Day 6 – finally on the home stretch, literally

After Rock Knocker talked to the tourists heading to Treebones, we headed south on South Coast Ridge Rd. At the very first blockage, our neighbor and friend, Peter, came up behind us. They could have both gotten under these trees, but I was too tall. Peter drove 3 miles past his own turn to see us all the way to our back gate. What a guy! Inside the gate, the top of a dead pine came down.  I’ll just let the photos speak for themselves.

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Winter Solstice, 2018

The longest night and shortest day of the year…and I reflect on what this year has brought into my life, and I feel blessed. It has been challenging, at times, but not as difficult as other times in my life. I have friends and family that are close and far, but all dear and they help to carry the weight of these challenges with me. I am powered by the sun…my being…my household…my sleeping and waking patterns. Tomorrow the light is reborn. I celebrate this Yule time with you. Whatever one’s religion, we can all agree that the lengthening of the days that begins tomorrow is reason to celebrate. I wish for us all lengthening days and stability in our world. Blessed be.

Dave Egbert posted this on his FB page, and it fits with this day and how I feel about it, so I borrow it for the day. Thanks, Dave.


Happy Thanksgiving, 2018

I miss these Thanksgivings in Jo-anne’s garage, and the people who have since moved away…I am thankful for you all and count my blessings that you are in my life. I am thankful for all the friends I have met through this blog for the last 10 years, and for what we have shared together – happy and painful. We have a wonderful community of Big Surians now spread over a great distance from Thailand to Switzerland and beyond. We are family.


No campfires in Los Padres National Forest effective immediately!

Just in time for 4th of July! Thank you LPNF!

Los Padres officials raise fire restrictions

GOLETA, Calif. – In response to the increasing potential for a wildland fire start, Los Padres National Forest officials announced that fire restrictions have been raised throughout the Forest effective immediately. These restrictions will affect the use of campfires, stoves, smoking materials and internal combustion engines, and will remain in effect until the end of fire season in late autumn.

Effective immediately, the following restrictions will be in effect:

  • No open fires, campfires or charcoal fires will be permitted outside of developed recreation sites or designated Campfire Use Sites (list attached), even with a valid California Campfire Permit. Lanterns and portable stoves using gas, jellied petroleum or pressurized liquid fuel will be permitted, but only with a valid California Campfire Permit, which are available free-of-charge on the Forest website and at any Forest Service office. Forest visitors must clear all flammable material for five feet in all directions from their camp stove, have a shovel available, and ensure that a responsible person attends the stove at all times during use.
  • Smoking is prohibited, except within an enclosed vehicle, building, or a designated Campfire Use Site, or while stopped in an area at least three feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable material.
  • Internal combustion engines may be operated only on roads or designated trails. This restriction is in effect year-round. Please make sure your engine is tuned, operating properly, and has an approved spark arrester.

“The moisture levels are approaching a critical threshold. Combine that with warm temperatures and high winds and we have all the ingredients for fire starts,” Los Padres Deputy Forest Fire Management Officer Jim Harris said. “The most important thing is for forest visitors to be aware of their surroundings and exercise caution when conditions are ripe for a wildfire.”

For a list of Developed Recreation Sites and Campfire Use Sites in Los Padres National Forest, or further information regarding Fire-Safe Camping, visit or contact the Forest Service district office nearest you.