It was a turn out I used a lot in the 90s…

…when I was going to Cal Poly to add a teacher’s credential to my repertoire. I went to it again in my time of need. Even though it had a “No camping, $200 fine” sign, it was a cold, dark, and stormy night…so I figured the chances were that no cops would be checking. If they did, I had the perfect defense….Necessity. Yes, it is a real defense, and I had it in spades. It was getting dark, the storm was already here. It was crazy to drive further with the rain and wind in a BIG box, so I stopped.

At 4:30 am, I woke, not because of the storm, but because I had to pee. Shortly after I woke, the storm hit full force – I mean full force. The rain was pulmetting the van – a metal box can cause the rain to amplify – and the wind was rocking it, literally. I was in a pull-out immediately adjacent to the ocean. The rain and wind were so strong that I thought the van was going to be flipped. Missy, my dog, and I were completely freaked out. At one point, I crawled into the driver’s seat to turn on the headlights to see what was going on because – this is hard to believe – I was questioning whether this was the storm, or whether I was being hit by monster waves. Yes, that’s how bad it was.

Once I found out it was just a monster storm, Missy and I settled in, awake, to wait for daybreak. We slept no more. We cuddled.

At daybreak, this is what I saw;

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And so, I traveled onward and southward. (To be continued…)

Last Night’s Excitement

Brendon had the trail meeting last night, so he was later than usual – around 7:30 pm. He found a burned out truck still smoldering and smoking right outside my front gate. This is what it looked like later, after it was completely out. Thank you John Coons and Big Sur Fire!

 

 

And how hot did it get? This hot!

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This is what it looked like this am. Can’t see the scorched bushes in these photos. Maybe later.4dc618b7-8439-4228-93ea-e1dcd16a21df52d7e94a-e9c7-4749-a9be-82f1cb3bb278

Tourist Tuesday on a Wednesday, 1/2/19 – Big Sur is a health hazard

National Parks during the government shutdown – several examples from CA:

Joshua Tree National Park: 

“The government shutdown has left America’s national parks largely unsupervised. No one is at the gate. No one is collecting a fee. The visitor centers are closed. There are some law enforcement and emergency personnel on site, but certainly nothing as standard as a park ranger who can answer a question.

People are streaming into the parks, enjoying the free access, but they’re finding trash cans overflowing and restrooms locked. Vault toilets are not serviced, and there’s hardly a flush toilet to be found anywhere. If nature calls — well, the woods are over that way.”

Read more of this article here: https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/in-shutdown-national-parks-transformed-into-wild-west–heavily-populated-and-barely-supervised/2019/01/01/db51564e-0d3b-11e9-84fc-d58c33d6c8c7_story.html

Joshua Tree National Park campgrounds will close at 12:00 p.m. Wednesday, January 2 “to take…action for health and safety concerns as vault toilets reach capacity,” according to a National Park Service news release.

During the government shutdown, much of the onus of park upkeep has been left in the hands of volunteers. 

“In addition human waste in public areas, driving off road and other infractions that damage the resource are becoming a problem,” reads the release.”Additional closures include Lost Horse Mine Road due to illegal activity and Rattlesnake Canyon in order to reduce the number of search and rescue events for rangers already spread thin due to the government shutdown.”

Joshua Tree business people and volunteers have tried to take over for the furloughed rangers and maintenance staff as best they can.

About 35 people pitched in Saturday during a volunteer event, while businesses in downtown Joshua Tree tried to help incoming visitors looking for information.

Volunteers including retired park ranger Caryn Davidson, Stone Adventures co-owner Annie Semmelroth and Coyote Corner co-owner Ethan Feltges manned a makeshift information booth outside Coyote Corner through the weekend.

One of their main concerns by Saturday afternoon was where to put all the trash generated by the thousands of visitors.

“Our dumpsters are full,” Feltges said.

It pointed out a larger problem with the volunteer effort. “It’s not sustainable for the long haul, and the cash isn’t going to be here,” said Seth Zaharias, co-owner of Cliffhanger Guides.

He estimated he and other business owners had paid several thousands of dollars over the past week to stock bathrooms with toilet paper, buy cleaning supplies and rent portable bathrooms.

Park Superintendent David Smith praised the efforts of locals who have been working to help park visitors. (http://www.hidesertstar.com/news/article_d9cf37c0-0d2a-11e9-9f7c-e7e542e5ea9f.html)

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite visitors turn roads into toilets as shutdown crises mount at national parks

Mountains of garbage and human waste are challenging efforts to keep U.S. national parks open during a partial shutdown of the federal government, National Parks Traveler reported.

In California, Yosemite National Park officials have closed the Wawona and Hodgson Meadows campgrounds, along with the Mariposa Grove of redwoods, after finding human feces and urinebeside Wawona Road, the Los Angeles Times reported.

