Drone Footage by @CaltransD5 of Rat Creek

BigSur Kate & Facebook

Please pass the word to those who follow me on FB. TPTB do not like the documentation I sent them so suspended my account. They want my CDL ori Passport or some crap. I think Keith Vandervere has it right – the NSA wants me. LOL. For what, I don’t know.

I have sent in photos of my awards from Sam Farr and from Bill Monning, but don’t know if that will be enough. Until the idiots at FB review those documents, I am cut off from FB.

Winter Solstice – 2016

Below, I repost one of my Winter Solstice posts from 2009:

“The Winter Solstice occurs exactly when the earth’s axial tilt is farthest away from the sun at its maximum of 23° 26′. Though the Winter Solstice lasts an instant in time, the term is also colloquially used like Midwinter to refer to the day on which it occurs. For most people in the high latitudes this is commonly known as the shortest day and the sun’s daily maximum position in the sky is the lowest.” (Wikipedia)

There are as many different types of celebrations of this astrological event as there are cultures and religions, past and present. It is the “official” day of winter, here in the northern hemisphere, and it is when the days begin to lengthen again.

For me, rooted in a northern clime, the significance is both the beginning of winter, and the lengthening of the days. I am a person of the sun, who rises with it, and slows my rhythms when its time with me is also slowed. Long before we had a name to go along with these most natural of nature’s patterns (seasonal affective disorder), our bodies simply increased the secretion of melatonin in the body, causing longer sleep. Now, we know that special lights, plants, and negative ions can diminish the effect of the lesser sunlight.

It is a seasonal lull that many of nature’s plants and animals observe. It is a time for us to be focused inward rather than outward. Rather than fight the natural patterns, I choose to follow them, and become quiet, solitary, and introspective. Tomorrow, that time lessens, and my outward focus will begin its return, just as the sun increases its time in our northern skies.

I will celebrate the holidays with friends, as we all do, but for me, the true holiday is today, the Winter Solstice, when I begin my outward focus, once again, and leave the inner world I have come to inhabit.

The beginning of bigsurkate, the blog

Used to be, all my readers knew how this site came to be. Now, only a few do. I started this blog 8 years ago because I got pissed off at the sheriff. It’s not wise to piss off a lawyer who has made her living going up against various forms of the government, especially law enforcement. If you want to read the early entries, go to the pull-down menu to the right for archives, and pull down and click on July 2008. I wrote over 50 entries that month. Eight years later, I have written 2,747 entries. Damn, how did that happen? I have had over a million, 100 thousand views. I thought this blog would have closed after the Basin Fire, but the Chalk Fire came on its heels, and by then the die was cast.

I got pissed off because of this:


Note the date and the time of this. 6 pm on the eve of a 3 day weekend. I got a copy on July 4 – Independence Day. I was pissed and went into overdrive. I stayed awake for almost 24 hours in order to combat this order and to learn how to blog. (It wasn’t as easy back then as it is now.) On July 5, 2008, I published both my first and second blog posts. This was the first:

“I began this blog, after 2 weeks of inundating everyone’s mailbox with news, links, editorials, and photos of the massive Big Sur Fire of 2008. I decided a blog might be a better venue for us all to stay connected, share information, and remain informed. PLUS, I got totally frustrated when my email send function became so erratic. I can receive, but sending is completely hit and miss. I am hoping the email fairy visits me soon!😉

I will also be posting some of my photographs, also, as and when I can.

Welcome! Once the fire is past, I will convert this to random musings, I suppose, or it will evolve into something else.”

Boy did it ever evolve into something else – something I could not even imagine back then.

A year later, I recounted as best I could, what happened those first few days. I wrote:

“July 4, 2008 – I cannot find my notes, and I did not write in my journal for much of July, as I was far too busy, but I started my blog one year ago tomorrow, so some of the story about last Independence Day was reported then. I am recreating the day, based primarily on a memory with holes in it – swiss cheese holes – a moth-eaten sweater. I also have no photographs taken that day, at least that I can find. The road was closed, as previously posted.

When I first got a copy of the 409.5 memo on 7/4, I called OES (Office of Emergency Services), and they had a Commander Teter of the MCSO call me back. When I got no satisfactory explanation about the issuance of the memo, other than it was to “educate” the Big Sur community about the power the MCSO had, I was furious. The MCSO was flexing its muscles and declaring a police-state in Big Sur, and fully intended on arresting who ever got in their way.

