MoCo Sheriff enforcing no camping

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On Nacimiento I counted 34 campsites on the side of the road yesterday, Saturday, between the summit and the coast. Almost all of them in dangerous locations. There is no privacy, no place for human waste, people are camped practically on top of each other. This is not camping. The road is dangerous enough just being so narrow and winding and in generally bad shape. This phenomena just adds another layer of dangerousness to an existing situation.

The End of Winter …

Finally, the winter that would not quit is over. The last 3 days have been picture perfect, except the biting flies came out today. The grasses have turned brown, already, and the campers have filled the campgrounds, spilling into and up the hills. Campfires are seen throughout the hills, and guns are blasting, once again. My quiet time has ended, and I am grateful it lasted as long as it did.

I have changed my links from El Niño to 2010 Fire Season, as it will be here in no time with the hot weather and dry grass. It has already begun in So. Cal., but fortunately, the fires are being picked up rapidly and contained in short order.

The grass was green, 2 weeks ago!

Let’s have a safe fire season this year – for all of us. Namasté

Opening of Hunting Season, 8/8/09

Dawn and dusk … gun fire permeates the best times of the day. The quiet and serenity of the place I call home is disturbed. The critters are disturbed, and somewhere, a buck may be fighting for his life — running in fear from the guns that populate these hills. I prefer the bow hunters. They are silent, the bucks have an equal chance, and only the best hunters are rewarded. With guns, even an idiot can get lucky. My experience is the bow hunters don’t use 4 tracs, either. They are stealth. They are swift. And they really know how to hunt. I have complete and utter respect for them. Kelly Collins used a bow. He was a real hunter.

Since dawn … one dog hides under the couch — Dakota has always been frightened of the sound of gun fire. (BTW-the inside is completely healed, finally. The outer skin has not yet closed, but I expect to lift her “house arrest” in a week or two.) Bear, on the other hand, barks constantly at the sound of gun fire. Gideon and Miranda seem indifferent, until the shots get closer, as they are now.

I have the wonderful task of dodging the idiots as I make my way down the coast to restock on everything. Debating the trip. On the one hand, I can get photos of all the yahoos and their vehicles, just in case someone does something stupid. On the other hand, do I really want to be dodging bullets? Hmmm …

Unofficial Fire Watch

Soaring isn’t here any more. No “official” fire watchers exist. I am here and care. So, I watch.

I came up tonight to note a “huge” group at Hard Rocks driveway. Partying. Young kids need a place to party that is safe. As long as they have no campfire. So, I see about 8 to 12 vehicles parked at Hard Rocks.I must come out after dark and check. Is that a light or is it a fire? We luck out. No campfire, and I don’t need to call it in. I check Prewitt Ridge, Willow Creek, and all the areas I can see for campfires. None. Good Friday Night.

Tough, being on Top O’ the World.

Wilderness Ethics

Z’s comment on my “I am not a cop …” post got me thinking. I have lived up here in the midst of the National Forest — the wilds of Big Sur — for 14 years. (25 in Big Sur) Half of those, alone — if you don’t count my guard dogs. Anyway, the fire news has slowed considerably, so this morning’s post is devoted to one of my pet peeves.

The sense of “entitlement” is very real, and was clearly evident in that group of six from Santa Cruz who explained to me, “We’re from Santa Cruz, and we’ve been coming here for ten years!!” And their point is?? That “entitles” them to go around a USFS barricade? (I did not confront them, again. I might have lost it, and done something stupid. Besides, I have the evidence, in photos, if needed.)

I have had people climb my gates, lift their bikes over and continue on because they feel they are “entitled” to trespass on private land that is posted. One bicyclist, refused to believe that this was private property, accusing me of erecting gates and the other trappings of a homestead on government land!! What planet are these people from? Amazingly, many of these people are from either Monterey Peninsula or Santa Cruz.

One time, it was a group of Hmong hunters from San Jose. My dogs alerted. It was very early, very foggy, and I did not see them until they were about 20 feet from my front door. Being hunters, they all had guns. Another time, a group of hunters set up camp on my private property, just outside my gate. They pointed a gun and threatened to shoot my dog. That time, the MCSO DID come, in full on riot gear, with assault weapons. MCSO said the hunters were extremely polite, and would I agree to let them leave in the morning when it was light? Ha. The hunters were polite to the armed, uniformed MCSO, but extremely rude and obnoxious to me, an aging single unarmed woman and worse, to my dogs, so no, I want them off my property NOW, in the dark.

I have literally hundreds of stories of people thinking they are “entitled” — and not just on forest service land, but on private property. Once, on another piece of property where a friend was caretaking while the owner was gone, this couple from LA just walked on down, was wandering around the back of the house to the deck overlooking the Pacific. “What are you doing?” we asked. “Oh, we just wanted to see the view.” “We wouldn’t dream of going into your backyard without your permission. Why would you think it is okay, here?”

Big Sur has always had a love/hate relationship with her tourists. Tourism is our primary economic resource base. But it seems as if more and more of them come with this ‘tude that makes loving them a real challenge. And *I* don’t work in the tourist industry!

I have a sign in my cottage that says, “The more I get to know some people, the more I like dogs.”
Yup.