Tourist Tuesday – The Gringo Trail

I have been covering this weekly subject for quite a while now – over a year. As I said the last time, we all know what the problem is, but it is now time to move out of identifying the problem and into finding solutions. I will no longer be reporting on the problems, but now, focusing on the solutions, instead.

In 2016, we started this process at Treebones, then all hell broke loose in our world- Soberanes, then Mud Creek – and it wasn’t until 2018 that we were able to reorganize and get all the stakeholders together for a series of meetings at Lisa Kleissner’s house. This has lead to a variety of approaches which are now taking shape, but focusing on developing our own Sustainable Destination Management Plan. We are in the process of bringing that to our community with some national and international leaders to help us facilitate. Look for an announcement here in the next few months for a community meeting on this project to hopefully meet a couple people who we think can help guide us in this project and on this process.

In researching one of these international leaders, on Sunday, I found this, and wanted to post it for Tourist Tuesday. Unfortunately, I did that through YouTube, not through my own website, so it went up immediately, rather than today, as I intended. The post was incomplete, so I rescheduled it to today. I apologize to those of you who get the email notifications. There were many things I wanted to add, besides the trailer, and so here it is.

The above is just the trailer, but the entire feature length documentary can be purchased for $3.99.  One can find the places to purchase this video here:

Currently, as some of you are aware, CABS Board, Friends of Garrapatta, and other individuals, two professors at CSUMB are doing a case study on the effect of overtourism on Big Sur. They are both PhDs and professors in the Sustainable Hospitality Department, and are very interested in investigating the problems we have had here, from the back country to the highway, and the roll tourism has played into these problems and the solutions that can be implemented. They are also looking at the MCCVB and See California tourism industries to see what solutions can be obtained in conjunction with their efforts to enhance the tourist experience. I don’t expect the results to be available soon, but when they are, I am hopeful I can share them with you. Until then, attend the B-SAGE  event on March 30th and bring your ideas to the solutions board. If I don’t make it, (road/weather/whatever) can someone take a picture of it at the end of the day and send it to me??

8 thoughts on “Tourist Tuesday – The Gringo Trail

  1. Hi Kate,

    I can’t get this link to open. Perhaps you’ve heard from others also. The youtube link just opened to youtube in general, not a specific link. Just wanted you to know.


  2. Good post.
    1. ” We are in the process of bringing (our own Sustainable Destination Management Plan) to our community with some national and international leaders to help us facilitate.”
    YES – Don’t have time to reinvent the wheel. Big Sur’s 10-15 year clock already started… 20 plus years ago

    2. Reality Check – Even the people who travel with the full intention of “leave only foot prints” have inadvertently contributed to the “problem”. Now is the time to find these people (they usually blog – there’s a built-in audience right there). They already have the mind set that is needed. They have seen the changes first hand. If they have realized their unintentional affect on the very things/area that blew them away with beauty and peace and all that “feel good” stuff, those are the people we need on our team. Very likely they feel a NEED to make amends. Can’t get any more real then that… it’s a very strong emotion. And they seldom stay nomads forever. But that feeling… it’s still there.. maybe buried under “the real world” life they are now living but still there. Find it. Feed it. Use it.
    YES – The internet/social media is NOT GOING AWAY. USE IT !!!

    3. Monitor the “local” sites. What sites do people get when they search for California/Big Sur/hiking/photography blah blah blah. Figure out what all those “blahs” are and search like they would. Make it so they find what you want them to find.
    YES – while I think this is such an important piece of the puzzle that “field experts” are needed, the actually “surfing” can be done by anybody with a computer and internet. There’s a lot of people out there in the world with those “talents”… like everybody who follows this blog…. 🙂
    Do I need to say “see number 2 above” ?

    Gotta run but here’s my personal “most important”


    It’s their attitude, their mind set, that will carry your efforts forward.

    And speaking of mind sets…
    I suggest you step back and take a hard, honest look at your own.

    We/you do not own the Spirit of Big Sur. We/you are the stewards but only temporarily in the “land of time”.
    I use “we/you” because, Big Sur, you are not alone in this most important endeavor. But you ARE the “boots on the ground” and leading the way.
    Please be wise.
    I want my great grandchildren to be able to experience this soul enriching entity that is called Big Sur. I want them to FEEL it, to LOVE it, to KNOW they NEED it, so they will protect it. I want it to be REAL to them. I want to leave them more than just “the perfect black and white photograph GGma D took back in the ’70s”.

    So please. Be careful. Be wise. Keep your ethics in. Choose your “partners” carefully. Stay in control of the “conversation” and don’t be blinded by “big money”. Yes – we need money but watch those “strings”. Pick companies that are already in alignment with the vision. Become the “national and international leaders” that we are currently courting.

    And remember – this vision is so much more than just Big Sur.

  3. All who live or commute to work in Big Sur know the growing problems at Bixby Bridge. Does anyone think that filming another Netflix series highlighting this overcrowded bucket list spot is a good idea? If anyone feels this is irresponsible for a location with no infrastructure and extremely concerned about the future of this area please call Karen at the Monterey County Film Commission.
    (831)646-0910. Let her know what is really happening down here and the negative impacts on public safety, the environment, its residents and the flow of traffic. Thank you!

  4. I think Monterey Film Commission works closely with them though. Crazy that someone in an office in Los Angeles who is totally disconnected from Big Sur can make decisions that impact our daily lives and can change the character of an entire area. Out of sight out of mind!

  5. I agree. It’s going to be a real interesting summer there this year. They have helped create an enormous problem and it just amazes me that no one making these decisions can see what’s coming.

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