South Coast Ridge Rd Repair & Closure

From Duke Krenkle, USFS:
“Hi Kate. I’m trying to contact as many residents as I can in the Prewitt Ridge area and thought you might be able to post some information on your Blog. The Forest Service is planning on completing some road repair work on South Coast Ridge Rd. in april and unfortunately it’s going to require a full closure. I haven’t gotten all the details yet and I’m hopeful we’ll be able to negotiate a time frame for the closure that can accommodate resident’s schedules, possibly one or two weekends. All I know right now is that the contractor will start april 20th and should be completely finished by april 31st. The project is located a half mile in from Nacimiento Summit in a narrow stretch of road.”

As soon as Duke receives further info and forwards it on to me, I will post it here. These posts also go to FB and Twitter, but there are those who live in these mountains who aren’t on line – not many, but a few, so if we can all work to assure that those individuals also are notified, it would be helpful.

11:00 a.m. – (okay, it is closer to one and still don’t know if I can get this posted after two hours!)  Having some issues with just about ALL my technological systems right now, and have had for the last couple of days.  Trying to sort out.  By now, most of you here in California know we are at the beginning of a series of storm systems, which may impact our highway, the construction at Rocky Creek and so many other aspects, such as my power system, Internet and just life in general.  I had heard the storms would clear out for next week, but yesterday’s latest, conveyed by Rock Knocker who has satellite tv and local news and weather, says that is no longer the case.  I will do what I can to keep this blog up-to-date with current information, but winter always poses a challenge up here in the hinterlands.

At least my non-technological systems (roof and fireplace) are keeping me dry and warm!

Reminder – the CPOA annual meeting is this coming Monday, the 19th at the Grange.

Reminder #2 – Rocky Creek will be closed from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m to ALL traffic Sunday, Monday and Tuesday.  It will be open for the Thanksgiving holiday Wednesday and Thursday nights, then for the normal weekend opening Friday and Saturday.

Check back later for possible updates, if I get my systems functioning property, or maybe I can get bigsurdeb to update for me!

Isolated Thunderstorms possible

The National Weather Service predicts isolated thunderstorms are expected Saturday, from the late morning through the afternoon hours over the higher terrain mountain locations of Southeastern Monterey and San Benito Counties. Severe weather or flash flooding is not expected and any rainfall amounts will be light. These storms will be capable of producing lightning strikes and contain a threat of dry lightning which will increase the wildfire risk and pose a threat to any back-country travelers on the ridge tops. IMPACTS TO SOUTHEAST MONTEREY AND SAN BENITO COUNTIES HIGHER ELEVATIONS (2500 FT+)
Thunderstorms will contain occasional cloud to ground lightning strikes in the absence of rain which will produce elevated wildfire conditions. Deadly strikes will pose a threat to any back-country travelers in the higher terrain on ridge tops.

I’m southwest, so no lightning, right? Will keep you posted, as necessary, and be on lookout duty for the day.


First, starting Monday, July 9th, Highway One will be closed at Rain Rocks for the erection of the rock shed roof from 9 pm until 6 am for four nights. At this point, the closure is scheduled to be completed by Friday, the 13th at 6 am, at which time the overnight closures should cease.

I went through it this morning, and the rebar is all in place for the construction of the roof, and I can totally understand how it cannot be accomplished with vehicles going underneath it while the work is completed. I am just surprised, and grateful, that it will still be open during the day, subject to delays, of course.

Also, a reminder to friends of Terrydactyl and the South Coast, that a celebration of his life, and that of Jeffe and Howie will be held Saturday, the 14th at around noon at Sand Dollar. Bring your memories, music, food, drink, and spirit to share. 

Memorial Day weekend, and I MUST have a fire.

Memorial Day weekend has begun. It is traditionally the start of our summer, but Mother Nature has her way with us once again. I am very glad that life got in the way of my planting my tomatoes.

Here it is only 6 pm, and it is only 40 degrees outside … Given that the sun is not even down, yet, freezing temps are possible tonight. Right now, I have built a fire in the wood stove, and am working on building it up to a rip-roaring one tonight. Tomatoes would not fare well tonight, and given the high winds, would have been dead come morning…so maybe next weekend? I guess I better concentrate on Early Girls this year!

