Big Sur

grapedrink

Tom Curren status
May 21, 2011
12,453
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A Beach
I've been camping 4x this summer in high sierras. Two times in back country and two times in non-pay campsites. It's been unbelievably crowded all 4x. Nearly every campground I passed on the way up has been full, including the non-pay sites where I camped.

Maybe the most crowds I've seen in the last decade. Still awesome but when you come around the bend at 10,000' and see 20 other people camping at the lakes in the basin, it's like :foreheadslap:

I get it though. People are beyond desperate to escape the madness.
A buddy of mine was at Mammoth a few weeks ago. Said it was packed, although the locals told him that most years it is pretty mellow in the summer. I doubt this is from a sudden surge in popularity, I'd say it's a combo of people not working and everyone who had to cancel their summer plans that involved flying.
 
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llilibel03

Phil Edwards status
Jul 28, 2005
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I've been camping 4x this summer in high sierras. Two times in back country and two times in non-pay campsites. It's been unbelievably crowded all 4x. Nearly every campground I passed on the way up has been full, including the non-pay sites where I camped.

Maybe the most crowds I've seen in the last decade. Still awesome but when you come around the bend at 10,000' and see 20 other people camping at the lakes in the basin, it's like :foreheadslap:

I get it though. People are beyond desperate to escape the madness.
Man, I hope the increase in crowds is temporary, a result of covid19. I've read articles about how the crowds this year in National Parks were full of first timers who were not respecting the rules and norms (stay on rails, don't leave trash, maintain quiet). I hope next year they can all go back to Las Vegas.
 
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Chocki

Gerry Lopez status
Feb 18, 2007
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Planet Earth
First time caller, long time listener.

Growing up, there talk of a type of cannabis that bled red when it was cut , got you that very wakeful sort of high, and it came from Hawaii.

As with many good drug fables, some it might be true.

Was there a type of cannabis that grew in Hawaii that had red sap? Or a type that grew elsewhere with a red sap?

I'll take my answer off the air, and thank-you for your time.
Never heard of such a thing. Sounded like a total crock. Looked into it. Was for real (Bloodweed).
Thread below is gold based on the old HT articles about the islands, let alone the history/stories in the thread. Space people. Universal love.

 
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Leaverite

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Dec 19, 2017
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Central Cal
Someone mentioned the 70's? That's when me and my buddy's started going there a lot after I got my first '66 VW camper van.
Willow Creek and Jade Bob, don't know if any of you know but he had a place up in the forest above WC that looked like something straight out of the Hobbit, we used to go up and burn a few with him.
Used to pull over on the hwy next to the creek in Big sur and put out the hibachi and BBQ steaks with no hassles from anybody.
Pitched many a tent at the Plaskett Creek parking lot free with no hassles.
That Molera trail? pretty cool except I've never seen so many ticks on my board sock, stopped using that.
Surf at Sand Dollar in the Fall on high pressures - offshore glass, maybe a couple of other locs would show up.
It was like that into the mid-late 80's then started noticing the change - too many people started loving it to death.
Wife and I were up there this last March, seemed pretty mellow, but know what it was going to be like in a month or so.
I know it's a cliche, but damn I'm glad I got when I did :)
BTW, crowds at spots like those photos makes me want to cry too. :(
I remember Jade Bob. I think the first time I made it down to Willow was in Fall 1976. My brother and I, right after I got my drivers license. I worked in Monterey for years during the late 80's/early 90's. I would just keep all of my camping/surf gear in my truck. Drive to work on Friday morning from Aptos, back then it was about a 25 minute commute. Work all day then would hit the Safeway off of Rio road for food, supplies and ice. Head down to Big Sur. If there was enough daylight left, get in an evening sesh. Rinse off and camp. Surf all weekend long and camp. Including Sunday night. Get up early Monday morning, drive back to Monterey and put my corporate clothes back on and work all day. Then back home Monday evening to Aptos to clean up, rinse everything off and get ready to repeat.

