Tourist Thursday, 5/30/19 – “Big Little Moments” Campaign

As if we don’t have enough tourists in Big Sur, MCCVB came out with a new “Moments” ad campaign yesterday: (



Just as the ladies of “Big Little Lies,” raved about their hometown in the show, people all over the world are falling head-over-heels for the show’s big star – the gorgeous scenery of Monterey County! The epic backdrops and awe-inspiring picture perfect coastline probably have you day-dreaming about a California getaway.

Located on the stunning central coast of California, Monterey County is brimming with iconic adventures and a coastline that spans the scenic views of Big SurPebble Beach, Pacific Grove, Carmel-by-the-Sea and more. With the bounty of the Salinas Valley, the dunes of Marina State Beach, Santa Lucia Highlands wineries, iconic Pinnacles National Park and award-winning restaurants, Monterey County is the quintessential California destination. It’s no wonder why A-Listers are escaping to this seaside paradise!


AIDS bicycle event next week, but NOT through Big Sur

Here is the schedule:

Today’s Date: Wednesday, May 29, 2019

District:            05–Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, San Benito and Santa

Cruz Counties

Contact:          Jim Shivers or Colin Jones

Phone:            (805) 549-3237 or (805) 549-3189

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                          


 CENTRAL COAST – The AIDS/Life Cycle Bicycle Ride will move through Santa Cruz, Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties next week. The cyclists will use the state highway system during the daytime hours between 6:30 am and 7 pm in the following locations:

  • Sunday, June 2, the riders will use southbound State Route 1 and US 101 before arriving at Harvey West Park in Santa Cruz County during the afternoon hours.
  • On Monday, June 3, the riders will leave Santa Cruz and use portions of southbound State Route 1 and US Highway 101 ending their day at San Lorenzo County Park in King City in Monterey County.
  • On Tuesday, June 4, the riders will leave King City and use a portion of southbound US Highway 101 before reaching the Paso Robles Fairgrounds in San Luis Obispo County.
  • On Wednesday, June 5, the cyclists will leave Paso Robles using Hwy. 46 West to Hwy. 1 south through Morro Bay and Pismo Beach before reaching Preisker Park in Santa Maria in Santa Barbara County.
  • On Thursday, June 6, the cyclists will leave Santa Maria towards State Route 1 and continue south ending their day at Ryon Memorial Park in Lompoc in Santa Barbara County.
  • On Friday, June 7, the riders will leave Lompoc and use State Route 246, State Route 1 and US Highway 101 towards southern Santa Barbara County before ending their day at San Buenaventura State Beach in Ventura County.

The California Highway Patrol (CHP) will be present to maintain a safe environment for motorists, cyclists and support vehicles.  The riders will travel single file with the flow of traffic.

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

 For traffic updates on other state highways on the Central Coast motorists can call Caltrans District 5 Public Affairs at (805) 549-3318 or visit the District 5 website

at: or for more information on this event you may visit:





Tourist Tuesday, Bixby Bridge Memorial Day weekend

Most of you have heard, by now, of the fiasco that was Bixby Bridge this weekend. This was Saturday, by Adam Slawter. At 6:30 pm, it was backed up from Bixby to Palo by cars going south. That is 2.2 miles of idling vehicles.


This is the video taken by Tim Huntington on Saturday at 2 pm of the cars headed south, as he was heading north:

This was what it looked like early – as in 9 am – on Sunday, in the rain. Martha Diehl took these photos. Note the door opening into traffic immediately before another vehicle in the last photo.


Imagine that there is an emergency, which is much more likely with the influx of clueless people from out of the area. What happens then? How do emergency vehicles navigate through this quagmire? They can’t. How are the Cal Fire engines and others supposed to get to us when there is a fire this summer? Or cliff rescue, or serious injuries? This is a life-threatening situation that must be resolved.

Monday, a temporary solution presented itself. MCSO stationed THREE officers here at Bixby and they managed to keep traffic moving, at least until early afternoon, one source told me. So we need to pressure the County to assign 3 officers every weekend and holiday to manage the traffic at this bottleneck.

On the brighter side, CABS was there educating and interacting with the tourists on Monday morning, raising the awareness of our visitors to treat Big Sur with respect.


(Photo by Patte Kronlund)


(Photo by Lisa Kleissner)

Let us start preppering our Supes to take action, now! We don’t need to come up with a “perfect” solution, I don’t have one. But we could try a variety of things to see what will work, short of painting the bridge puke green. We could experiment with running shuttles, or the current MST buses, allowing only them to park, or to drop off and pick up visitors to the bridge from a staged area north and south. The County of Monterey could pass an ordinance, for health & safety reasons, prohibiting parking on both eastern and western sides and OCR, assess BIG fines, and enforce it! If you have another idea, I am all ears. Toss those ideas out there, no matter how crazy they seem. It might just give someone else the inspiration they need to find a solution that will work.


Big Sur Saturday Tidbits, 5/25/19

from Sylvia Trotter Anderson

26 Jun 1937 MPH – Mrs. Helena Smith, Early Settler of Big Sur Country, Recalls Olden Days

Opening of the new Carmel-San Simeon highway is focusing attention on the magnificent Big Sur country and those interesting people who are pioneer settlers of that region.  One of the oldest residents of the Sur country alive today is Mrs. Helena Smith, 77 years old.  Mrs. Smith, who lives at Westmere, is the widow of the later Richard M. Smith, who was with the first wagons that crossed the Sierra Nevada mountains after the Donner Party.

It was nearly 50 years ago that Mrs. Smith first visited in the country with her brother-in-law and sister, Mr. and Mrs. John Edward Boland.  The Bolands, who lived at Little River, are the parents of Mrs. Thomas Doud and Mrs. Edward Doud, present residents of Monterey.

In 1888 the Smiths bought the Dexter ranch and a few years later purchased the adjoin Jones Ranch, property that is still in the family and now known as Westmere.

“It was the horse and buggy days,” Mrs. Smith recalled, as she spoke of her first trip down the Coast.  “We left Monterey at ten o’clock in the morning and reached Little River with a span of horses and a spring wagon about 5 hours later.  The roads were barely passable; some grades were so steep we walked to lighten the load on the wagon.”

As years progressed, Bixby’s Landing was built and from there the tan bark of Mill Creek was shipped.  Later Notley’s Landing, purchased from the Smiths, came into existence and from there lumber and tan bark were shipped points East.

The mail stage started its first delivery with Charles Kessler as driver.  That was about 1891 or 1892 when the first mail contract was given to Keller, who was later killed on duty when his horses went over the cliff.  Even today, mail is being delivered just three times a week, although it is reported that a daily delivery will start with the opening of the new roads.

Like many other Sur residents, the Smiths had Dr. John L. D. Roberts of Monterey as the family physician.  Doctor Roberts who dreamed the new coast road many years ago, and his son, Houghton Roberts, will take prominent parts in the road opening ceremony tomorrow.

Hobart L. Pierson, present resident of Oakland, was one of the first people to drive an automobile on the old coast road in 1906, Mrs. Smith remembers. “Charles Culp of Pacific Grove and Shelley Pickles of Oak Grove were among his fearless passengers who rode on the running board as an early safety measure.”

“The first road improvements were sturdy wooden bridges that defied the elements for many years” Mrs. Smith said.  “These were followed by the steel constructed bridge that was soon destroyed by the ocean spray and breezes.  Today, with our fine concrete bridges, cars can pass Little River in three quarters of an hour.”

“Our first school was located one mile from the ocean on Mill Creek,” Mrs. Smith recalled.  “It was called the Palo Colorado School.”  Miss Grace Fitch was the teacher and was justly proud of her nine pupils.  The largest school attendance recorded was round 30 pupils when Mrs. Florence M. Houge was the teacher.  Mrs. Houge owns and lives on the Bixby Ranch, where she conducts a school today.

“No better proof of the progress of time has come to my attention, “Mrs. Smith said, “then when my grandson, Lieutenant John S. Chennault, who is with the US Air Crops at Selfridge, Michigan, flew down from the Oakland airport to Westmere in 40 minutes.”

Tourist Tuesday, 5/21 – Another approach

I lucked upon this site this past weekend, and wanted to bring it here, even though I am taking most of the week off to spend time with some girl friends that I cherish and only get to see once or twice a year, but this is important.


Prontopia’s vision for responsible travel and sustainable cities centers on a community model of people helping people. The company’s innovative app provides on-demand help to travelers in walkable cities, when and where they need it. Prontopia’s innovative platform offers an unprecedented opportunity to raise awareness about the local problems of overtourism and support grassroots solutions among travelers and residents.

In honor of World Oceans Day on June 8, California travel tech startup Prontopia will join forces with local non-profit organizations and other partners in hospitality to coordinate teams of volunteers to clean the Venice lagoon, the banks of the Arno in Florence, the Tiber river in Rome, and the beaches of Santa Barbara, California in a “Plastic Free” awareness event.

According to the Institute of Marine Science – National Council of Research, “Recent studies have highlighted that there is a massive spread of trash in all world seas, especially of plastic, which is 70% of it.” Generating awareness of ocean conservation in high-traffic tourist areas like Venice, Italy, is of paramount importance to implementing sustainable solutions. Prontopia is working together with the nascent organization Plastic Free Venice Lagoon as well as citizen groups and environmental organizations in each city to create an event that brings together residents, travelers, and international organizations in recognition of the need for positive action toward systemic change to combat the negative effects of overtourism and its consequences, such as pollution in waterways.

“A cleaner community is a happier community and we should all take pride in the places we live.” Davide Poletto, General Coordinator of the event “Plastic Free Venice Lagoon,” notes that the, “Venice lagoon, for its conformation, nature and specially for the high impact human activities coming from massive tourism and in its continuous growth, is specifically exposed to the diffusion of plastic trash and relative micro-plastics.”

The Prontopia app provides a safe and simple way for travelers to get in-person help easily with getting around the city. This model also provides the company with valuable feet-on-the-street networks for sharing information from among the locals about their viewpoints on what is needed for better quality of life in Venice, Florence, and Rome in the management of high-volume tourist traffic. The diffusion of plastic trash in these cities poses a risk to both the local environment, and the escalating global problem. The goal of the event is to show the power of unity in numbers in social action, across multiple cities at the same time.

In Prontopia’s California headquarter city of Santa Barbara, Prontopia and strategic partner in consultation with clean water watchdog organization Channel Keepers ( are mobilizing local team members to not only clean the creeks and beaches, but also to contribute to Channel Keepers’ research by documenting the trash that volunteers collect to help with their mission to monitor water systems and engage citizens in implementing solutions to water pollution. Channel Keepers is a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, a coalition of 200 grassroots groups on six continents collectively patrolling and protecting over 1.5 million square miles of watersheds and defending local communities’ right to clean water. John Glanville, CEO of emphasizes that, “Data collection and access to maps is an essential part of protecting habitat, understanding climate change, and adapting green alternatives for your community, for your home, and while traveling the globe.”

In Venice, Florence, and Rome, Prontopia engages with local organizations and businesses in proactive change efforts to ensure the city remains a living city for residents, creating measurable solutions to the problems of overtourism. “We knew that by providing these local connections in the service, we would have a golden opportunity to also provide a model for corporate responsibility,” said Prontopia founder and CEO, Shannon Kenny. “When travelers connect to locals in a way in which they are oriented toward respect – extending a hand to say ‘Welcome to the city, I live here,’ – that is the first step toward global citizenship, and caring about the place.”

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