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Friday, July 31, 2009

Big Sur, California, Forest Fires

fire beach sceneThis picture has not been doctored to appear yellow, the yellow shows you our proximity to the Forest Fires that ravaged much of California last summer. Some of the areas we had planned to travel to were off limits. Some areas were smoky, some were yellow from the flames, some streets and cars had ash from fires, carried sometimes for miles. This pretty but very eerie scene was around Big Sur. We traveled quite a ways, only to find out we couldn't get throw and had turn around and head back. We were then able to approach some of the area the next morning from the other side.
yellow sky and sunThe sun did come out a few times, tried hard to burn away the smoke, fog, smog etc, but was unable to. This is one of the few times we actually saw the sun. We passed a staging area for the fireman, a fire camp loaded with equipment before we had to turn around.
fire fighting drop planeWe spotted planes that were making drops of chemicals and water on the fires in several locations. Normally Big Sur is crowded is with fisherman, hikers, campers, as well as those that come to shop, eat in the many lodges. A beautiful area in the central California Coast area bordering the Santa Lucia Mountain Range.

Bixby BridgeBixby Bridge, about 13 miles south of Carmel, one of the worlds tallest single span bridges is also one of the most photographed. You can see why.
Big Sur LighthouseBig Sur Light Station...hard to see I know but it's there way way on top of this large outcropping. We were looking at this from the main road. Off to the left is a narrow rode leading up, though it it was not open to visitors during this time. It is possible to tour this lighthouse with advanced reservations. It's listed as one of the top 10 haunted lighthouses in the US, is registered as a National Historic Landmark. Limited numbers are permitted to tour the facility in this ghost town. The light station was opened in 1899 and the last keeper left in 1974, when it became automated. Parts of the park area in Big Sur were closed, other parts had signs suggesting volunteer evacuation, and no one new was permitted in. Shortly after we existed the park, it was closed due to the fire.
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28 comments:

  1. Those California wildfires are so horrible. We traveled down the Big Sur highway two years ago and a wildfire closer to I-5 was causing some problems but not near the issues as was happening last year. It's such a beautiful drive from Big Sur to Hearst Castle - when the smoke isn't hiding it!

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  2. I can only imagine how devastating the fires were and are in California and elsewhere. Looks like you were still able to get some good shots and view some things. Maybe you will go back again and see the things you missed last year. Haunted Light House, huh! Don't know about that one.

    Friends 4 Life!

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  3. Hello Sandy,
    I appreciate your honesty and your opinion. I suppose we will just have to wait and see what happens then decide what is or was right for our great nation. I hope you are right my friend!

    Friends 4 Life!

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  4. Beautiful photos despite the smoke. Hope the wild fires are under control soon

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  6. The smokey skies are definitely eerie. But they make for dramatic photos.

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  7. Hi Sandy. When you came back and posted a couple of new comments, the first one linked again to that other blog, but the second one link to this one, so you should be OK now.

    So long as I'm over here, I would just like to say that should I ever drive across the Bixby Bridge I'll be sure to pack a parachute in the car. Seriously.

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  8. We wanted to go up route 1 to San Francisco However the fires were our concern. Nice to see your photos. We use to live in that area. Did you go to Hearst Castle in San Simeon? we visited there in the 80's, really liked the castle.

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  9. Your pictures are beautiful, even in such tragedy. Three years ago, here where we are, we had huge wild fires. Even though they were more than an hour away, the smoke was so thick you could not go outside, and the sky was orange, we have pictures too. It looks like a blazing sunset in the middle of the day.

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  10. I agree with you Julia, the eerie and the dramatic; funny how they do seem to go together.

    Historic...parachute, I hadn't thought about that; but you are really up there, lol thanks for the thumbs up on my link, no glue what happened the first time, some strange computer gliche probably

    Auntie E, we had all the information about Hearst Castle, but decided at the last minute to pass it by. I think I remember it being a bit pricey and our timing was off, based on when we wanted to get to our hotel. Something like that seems to come back in my brain.

    Melissa, can't imagine living there during one of those fires, the air quality must be a real problem.

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  11. I was also there when there was a big fire, can't remember the year anymore, something like 1993-4.

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  12. Very sad! A couple of years ago, I made this drive and even stayed at the Post Ranch Inn at Big Sur. It was absolutely amazing!!! Very sad to see that the fires are ruining this beautiful piece of earth.

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  13. I love seeing your photo's I went through Big Sur many years ago on a bus and only had the chance to glimpse certain areas which were beautiful at the time and wished I would have had time to explore. Great photo's even though they were under tragic circumstances.

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  14. Wow, that's a bit alarming. I had several fires behind my house in Florida not to long ago.

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  15. We lived in Monterey for 2 1/2 yrs - a long time ago when hubby was going Naval Post Grad School - that whole area is so amazingly beautiful! The drive through Big Sur was always one our favorite things to do with the kids! Loved Carmel too!

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  16. sadly, we get some of the most beautiful pictures when there are smoke in the sky, i can relate since i am from california too. you have beautiful pictures of big sur, and big sur is one of my favorite places on earth.

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  17. PS....i forgot to mention, we visited Big Sur again this year, and though we were not able to hike at Limekiln State Park because of fire rehabilitation, but am glad to see that Big Sur has kept its enchanting beauty. It was still very beautiful, like the first time I went there.

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  18. oh no that is so sad. bush fires sound so scary. sorry it ruined parts of your trip

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  19. Wow. The orange sky makes for great shots but the circumstances are less than favorable. I'm sure you found great alternative activities to make up for the detours. Thanks again for taking us along.

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  20. California and their forest fires! What a shame. Beautiful photographs!

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  21. I'm visiting from harriets and couldnt resist a yarn lover and crocheter! Im off to check out your other posts :)

    tracy

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  22. Hi!

    I came over from Harriet's featured site. I am another featured blogger and thought I'd come by to see your blog! I like your pictures

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  23. I remember that fire. I was at work and the TV was on in one of the patient's rooms. A coworker walked in and asked where the fire was. Me...being a jerk, said. Your house. {He lived in Chino Hills}. The next day {I think} Guess where the newest fire was? Chino, Anaheim, Brea, Yorba Linda... Yep. I felt like crap.

    The sky was an eerie shade. Very surreal.

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  24. I had the same picture of Bixby Bridge:D Unfortunately, we always have bush fires here in CA:(... we even had problems lately coz the association limits our watering schedule. Our grass are all brown now:(( and u can see some hills with brown bushes that will seem to catch fire so easily:((

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  25. lovely pictures despite the smoke enveloping the place. and thanks for visiting and i appreciate your regular EC drops. i'm sorry i couldn't find your EC widget until today. :)

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  26. Thank you for visiting my website recently, this is an outstanding post, the photographs are excellent, I will return to visit your site often.

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  27. I initially thought that the first pic was an old yellowed photo but was surprised to read that it was caused by smoke. I do hope that the recovery of the area will underway. I love the Bixby bridge and i hope someday i can visit that and take a picture of it too:)

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  28. Isnt' it amazing that there is beauty in fire and destruction. Photos are amazing...

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