I did this routine for weeks on end during the summer. Ended up meeting, becoming friends with a lot of the die hard locals down there. Always had a dozen little hidden spots to choose from to stealth camp. Leave it like you found it.
 

silentbutdeadly

Duke status
Sep 26, 2005
25,581
4,391
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Tower 13
i use the campground bathrooms once a day to take a shvt and that's it.

june trip wasn't too bad although it was busy. last week was good but we stayed at a shut down camp cause our group knows the guy that lives there.

I guess we'll see when I head back up in sept. to the eastern sierra. normally it's busy with photogs. hopefully people will be over it by then. I guess you can't blame people. most vacations cancelled so they're looking for stuff to do within a drive.
 

Leaverite

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Dec 19, 2017
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Central Cal
An early morning emergency sh!t at Willow. Cold, foggy, drizzly day. Left camp and the first cup of coffee kicked in.

Scootched on down to the two options. Pulled on the first, uphill door. It was occupied!!!! The only port in the storm for some Troll. Along with those big, inch long, black flies.

Over the years, being forced to use them. Reading the walls. A lot of normally bright people spend waaay to much time in there.

The sad thing is, Willow is probably one of the only public restrooms on the whole South Coast. Watching the BMW/Corvette crew roll down and sending their GFs/wives into that disgusting morass. Then the ChiComs. FOB and given an American SUV. More like home to them.....

DZ. One of my good, longtime friends. He is the caretaker for Linus Pauling's ranch. He drives the PV school bus. He was ruined years back in an accident with Chinese Nationals. Down by San Simion. Came around a corner and they were doing a 3 point turn in the middle of HWY1. Destroyed his Yota. Messed him up badley. The ChiComs just got on a plane and bailed. Letting DZ to fight out with their tourist insurance coverage.

Almost happened to me. Came through the new tunnel before LimeKiln. A Red Chinese family, making a 3 point turn over a double yellow line. I just hit my breaks and closed my eyes. Nobody ploughed into the back of me. There is absolutely no reason why this should happen. Put them in a bus with a govt. supplied chaperone.
 
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Leaverite

Rabbitt Bartholomew status
Dec 19, 2017
7,945
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Central Cal
Plasket if I was going with just family would be cool. That week is the Swaylocks annual camp out. It would be a bit awkward. How do you distance from 30 friends you haven't seen in a year?
Do the right thing. Make your res at Plaskett/Kirk 6 months in advance. I like Kirk. Sitting right on the bluff over the cove. Lopez cove. In the lee of Lopez point. Sitting in your site, if you have a good one. Watching whales spout and breach for hours. We watched the Musk launch last year. Drunken surfing. "Is that the moon in the trees?" We sorted it out quickly.
 
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_____

Miki Dora status
Sep 17, 2012
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A buddy of mine was at Mammoth a few weeks ago. Said it was packed, although the locals told him that most years it is pretty mellow in the summer. I doubt this is from a sudden surge in popularity, I'd say it's a combo of people not working and everyone who had to cancel their summer plans that involved flying.
Skipped Mammoth last weekend and glad I did. If it's open the Joaquin river area (shuttle in zone) can get packed in the Summer. Sort of why I hit the S Sierra so often. It's huge and empty. I was ready to head out tonight but since it's going to be like 900º I'll probably go freedive both days. This thread is if anything a good indicator of where not to go right now :cheers:

Oh and what is a Red Chinese family, DZ, ChiCom and FOB?
 
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_____

Miki Dora status
Sep 17, 2012
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Maybe I'll drive up and dive there tomorrow. The roads might be crowded but empty reefs/paddys are a dime a dozen. :jamon: Not really into most of the kind of fish to shoot up there, tho (rockfish).
 

llilibel03

Phil Edwards status
Jul 28, 2005
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Plasket if I was going with just family would be cool. That week is the Swaylocks annual camp out. It would be a bit awkward. How do you distance from 30 friends you haven't seen in a year?
I always go with family. 6 feet. No big deal. Mask up. You're outdoors. Very low risk. