Monday, February 23, 2009

After cruising over the Golden Gate bridge, and getting back to the coast, I was quite disappointed with the county (San Mateo, I think) who arbitrarily marked one of my favourite campsites on the whole coast as - "NO Camping". The nerve of them! It was a beautiful spot with an awesome view, right on the water, with a scenic Pigeon Point Lighthouse in the background. So I had to do some fast searching in the dark to find an adequate spot along a farm road.
The next day, I was up early and into Santa Cruz before I found any cell coverage or internet.
It was a Saturday, so it was important to find the night's camp with a clear view of the southern sky. That way I could set up my satellite dish and watch Hockey night in Canada, and of course, the Leafs game. In the process, I also discovered a new cap spot with potential for the future.Unfortunately, this night must have been designated for hurricanes as I almost got blown off the ridge, which was exposed to ocean winds from two different directions. After doing more rocking than a sailboat, I retired to a lower location with slightly less winds for the remainder of the night.

Before I move on, I should mention that I was named 'Post of the Day', by the Tillamook Cheese Fan Club, who added a link to my blog on their web site!
Don't believe me? Check it out yourself, or check the comment left on that day's post. 'My' link is 'Tillamook Road Trip' on their page! What's next, knighthood, or will I just find myself a princess (!).
I found ample evidence of forest fires in the Big Sur area, including burned trails I had hiked in March on my way north.

From a post during the fire season - July 8, 2008.

"In Big Sur, the Basin Complex fire had charred 80,186 acres by Monday night and was 18 percent contained. More than 2,500 homes were threatened along with 20 commercial structures and 195 outbuildings, such as sheds and barns. Twenty-three homes have been destroyed. "

From the LA Times -

At Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, 95% of the trail system has been affected; at Pfeiffer Big Sur, 75% of the trails were affected, with 50% of the park’s acreage burned. The Big Sur Lodge is open for business, but Andrew Molera State Park remains the Incident Command/Fire Camp for hundreds of firefighters in the area and will remain closed to camping likely until the middle of August.

Many of the State parks in the area are still closed or partially closed due to risk of landslides and flooding after the fires.In other areas, there are precautions in place to protect parts of Highway 1 from effects of the expected floods and slides. They have plenty of these debris fences newly built along this section of the highway.
At the south end of the fire region, I found most of my camp areas intact and suitably scenic, though the rains had come along to replace the high winds.

Some of the local residents didn't seem too concerned about the fires, the weather, or anything else for that matter. They just spent their time laying on the beach flicking sand on themselves and bickering endlessly with each other

See for yourself!

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