“With restrooms closed, some visitors are opting to deposit their waste in natural areas adjacent to high traffic areas, which creates a health hazard for other visitors,” National Parks Service spokesman Andrew Munoz told the publication in an email.

“It’s a free-for-all,” said Dakota Snider, 24, a Yosemite Valley resident, reported The Associated Press. “It’s so heartbreaking. There is more trash and human waste and disregard for the rulesthan I’ve seen in my four years living here.”

Read more here: https://www.sacbee.com/news/nation-world/national/article223795490.html#storylink=cpy

 

Sequoia or Kings Canyon National park

The partial federal government shutdown, now into its 11th day, has forced furloughs of hundreds of thousands of federal government employees. This has left many parks without most of the rangers and others who staff campgrounds and otherwise keep parks running.

The lack of staff and unsanitary conditions have led to the closures of several areas of Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks.

The closures went into effect at 6 p.m. on Monday, according to Sintia Kawasaki-Yee, Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks public affairs officer.

https://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/2019/01/01/government-shutdown-leads-sequoia-kings-canyon-park-closures/2457254002/

Closer to home is Pinnacles National Park

“Park rangers will close the eastern park entrance… due to impacts from human waste and increased vehicle congestion,” the press release says.

https://www.thecalifornian.com/story/news/2018/12/30/pinnacles-national-parks-eastern-entrance-closes-due-shutdown/2446878002/

All of the above listed California National Parks are now closed (or partially closed) due to trash and human waste, which are health hazards. Sound familiar? Big Sur has become a health hazard. Just ask anyone who lives or camps here. Trash, feces and toilet paper everywhere. Big Sur, one of the most beautiful and healing places on the planet is now a health hazard. How did we let it go this far?

 

 

 

 

Community Fuel Break work to begin next year.

Los Padres signs Big Sur Community Fuelbreak Record of Decision

 GOLETA, Calif.— Los Padres National Forest Supervisor Kevin Elliott signed a Record of Decision on Nov. 13 for the Strategic Community Fuelbreak Improvement project Environmental Impact Statement. The project is on the Monterey Ranger District near the communities of Big Sur, Palo Colorado, Cachagua, and Jamesburg.

The purpose of the Strategic Community Fuelbreak Improvement project is to re-establish and maintain a series of fuelbreaks to enhance protection for at-risk communities and firefighting resources, preserve wilderness character, and reduce suppression costs. These historically-used and effective strategic fuelbreaks extend in and out of the Ventana Wilderness.

This project is a result of collaborative engagement at the community level and will improve effectiveness and efficiency in protecting communities from wildfire. The project will also minimize future impacts to wilderness. Wilderness character is diminished when fuelbreaks are re-opened by bulldozers during emergency suppression of wildfires. By proactively designing and establishing strategic fuelbreaks during a non-emergency environment, the Forest Service can reduce the reliance on mechanized equipment and subsequently reduce the adverse fire suppression impacts on the wilderness landscape.

A notice of intent to prepare an EIS was published in the Federal Register on December 28, 2012. Public scoping and an “analysis of comments” was completed. A Draft EIS was then prepared and scoped for public comment in January 2017 and two public open houses were held in February 2017.

Work on this project will begin next year.

For more information, please contact District Ranger Tim Short at (831) 385-5434 or attshort@fs.fed.us or visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=40713.

Excellent Work for all the people who helped, contributed, and collaborated on this.

If you don’t know how to drive in the mud…

Could you please stay off the dirt roads? You really mess it up for the rest of us…

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My son, Brendon Shave, who also took these photos, pulled him out of the way, but wasn’t able to get him out of the ditch.

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Big Sur Kate and CERV

I have been working with Kim Delaney and Sarah Black on a video for CERV. Community Emergency Response Volunteers. They support local CERT. This is their website: CERV.

They had a vision of doing a series of videos on disasters and the disabled, and asked me if I would participate. Actually, Patte Kronlund said, “I have a friend I want you to meet. Sarah Black.” And so we started to communicate. There were lots of emails, phone calls, dry runs, and finally, they came up to shoot a video of me in my home, high atop this mountain. They have finally released it today. It is the first of a series. I hope they put all the stories together in one documentary. I think it would be awesome.

Those of us who are disabled, or may become so, are sometimes forgotten or at least underserved in the planning for disasters. While we are all responsible for our own planning and preparation, it helps to know one is not alone. Thanks for doing this, Sarah and Kim.

For those who are interested, you can watch that 5 and 1/2 minute video Here

I was honored to work on such a worthwhile project. I also am rather astounded and amazed that Kim did all of this shooting with an iPhone. I was also astounded at the abundance of wonderful food that Sarah brought with her, all this way, for us to share after the shoot. Thank you.