It was a holiday. Everything was closed. What could I do? The only places open were newsrooms. Having lived and worked in Monterey County, much of that in the justice system, I knew I needed to go outside of the county. I called the LA Times newsroom and the SF Chronicle newsroom. I posted something on surfire2008.org. Before my post was removed from surfire2008, Deborah Schoch, a staff reporter from the LA Times called. After speaking with her for some time, I got her phone numbers, and said I’d pass it on to a member of the Curtis family who was not in Big Sur, and if they wanted, they could pass it on to Micah and Ross. This resulted in more phone calls, and more long conversations with Curtis family members and LA Times reporter, Eric Bailey. Only a few days later, he and Deborah Schoch published a 3-page article about the police state in Big Sur. It is no longer accessible unfortunately.

This was the start of the battle between Big Sur Locals and the Mike Kanalakis, Sheriff of Monterey County. Kanalakis also made the mistake of taking on Cachagua in Carmel Valley. Both were big mistakes.

Thanks to Jim Kimball for archiving posts from surfire2008 and other sources, we have an excellent record of all that happened on this day last year. It was a busy day, with reports from locals coming in up and down the coast all day long. Let’s not forget what it was like to live in this police state from July 3, 2008 to July 8, 2008, when the road opened to locals and their employees, and July 11, 2008 when the road opened completely.

Go to this link, and scroll down. It is arranged as all blogs tend to be, with the older posts first, or backwards chronology. Just scroll down to July 4th and start reading. It is fascinating:


So, Big Sur, and lovers of Big Sur, we celebrate our independence, along with our country’s independence and may we never forget the battles we have fought against oppressive government entities in both 1776 and in 2008. Happy Independence Day. Keep strong, and battle on when needed.


Eight years ago today …

The Gallery Fire in Big Sur was started by lightning. It morphed into the Basin Complex. It charred much of the back country and took out homes as well. It was a horrible time, but we pulled together and became stronger.

I started this blog as a result of this fire. Many of you do not know the story behind the creation of this blog, so on Independence Day, I will retell that story. Stay tuned.

Warm, clear weather … Then another round

I have been out of town for a while, but keeping an eye on the storms and road conditions. I, like many of you, will be preparing for the upcoming storm, restocking, getting laundry done and dried with the sun to make it easier, and catching up on making up for my absence to my dogs. Blogging is likely to be sporadic this week as a result.

It looks to be a warmer, clear week, with another storm building. Meterologist John Lindsey has this to say:  “Current longer-range forecast models suggest a stormy weather pattern starting Saturday afternoon and continuing through the following week. The models are indicating a particularly strong low-pressure system developing off the California Coast on Sunday with moderate gale-force to fresh gale-force (32 to 46 mph) southeasterly winds, heavy rain and high seas. These are long-range models; consequently, the timing and intensity of this predicted storm will probably change as the week progresses.”


The whales are migrating

There are reports that the annual migration south has begun. Given traffic hazard reports, it seems everyone is out looking. Here is a CHP traffic hazard report re Rocky Point area:

Be careful out there … I noticed lots and lots of tourists Sunday at JP Burns (ignoring cones, fog lines, other traffic), Bixby (ignoring no parking signs), Hurricane Point, Garapatta, and all points northerly, many seemingly ready to prove Darwin right.

Weather Report, 12/11/15

image8:30 am – I currently have a mixture of sun, clouds, and thunder – only one, but loud! I got almost 3/4″ yesterday, and another .16″ this morning. We are at 1.30″ for the month, and 6.30″ for the year.

If Mike Morales is able to get any sun this am up his way in Carmel, he will be out grabbing some big waves shots for your viewing this afternoon. 33′ at Point Sur at 11 pm last night! I’ll also be updating this weather report as necessary, throughout the day.



Plaskett Final Update … And a million

final count was 3.1 acres. FHL responded as well as LPF, and who knows who else. A WT came up around 10 pm to get 1500 gallons of water from my neighbors well. There was a transition to another IC at 7:45 am, but all indications are it was just a watchful eye needed for a bit. Was told we lucked out on this one. There was NO wind last night.

Sometime during the Plaskett Fire, bigsurkate reached the milestone of one million views. Appropriate on so many levels that it happened last night/this morning on this fire. Synchronicity. Thanks to all my loyal readers. I think it is going to be a long season for all of us. I’m calling this week to arrange for satellite internet. Can’t deal with the slowness and iffyness of this Verizon system of mine. I want photos, mine and others, to be involve ease of down and uploading. Still no plans for video as I am already paying enough for media storage on my blog.

Site Seasonal Update

Those of you who have been following this blog for a year or more have noticed that twice a year I update my links to the right. I change the focus of the links from weather conditions to fire conditions and vice a versa. It is incredibly early to change from weather to fire, but given what has been happening, I have added back in many of my fire links. But also given that I am an opptomist still hoping for more rain, I have left in some of the more important weather links. So, for a while, at least, we will have a hybrid of links to choose from. If you have a favorite link, please feel free to send it along.