Sunday Photos, 6/5/22

Here are a few I took on my way home yesterday. None of these are legal campsites. This was a quiet weekend. Sunday of Memorial Day weekend saw 700 trips up and down this mountain, which means a minimum of 350 vehicles. Please watch the CBS video I posted at the end. It is where Big Sur must head.

And here is a special from CBS that aired 1 week ago. This is what will have to happen here, in Big Sur.

15 thoughts on “Sunday Photos, 6/5/22

  1. Ref. the video about reservations at national parks. I am sure the reservation system helps mitigate peak crowds, and so for those who do plan ahead, and even know they must/should plan ahead, they will get a better experience. Backpackers to Grand Canyon (I was one when younger, hiking in annually for maybe 20-25 years)have always had to get permits, and the limits were tight in some areas. But once there, you were assured of a decent experience. Now we see a need to do the same for casual vehicle visitation….oh my. But for Big Sur in particular, the illegal camping has to be brought under control to slow the degradation of that beautiful place. Only vigorous policing will do that, to include fines and making people pack up right in front of the enforcement officer and leave immediately. I saw a national park ranger do precisely that at Thunder River in Grand Canyon maybe 20 years ago or more by now. The ranger did let the illegal backpackers top off canteens, but they were facing a tough hot weather walk out. The word gets around…

  2. Amen to Bill’s posting. Infuriating to watch our beautiful land used and abused.

  3. I still don’t understand why there isn’t a locked gate at the bottom of the road, like the Coast Rd. behind Ventana. Access is not denied but limited to foot traffic. What is the hang-up with disallowing vehicle traffic?

  4. The area looks cow-burnt, with alien annual grasses and other weeds known as flash-fuels in abundance. A bad match with catalytic converters. If you can get the cows off, you might be surprised at how easy and cheap it is to restore the perennial native grasses and forbs/wildflowers that stay green longer and burn more reluctantly. A lot prettier and more attractive to wildlife too.

  5. Hasn’t been cows up here for about 5-7 years. Maybe if there were, the campers would not be so bad. Sammy Avila had the concession until his son, Jeff, hired someone to start the Wild Fire of 1996 so he could make some $$ with his equipment rental business with the USFS.

  6. I would love that, but can’t get the traction to see that happen. Californians and their cars. Even with gas at almost $7/gal, they gotta drive everywhere.

  7. Put up some mountain lion, rattlesnake, and chupacabra warning signs. Cows eat oak seedlings and a lot of other stuff too. Deer browse up shrubs into trees, reducing, eliminating, or at least making fires more manageable and less dangerous.

  8. Wow! I can’t imagine having to deal with that sort of outright rude behavior (the illegal camping or trespassing.) It’s been a bit slower crowding in on us, but I’m starting to feel bits of encroaching ‘development’ here and there. We seem to be getting an influx of folks illegally squatting living in rather broken down older model RVs. It tends to make quiet, lonely walks along the beach far less relaxed and comfortable. Lots of shattered glass at parking spots indicating auto break-ins. Summertime means dirty toilet paper strewn along the paths down to the beach.
    I could go on, but it’s a complex mess…

    Thanks for the video. I’ve been visiting most of these parks since the early 70’s. The steady and noticeable rise in visitors has been extremely unsettling. We quickly passed through Zion a few years ago and the changes in traffic and ‘amenities’ was downright unnerving. 🥴

  9. “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints” rings in my head from childhood whenever I’m in nature. My parents drilled it into us. I’m 61, current tourists seem not to have received that type of valuable parenting.

  10. A $5000 ticket I think would get their attention, and hopefully the word would spread. And the officials would not be able to complain about lack of funds. It sounds like there were more than 100 violations up there, geez that’s $500,000. On one weekend. Let’s get some law-enforcement up there and take care of business!

  11. Ha!!!! When I first saw that black Jeep I thought it was that Doc Wrangle guy, but then I noticed it had no Top Tent and no other Jeep buddies!

  12. Thanks, Kate. Is this forest service land? I was not aware that the Monterey USFS District had outlawed dispersed camping, but it’s probably for the best, given the fire risk.

  13. They have not “outlawed” dispersed camping, but that is the problem. People think “dispersed” camping means they can camp anywhere they want, which is not the case. People are driing off road, creating their own roads and campsites. It is this that is not allowed. There are 18 “legal” dispersed campsites, but there are over 350 vehicles on any given weekend. There are just way too many. This road is narrow and not maintained. It is not capable of carrying that many vehicles. They are also intruding into the Silver Peak Wilderness where vehicles are not allowed and creating “roads” into that protected area. It may become illegal, to stop the abuse, but trying to find a way to prevent that.

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