Town trips

When I moan about how long it takes to do some simple grocery shopping, Mother Nature reminds me how lucky I truly am. I think of my girlfriends in So Cal, my mother, God bless her, when she lived in Redondo, and on and on, and am struck by such incredible differences. Yes, they can get delivery of their groceries. Yes, they can choose from hundreds of different stores, and yes, they pay a price for this convenience … Too big a price, in my opinion. I get to see this when I go grocery shopping. What do you see?


Atmospheric River takes aim at the South Coast of Big Sur

For the first time in recent history (probably ever) The Weather Channel specifically mentions Lucia, Gorda, and Cambria, the biggest town – of a whopping 6,000 – being Cambria. It is because this is where this next big storm is expected to come ashore. This will find us late tonight or early tomorrow. The last one took aim at Santa Cruz and Big Sur Valley. Now it is our turn. I am as ready as I can be. Take advantage of this break, as the next one is not due until Thursday.

Take a look at the info I added to the last post, The Calm Before the Storm, for some good info and links about this Atmospheric River.

Saturday Among the Tourists

So, today, I’m braving the tourists and traveling down to Cambria to have lunch with a friend and do a bit of Cookie Crocking. It is President’s weekend. (Isn’t it early? Or is it just me?) There are high clouds and little sun. Yesterday was gorgeous up here, so I postponed this trip in order to catch a few rays on the deck. Today is a good day to wander on down. I’ll take pics, and if anything worthwhile finds its way into my camera, I’ll upload later.

Scarecrows are back!

… And they have multiplied enormously and spread, as well! It is an amazing phenomena. Come see for yourself, but be careful when you stop to photograph to make sure you are not rear-ended!



I will be putting up photos of this phenomena throughout the month!

Structure Fire in Cambria & Wildfire SE of King City

See update from the Cambrian in the comments below.
(Blue Whale Inn and not attic, as originally thought. But utility closet)

A fire in the attic of the Cambria Inn on Moonstone Beach was contained by Cal Fire in the last hour (3:30 pm).

A wildfire off 198 SE Of King City was attacked at the same time with SLO sending two engines and a dozer as well as air attack to assist Monterey County. As of 3:30 pm, Forward rate has stopped at 80 acres 60% contained.

With these soaring temps being so widespread, fires are bound to be a problem on the Cental Coast and elsewhere in the state.

Weather, road repair, and photos

First, could the weather be any more beautiful? But watch for a major change. According to several reports, I could have a sprinkling of snow by Friday morning – so time to stock my wood box, while the weather is so wonderful.

“The rain won’t be widespread, with most of the shower activity developing along the coastal mountains where snow levels will drop to 2,500 feet by Friday morning. Modest accumulations
of snow (2- and 4-inches) are possible Friday across the Sierra foothills with a dusting also possible in the coastal mountains of the Central Coast.”

And this is the view that greeted me at the bottom of my road


Then I got to Alder Creek … You know the place, where that major slide happened? Was that just last year? Anyway, Cal Trans has put netting up along the whole slide, but was working it again. I stopped and took these two photos … Note the draping, the rock-catching drapery walls, and the two climbers in the bright yellow on the left.



Further down the road, the new chip sealing between the lighthouse and elephant seal beach was tying up traffic for 15-20 minutes. At least there was cell phone signal, so I could check email, surf (which I had not been able to do since Sat am at home) and all I had missed for a day and a half, so the time went by pretty fast.

Cambria’s Annual Scarecrow Festival












The businesses add new scarecrows every day, until the judging takes place, so come on down and take a look for yourself. Great photo ops! I found out from a long-time resident who informed me that the high school art studens make the scarecrows and sell them for $20 to the businesses that don’t make their own. This will all culminate at the Harvest Festivwl at the Biachinni house, aka, the Cambrian Historical Society, the second weekend in October, at the corner of Burton and Center.

On the way out of town, I saw so many others I had missed! Several construction workers, the invisible man, the male and female “mooners”, the gal with the flying dog, and at least a dozen more. There are between 200-250 total “scarecrows” that have taken over Cambria. Quite a sight to see. I never even went down Moonstone Drive where there are many more! Next time, I guess.

Town Runs can be fun!

