Friday, December 2, 2011


 The moon was the brightest thing on Main Street last
night during what was supposed to be the annual
village "Hospitality Night."
 Revelers were either detoured by or working at
sites like this.
 No official count yet, but many trees were felled
by the highest winds in more than a decade. Some say
more trees than any time they can recall.
 This is a block from our home. The scene was repeated through out Cambria.
 I can't tell you how many times in the last day and half
that I've walked into a room and flipped the switch.
We are dependent on that convenience aren't we?
 I read by lantern light, we used the fireplace for 
heat and hoped the refrigerator would hold it's cold.
 All evening we waited to be surprised by the return of
of power.  But when it was time for the
festivities to begin on Main Street, we were all
in the dark.  Merchants provide treats and snacks as 
the locals stroll through the stores.  It is a village 
tradition to kick off the gift buying and party season.
 But the combination reunion, party, social event
was illuminated only by headlights.
 As always when there is a power outage,
there was one place, powered by their huge
emergency generator-The Main Street Grill.
 You've surmised where people headed.  It was said several
times last night, if we sit here long enough we'll see 
everyone in town.  That was almost a literal truth.
 Some were lucky to get power last night, but many
woke without toasters, coffee makers, radio, TV
and the Internet. It was also chilly in unheated homes.
 These signs were all over the village.
Ice for powerless refrigerators was flying out of the Cookie Crock Supermarket.
 PG&E guys told me they had been at it 30 hours
non-stop and have a 4AM call to head to Santa Cruz
tomorrow. I'm not sure the overtime pay is enough. 
 These scenes will explain why I'm at Mike and Jacque Griffin's sending this post.  That stuff you see on the downed line is the Charter gear.  Looks like cable, phone and the Internet will down a while.  
Great idea of "bundling" the services eh? 
Wondering now why I bought it. 
 This is a bundle of another sort.
Once the PG&E crews depart, the Charter guys
will have to jump it.
 Cambria is one of only a handful of places in the world
where the Monterey Pine grows naturally. They are a
unique tree and as you can see very shallow rooted.

 It doesn't take much to send them over.
Cambria in the Pines is one of the historic names
for our village.  Our friend Robert quipped today
we should change it to Cambria in the Pains or the Monterey Pain tree.
After 30 hours the power came on at our home on the 
ridge.  Nice to have lights at the flip of a switch, 
heat, a washing machine.  And soon, I hope, Internet and 
cable.  Spoiled aren't we?
Oh, and if you are out this way, the Hospitality night
will apparently be re-staged as a Friday night
sigh of relief.  The historic winds are gone but
so are some of the trees.
See you down the trail.


  1. Glad you weathered all of this without injury. Aside from the trees, I haven't heard of any casualties, for which we can all be glad.

  2. Wow! You really got it there, too. I wonder if any homes were struck by those immense trees falling. And any fires caused by downed electrical lines?

  3. Stephen and Bruce-
    I am not aware of any injury or fire. There was some damage, but amazingly, most of the trees missed homes. Some came within inches however.

  4. Tom--Thanks, great pix!! We unbundled a while ago, expecting the worst...hate Charter!

    We have cheap solar back-up power system for electronics, lights, and to open garage door. See details at (my book). Also have generator, haven't used yet...

    Trees fell down across street from us--helped neighbor saw limbs away from her entry way stairwell.

    Fled Cambria for "2nd home" in SLO, no power outages there...If you get real chummy with us, maybe you can stay THERE sometime! Bad idea: Hospitality Night on Friday, who would know about it, or who could predict power would be on?

    Best regards,

    Bill Seavey

  5. We were in Cambria during the black out on hospitality night with friends. We come every year for the anual event and this time we had a very unusal suprise. We found out that having dinner by candle light took on a whole new meaning.

    The power outage we had due to high winds and falling trees made our stay memorable.

    We stayed at Cambria Pines were the entire hotel was powered by candle light and glow sticks.

    The night that Hospitality night was to bring tons of people out to stroll the streets enjoying treats and making new friends became and evening of dark streets, closed doors and a few strollers lingering by.

    Over all even though we missed Hospitality night, we had a great time with our friends and some of the locals at Main Street Grill. The fireplace was glowing and candles were lit on the table. I even got to talk to the cook and I take my hat off to him and the staff for holding it together and serving food and drinks in the dark.

    In CA we don't deal with the same "Buried in snow" or "Tornados" that back east has. So for us we took a unpredictable clinch in our plans and made the best of it. We now have good memories as we gathered with friends and locals making our own Hospitalty night in the dark.

  6. Bill-
    There were a few times during the 30 hours we were without power that I thought of your solar back up system. I remember the demonstration you gave a few of us a couple of years ago. I thought, what a perfect time to ge able to get some power. Thanks for the note.

    Glad you enjoyed your stay in Cambria, even during the power outage.
    By getting to the Grill you got to the right place, that is for sure.
    As you expressed, this is a great village, regardless of weather
    conditions. I agree with you however, that we are better off without
    snow or tornados. I lived through both for many years and much
    prefer the central coast.
    Thanks for your visit to the blog.

  7. Hi Tom,
    Thank you for responding. I love Cambria and plan to visit over and over again. We made the most of the black out and instead of complaints we came back with great memories and stories to tell.

    Do you live in Cambria, and if so how long? Must be a great place to live!

    Did they have hospitality night the following night on Friday? I heard they were going to do that but do not know how the turn out turned out?

    Oh and how do I get my picture next to my comment on your blog?


  8. Evelyn-
    Hospitality nigh did go on Friday evening, though there seemed to be fewer out of town people.
    I think you need to establish a google ID or account to have a photo attach to any comments you make on this or any other Blogger post.
    Good Luck