Monday, March 13, 2017


    Some 450 to 500 people are cut off from the world and isolated in a paradise.
    The failure of a bridge and landslides burying portions of majestic California Highway 1 have isolated and cut in half the community of Big Sur.
Photo Courtesy of Mercury News
      The Pfeiffer bridge, damaged in winter storms, will be demolished this week. Those who know speculate it will be a year before the route from Big Sur north to Carmel, Monterey and San Francisco is open.
 Slide photos courtesy of Big Sur Kate
     Slides and road erosion have closed the Pacific Coast Highway south of Big Sur to Ragged Point about 20 miles north of Cambria. It is likely the slides and road cave-ins will be repaired sooner.
      Presently, the residents of Big Sur and environs including a monastery of monks have no way out. Food, propane, animal food and supplies have been air lifted in.
       The famed Nepenthe Restaurant, Ventana and Post Ranch resorts, historic Deetjens Big Sur Inn, the Coast Gallery and Tree Bones Yurts and Restaurant are among those places shuttered until the road is open. 
       Also closed as well is the Henry Miller Museum. A friend's house where the author spent time is now a delightful Big Sur address-a library, bookstore, curio shop,  concert, film and lecture venue.

     We rarely make the drive up the coast that we don't stop at the Miller. 
      Our favorite hiking trails are also off limits until the road is open again.
   It has been our custom to enjoy the some two and half hour drive from Cambria to Carmel for a lunch or a get-away. 
    The drive is world famous because it is spectacular and an engineering marvel, but sometimes nature is not to be denied.
       We are simply inconvenienced, denied access to some of California's beauty but those who are stranded face separated families, loss of employment, threats to the viability of their businesses with no clear indication of when things will be made right.
       Big Sur hit my consciousness during the "back to the earth" and "flower child" era. I'd read Kerouac and had been dazzled not only by the music of the 67 Monterey Pop Festival, but scenes of Big Sur, Monterey and San Francisco. The beauty of the area was alluring.
      The first trip to Big Sur came in 1969 when our pal Jim Cahill drove Lana and me from Manhattan Beach up to hike and camp at Big Sur's Lime Kiln Canyon. Love at first sight. It is probably the magnet that drew us to California. 
        With vacations to Big Sur now off calendars and schedules we will occasionally post archive shots and hope they help a bit.

circus trumpus
  •      Compass needles are spinning.  It seems this White House and the Fed are on a collision course. Trump wants to fan economic growth but the Fed fears it could overheat and so moves to permit slower growth. Who is your money on?
  •       Experts in both parties say this administration is the slowest in history to complete transition, including key appointments. Both Republicans and Democrats say they are way behind and it could cause problems.  
  •       The head of the EPA has views on carbon and the climate that are diametrically opposed to science.
      While none of this is particularly surprising, it is none the less annoying to the majority of Americans who rejected his ideas. It is further evidence of a lack of qualification and experience  and has furthered speculation about how long he may last. Who knows if there is anything to it other than pipe dreams of millions of worried Americans, though it is making for a dangerous bit of wagering.
      Ladbrokes, the English gaming house is offering odds on the Trump presidency including impeachment, leaving office before his term, a visit to Russia and other lines. Gamblers can find a line on almost anything. Ladbrokes is a "legitimate" business and is listed on the London Stock Exchange, so their Trump lines are "respectable." 
      Other games, less respectable, have speculated on Trump's health and longevity. One wonders about the people who would put money on those lines and how do the book makers set odds on. This is different than "legitimate" gamers who bet on sports. How deep down a rabbit hole have we come when you can make book on whether the president will stay alive. Odd bets, odd games in a world where big money can crash the odds.
       Maybe it's not so surprising when a former casino and real estate hustler takes over the White House. 

     See you down the trail.


  1. What is most pitiful is the fate of those ignorant fools who put this ass in the White House and continue to cheer him on.

    1. Don't you think some of his voters will begin to realize they were sold a bill of goods or put their "angry" and "government is broken" vote on the wrong dog? I would think that someone who lost their home to foreclosure would know the lie when Mnuchin and Ross were appointed-as they were the kings of foreclosure. But as you say there are also the ignorant brand of fool-including people like Bannon, Miller et al.

    2. Oh, I think the wind will change when the chickens come home to roost. (Are those enough cliches for one sentence?) Sorry I forgot to comment on the Big Sur disaster. But the folks from SF can still reach it can't they? Or is it completely cut off?

    3. Bruce-
      They are completely cut off. The bridge failure closes their route north. It will be a long time before one is able to make the SF, Carmel, Monterey to Big Sur drive. They will need to build a new bridge or open a land route through a Canyon.

  2. Love your photos of Big Sur. Definitely one of nature's masterpieces.

    As for Trumplethinskin; just further proof that lots of people just love blaming everyone else for their predicament which, eventually, will come back to bite them in the tush.

    1. The inspiration derived from Big Sur is palpable. Thank you for your appreciation.
      You are so right about "Trumplethinskin" (BTW I love that name). Karma can be tough!

    2. I'm with Tom: "Trumplethinskin" is a piece of genius!

  3. Brings back memories of Big Sur, circa that same timeframe, there first in 71. I remember a dinner at Nepenthe, maybe 73 or so, some attendings at UCSF I remember some bottles of good 70 burgundy, and a few of the newly-noticed California cabs.
    I truly fear we have passed the point of reconciliation....of coming together, finding common ground. I don't think I have one thing in common with the at least 24 million 'true trump supporters'....and maybe more. I have no reason to live with, or around, these people.
    The United States is an arbitrary border.....mostly decided for reasons that have nothing to do with logic. If boundaries are supportable for a logical reason.
    I'm as pessimistic as I've ever been about the future of this country.
    The lives of 'countries' are pretty predictable. Of the more stable ones, about 2-300 years is about the average, before radical changes, affecting the original foundations of the country, occur.
    We're there.

    1. There have been some good new vintages added to the menus as well.

      I agree with your concern about reconciliation being in the past, part of the Trump toxicity.

  4. History, if there will be a history, will look back on the late 20th and early 21st centuries in America as having the most bizarre "leadership" in human, uhh, history.

    1. I can't help but think the people or intelligent machines that survive will look back at this time when so many doubt science, have their own alternative facts and live with post-truth as a time when ignorance was both celebrated and the nexus of a movement, or movements.