Dante Ponce

Dante Ponce passed away suddenly in the early morning of May 16th. He was a first rate manager. . . . and of so much more importance to all of us at the River Inn, a first rate friend. Here is a note that our son-in-law, Michael, wrote on his Blog the other day . . . . .
Nancy Sanders and Alan Perlmutter
I met Dante in the summer of 2000 when I was working at my future father-in-law’s restaurant. I was a few weeks away from turning 21 and Juliette’s dad had given me a job waiting tables for the summer, a job I wasn’t really qualified for and which I probably didn’t deserve. Dante was one of the other waiters on the staff and, like me, he mostly worked lunch shifts so I got to spend a lot of time with him that summer. From the moment I met him, he was always friendly and warm toward me, even though I was a pretty terrible waiter. He was patient and kind, and he helped me a lot. Today I was saddened to learn that he died suddenly and unexpectedly this morning–of a heart attack, I’m told.

I can’t help but regret the fact that I didn’t know him better. We worked together for a summer, and in the years since we always took a couple of minutes to catch up whenever I came back to the restaurant for a visit with the family. There was a lot I didn’t know about him. And yet, looking back, there was a lot I did know. I know he was hard-working, and that he cared about his work and took pride in doing it well. Since that summer we worked together he became a manager at the restaurant, and everyone I’ve ever talked to about him has loved him. I know that he was easy-going, quick with a smile, a genuinely nice person. I know that he loved his family. I know he had a bit of playfulness to him–I watched him spin a serving tray on one fingertip, laughing, one afternoon after the lunch rush was over. I know he will be missed, by me and many others.

I wish I could remember clearly the last time I saw him–but then, it wasn’t remarkable at the time, just another visit home, another meal at the family restaurant. It’s not as though this was something any of us saw coming; he wasn’t even that much older than I am. So many of the moments in our lives that turn out to be important go unnoticed. I guess that’s just the way of things.

My heart goes out to Dante’s wife and children. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose a father and husband this way, so completely out of the blue. It’s a tragedy, and we are all the worse for his loss.

Goodbye, Dante. I’m glad I had the chance to know you.
Michael Sakasegawa
A fund has been established to help the family at this difficult time and to assure that Dante’s three sons complete their education. If you would like to help please send your contribution to:
Dante Ponce family Fund, P O Box 126, Big Sur, CA 93920

All contributions will be acknowledged.

(River Inn will be hosting a memorial at a later date)

Distressed Gray Whale

I received this from Susan Perry, of Pacific Valley School:

Thanks for your help in getting the word out about this whale in distress. The enmeshed grey whale had been spotted yesterday south of Gorda at Alder Creek at 8am and then again about 9:15am near Willow Creek which is north of Gorda. It was heading north and not very fast but may have already passed Esalen. This whale was first spotted and captured at Laguna Beach last week. Wildlife personnel had managed to remove some of the fish netting that restricted the whale before it escaped into open ocean and vanished in open sea as night fell. The federal wildlife agencies have been doing their best to try to locate and recapture the whale long enough to remove the rest of the netting and treat it for its injuries. It is a rare type of grey whale.

Anybody who spots the whale is asked to call Jim Milbury of the National Marine Fisheries Service at 562-980-4006. He may also be contacted at 310-245-7114.

Also, don’t forget the BSMAAC meeting at 10:00 am at the Lodge in Big Sur. Two items on the agenda: The Coastal Trail planning process update by Bill Monning; and the Rocky Creek Viaduct update.

Finally, a reminder that the Big Sur International Marathon will be held this Sunday. There are passes available. Per Stan Russell, of the Big Sur Chamber of Commerce:

“Big Sur employees needing to travel from town to Big Sur before the first southbound caravan (departing the Crossroads at about 9:45 A.M.) PASSES will be available for pick-up at the Big Sur River Inn Motel office beginning Thursday morning, April 26, 2012. After 4:00 A.M. Sunday morning, only local traffic WITH PASSES will be allowed to travel south past Otter Cover. All traffic with passes must be south of Otter Cover by 5:30 A.M.”

I have photos of the tents being set up at the finish line which I will post tomorrow, internet allowing. It looks like a circus is coming to town. 😉