Photo Sunday, 12/31/17

Sent to me a while ago by Seth Melchert:

The one below “…is from Dolan on the north side of the reserve. looking up Devil’s Canyon. It is our customary view of Cone Peak. It is somewhat less dramatic than the view from the south, but awesome none the less. I believe this was taken mid winter when snow dusted the top. You can see Twin Peak, Lion and Highland’s Peak descending and undulating towards you.” (Seth Melchert)

Tourism Tuesday, 12/26/17



“Overtourism has been manifesting itself for over two decades in popular countries like Spain, Italy, and France. But somehow the population pressure hit the red zone this year. Says one colleague, “It’s the topic du jour. The phrase is on the lips of every travel expert, every pseudo-expert, and every travel industry opportunist.”

Residents have raised a chorus of protest: “Too many tourists!”

No surprise. From Barcelona to Venice, from Reykjavik to Santorini, residents have raised a chorus of protest: “TOO MANY TOURISTS!” Plenty of visitors chime in: Not what we came for. How can a visitor experience the delights of a foreign city if the streets are packed with thousands—yes, thousands—of cruise-ship passengers and lined with global franchises to cater to them? Serious travelers increasingly dismiss such places—“too touristy.”

Pressed beyond tolerable limits, some destinations are fighting back. Dubrovnik is instituting severe caps on cruise passengers, as is Santorini. Italy’s Cinque Terre is ready to impose quotas on people hiking between the five picturesque villages. The Seychelles wants to limit hotel sizes to protect their reputation as an Indian Ocean paradise.” (To be Continued next week)


Winter Solstice, 12/21/17

Shortest day of the year, and longest night.


Christmas rituals are sometimes based on or originate from Celtic, Roman, or Viking rituals for the Winter Solstice. We can thank the Romans and Celts for most of our modern day Christmas traditions.

The festival of Saturnalia, an ancient pagan holiday which honoured the Roman God Saturn, took place every year between the 17th and 24th December. This was basically a week of eating, drinking and giving presents during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter solstice.

Likewise, the Celts celebrated the fact that the winter solstice had arrived and rejoiced at the fact that the nights were once more getting lighter and spring was only just around the corner.




Tourist Tuesday, 12/19/17

9D737427-167B-4A38-9AB9-E0DEFDC1D208Tourists fill a pathway in Hongcun village, China. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot

Tourism has a numbers problem

The world’s population explosion has finally arrived. It has manifested itself not in global waves of famine as was feared half a century ago, but in waves of Airbuses, tour buses, and minibuses. Tourists by the millions.

This population explosion overwhelms St Mark’s Square in Venice. It pushes through the streets of Barcelona, angering residents. It forms hours-long queues in China for the cable cars up Mount Huangshan and fills all the lanes in the World Heritage Village of Hongcun (above). It paves the beaches of the Mediterranean in simmering northern European flesh. In the Louvre it blocks your view of the Mona Lisa with forests of smartphones held high in selfie mode. It pushes through the ruins of Tulum in Mexico with busloads of Spaniards, Americans, Chinese. It even creates traffic jams on the climbing routes up Mount Everest.

It has spawned a new word: Overtourism. Too many tourists.

(To be continued in the following weeks, including possible solutions)

Highway 1 closure update, 12/18/17


Photos: 1-3 of Mud Creek (PM 8.9) from Wednesday, Dec. 13 ; photos 4-6 of Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge (PM 45.52) from Monday, Dec. 11 .

HIGHWAY 1 UPDATE – Monday, Dec. 18
State Route 1 in Monterey County remains closed from north of Salmon Creek, just south of the Ranger Station (PM 3) to just south of Gorda (PM 10) due to the Mud Creek slide. State Route 1 south of Salmon Creek is accessible via State Route 1 in San Luis Obispo County near Ragged Point.

REMINDER: Travelers still CANNOT access the entire length of Highway 1 from Carmel to Cambria but local businesses are open on both sides of Mud Creek.

Mud Creek (PM 8.9)
Mud Creek had a major slide on Saturday, May 20, 2017, losing over 5 million cubic yards of material. Caltrans continues with its plan to realign the existing terrain with the projected timeline to safely open to public traffic is late-summer 2018 at an estimated cost of $40 million.

Last week, the contractor continued placing rock revetment, working from the north going south and will place rock revetment across the entire toe. Also, construction continues of the south fill embankment. These same operations will continue this week.

There is currently no public/local access through the Mud Creek area since this remains an active, emergency construction zone.

Paul’s Slide (PM 21.6)
Paul’s Slide is still active but the 24/7 traffic signal remains in place and temporary guardrail (k-rail) in the centerline.

Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge [PCB] (PM 45.52)
Final work continues for several weeks. Roadwork at Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge consists of alternating lane closures from 7 am to 4 pm Mondays through Thursdays and 7 am to 2 pm on Fridays until work is complete. Last week the contractor continued with prep and painting on the girders; installed the joint seal assemblies; performed permanent seeding and mulching, and completed the underground electrical for the seismic sensors. This week, the contractor will continue painting the girders, finish permanent seeding, remove concrete debris in turnout south of the project, and perform concrete finishing on structure—activities this week will require lane closures, as mentioned above.

Caltrans reminds motorists to move over and slow down when driving through highway work zones.

The next update will be on Wednesday, Dec. 27. Happy Holidays to all!!! ☺
Susana Z. Cruz nature-flower-blue-motif[1]