Mostly, town runs are necessary. They can be drudgery. They can go smoothly. They are rarely “fun” when done alone. Today’s was fun. In every sense.

Yesterday, all day, my one and only neighbor went out to clear Plaskett Ridge Rd. This guy is an master with a chainsaw. I cannot and will not operator one. I am totally at his mercy. If he doesn’t clear it, I don’t go out. He has to work at Lucia tomorrow, so … he went out. What a guy.

This was the big stuff he cleared. There was a bunch of little stuff, too.

Then, when I am almost down to the coast, I see this.

Does it get any better than this? Well, actually, it does.

Do I live in a beautiful place, or what?

I continue my way down the coast, and stop at a beach I like. Two great photo ops present themselves…one human, and one not.
Critters of all sorts come out to play on a beautiful fall day, after the storm no one will forget.

I make my way to Cambria, for lunch at the most wonderful restaurant – Robin’s. It is like our Big Sur Bakery, in that it is full of fresh, organic, locally grown food, but it has an international flair. And what is happening there? A classic car club has shown up for lunch.
That’s the grille close-up. Here’s the car:

Here is another:
And the longer view:

To Be Continued …

Sam Jones Fire, Day 2 (8/3/09)

11:00 pm update. And tonight, just before I sign off, I would like to post a photograph one of my readers sent of the Sam Jones Fire, taken between 4 and 4:30 pm this afternoon. It was taken from up behind Hearst Castle, from a place called Rocky Butte Truck Trail. Photo by Carl Brandt of Cambria. Posted here with permission.

Sam Jones Fire

Isn’t that just spectacular? Thank you so much for sharing this with us, Carl!

Here’s a thermal from CalFire:
Sam Jones Thermal

8 pm update: “Catching scanner traffic from Monterey County Com they are Sending Local Goverment Engines to the fire Code 3. Did not Catch identifiers.”

Sorry, I am running later and later, as I am working this evening, and only checking in the between times. CalFire reported: (note the diversion for a new start??)

Update: 08-03-09 1730hrs -Structures threatened. The fire is still on post. Calfire is setting up in the Bryson area just in case it gets that far. Approx 4500 acres, 55% containment. SRA threatened as fire jumped the line again.
The Sam Jones fire is burning within the confines of the U.S. Army’s Fort Hunter Liggett.
Structure Group just ordered up two Type 3 Strike Teams ASAP, BEU sending ST 9430 C to the fire code-3.
Aircraft were just diverted from this incident to a new start on Hunter-Ligget with structures threatened.

CAL FIRE Sam Jones Fire Incident Information:
Last Updated: August 3, 2009 8:00 am
Date/Time Started: August 2, 2009 4:30 pm
Administrative Unit: Army at Fort Hunter Liggett
County: Monterey County
Location: Fort Hunter Leggitt Training Area 27
Acres Burned: 4500 acres,
Containment: 55% containment

7 pm update from wildfire: ” The fire is still on post [FHL]. Calfire is setting up in the Bryson area just in case it gets that far. Approx 4500 acres, 55% containment. SRA threatened as fire jumped the line again.” Byrson Hesperia and Copperhead have been evacuated. Also there appears to be no growth on the Ponderosa today, still about 500 acres.

Here is a quick sketch of the area from the Bryson Hesperia Resort
Bryson Hesperia Resort

3:30 pm update: Information indicates that the spot, 1/2 to 1 mile in front of the Sam Jones was on the south end. Here is a link to the “raws” of temp/RH/fuel temps, etc. on FHL:

3:00 pm update: Sam Jones Fire -At 1337hrs. Fire has jumped the line, 1/2 to 1 mile spot. S/T [strike team] of Calfire engines e/r [en route]. Looking into aircraft and crews. Fire has moved into SRA, [State Responsibility Area] going unified command. BEU dispatching a high dispatch to the area. Moving into Bryson / Hesperia area. (per wildlandfire) Per LPNF new fire listed at 1345 hrs, probably one and the same.

Editor’s note: WildCAD has been wildly unreliable the last couple days. Unified command is a good thing, as it will be easier to get info than it is when it is only an Army command.

Due to the changed circumstances this afternoon, around 1:45 pm, I am moving the Sam Jones updates to this post, and will continue with updates, as they become available.