Saturday Tourists… (4/21/18)

… Came wandering up to my place this morning. A young, polite Chinese couple, clearly in trouble. They had gotten their car stuck in a hole a few miles away. They slept in their car. They had had no food or water. They offered me $200 to take them to the highway. Unfortunately, I was expecting company in an hour – a BSK reader and her husband who had flown in to SFO and were renting a 4×4 Jeep and a place at the bottom of the road from me and who did not know the neighborhood, were coming up. I couldn’t take the couple down.

I offered the use of my phone, but it kept dropping the calls. I drew them a map of where they were, how they needed to go to get out of here. I gave them each a 1/2 gallon of water, bananas, and oranges. I was just sending them on their way, when my son showed up. “Want to make $200??” I asked him. After looking at the photo of their car, he said he could pull them out with his chain, so he loaded them up and took them back to their car. He needs to make his truck payment and works at whatever he can get. Plus, he is just an all-round good guy. Boy did those visitors luck out!

Clueless in Big Sur, 4/20/15

i want to start a new column, so-to-speak. Stories, preferably humorous, Or made so … About our clueless visitors. I’ll start, but send me any experiences you wish to share, and, if they have a point, but use humor to make it, I will publish … With credit or anonymously, as you prefer. Send your contribution to

I’ve noticed that Saturday night the wilderness visitors are a bit stranger than those who come on Friday night. I am at a loss to explain the difference.

This past Saturday, late afternoon, early evening, I came upon several cars heading up Plaskett. One, a Subaru Outback didn’t want to pull over, so I rode his tail up Plaskett. From Gary’s driveway  until the bull frog, this guy wouldn’t pull over. Finally, a wide spot, and I was able to pass. I watched him in the rear view mirror, but he held back. I gave him no more thought. I needed to pee, but there were campers at all my usual spots, so I waited until I got to my gate. 

As I opened my Jeep door and went to get out, I was suddenly surrounded by 3 guys from the Subaru Outback. They were startled by my gate, and wanted to get through. “We have to get through, we are meeting friends at Prewitt Ridge camp.” Really? Demanding I let them through? Oh, yeah, like that’s going to work. “No, you can’t go through.” “But, our GPS sent us this way.”  “I don’t care if your mother sent you this way. You cant come through. Now, turn around, go down to the highway and go up Nacimiento. Goodbye.”

Clueless in Big Sur.

Living in the Wilderness … With dogs

I had to go to Salinas today … A long story for another day. On the way home, about 2 and 1/2 miles up Plaskett, my tire went flat. The county graded the first 1and 3/10ths miles Tuesday and Wednesday. That kicks up rocks. Probably where the flat came from.

I pulled out my handy, dandy air compressor, and spent about 1/2 an hour trying to pump it up. No dice. No cell signal. So I drove on the rim until I could get cell service, and called my one and only neighbor. Thank god he was home. His vehicle, which had been in the shop for three weeks, was working, and I reached him.

I said I would keep driving, carefully, and slowly, and he agreed to come get me. When we met on the road, I was ready. I had my big bag with my cell phone, my iPad, my charger, my purse, keys, and all that stuff ready, jumped out of my car into his, locking mine, and leaving it behind, a mile or two from my place.

I got home before dark, barely, met by exuberant dogs, who needed to pee and be fed. The peeing was easy. When I went to feed them, I found I didn’t have enough food, I had left the new bag in the car. Damn. I gave them what I had, got each a couple slices of bread, got out the cereal and crackers, and hoped this would hold them until I can get to my Jeep, hopefully tomorrow. If I can’t, I will be cooking up all the beef, rice, and veggies I have, and making my own dog food.

Life on the mountain is always interesting. And life with 5 dogs is even more so! Thank gawd for a wonderful neighbor!

Weekend Weather & yay-hoo updates

9:30 pm, and all is quiet here on Top o’ the World. Before sunset, I went and checked the back gate. No campers. No illegal fires. I went and checked the front gate. Same. Now, I go outside and check Prewitt Ridge — lots of lights, but no campfires. All quiet here on the western front. *sigh* Thank you, Goddess, Buddha, and all the other powers that be.

As you all know, there is a 20% chance of thunder showers through Sunday. Frankly, I’d rather deal with Mother Nature than with stupidity, but chances of fire are every where, until the first real rains of the season. It is just part of the life of living in the wilderness.

This morning’s NOAA discussion includes: “ISOLATED TO

Okay, so it is late morning, and nothing yet. Of course, this specifically says, “southeast” so hopefully won’t affect the coast, particularly the lightning.

Last night’s Rave party was calm, as far as I could see and hear. No trouble. I can look out with my binoculars and see a HUGE number of vehicles, all along the top of the ridge, back toward the east of the ridge, down below on the south side, in the actual camp area, and at least one vehicle, way below the camp, south east from it, where I’ve never seen vehicles before.

I did not go out to check on the Cayucas yay-hoos (think accent here, not misspelling) last night, as I had my hands full with Prewitt.

I woke to the sounds of gunfires and dogs barking in response, this morning. Lots of shots means either a couple of bad shots, or a bunch of hunters. I’m betting on the latter. At some point today I will probably patrol some of the area, but it is a work day for me.

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 …

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.”