and marine sanctuary. I ask for all your help to educate visitors you see along the highway that are engaging in illegal drone activity and let them know they are breaking the law. We need to all work together on so many issues we face here in Big Sur, due to the lack of enforcement, that would benefit our quality of life here.
    Thanks Kate for giving me this space to rant!

  6. Marcus, Richard, et al. Even off the highway is difficult with similar problems, and it is becoming more difficult for all of us who live here. It saddens me that it has come to this, but as we explore what other areas have done/are doing, perhaps a solution will come to us.

  7. I like your positive thinking Kate. We have reached a breaking point that I think everyone that lives here is feeling. With no room for highway and parking infrastructure to expand there will have to be limits to number of visitors to this area. Unfortunately, the big money triumphs over the environment and quality of life. It’s going to take time and for our county, state and federal officials to get out and drive HWY 1 during those peak overcrowded weekends and try to stop at the trouble spots we all know about.
    Hope all my friends in Big Sur are well and enjoy what is typically the most peaceful time of the year!

  8. We don’t need less population coming in, but demanding a more responsible population. The irresponsible can be fined, arrested, jailed. I read these comments with great compassion, I think I left Big Sur seconds before all this began. I couldn’t afford it any more, nor could I stand the oppressive arrogance of land owners, greed of shopkeepers. Part of the trouble is the prevailing super wealthy turning the woods into their private playground (how was that 10 million dollar dot com wedding permitted? Lots of money passed around, to and by officials?) while lower and middle classes are starved out by a paucity of housing, opening up to fewer and fewer who love wild adventure and beauty, and more and more acing out the poor. I’m disgusted to read of the takeovers by a handful of families, buying up or occupying places they don’t need, and setting that example. What the hell is anyone’s vision here? Ridding Big Sur entirely of the “mess” of human activity? A train with designated stops at the millionaire shops? A good democracy includes a wilderness experience, if sought. Contact, connecting, enriched by our planet, not being shamed off it as if we weren’t a part of it. The reluctance to remove or arrest miscreants is part of the problem. Fences, gates, traffic control, schedules are perfectly acceptable and reasonable. How many in Big Sur don’t think the borders to America should be regulated? Big Sur has nothing of the problems of New Mexico or Arizona, or San Diego. Yet. New millions of pot growers in the Sanctuary State of California will increase the careless gangs in these hidden hills, canyons and coastlines here, and devastate our water supply. Big Sur needs some genuine, militant caretakers.

  9. It’s surprising that the grove seemed so hard to find for so many people, because the location was published in a book around 2001. I have added reams of factual updates about this grove to my websiter through the years. Presently, this grove does not have the largest trees. Other, much bigger have been found elsewhere. See >

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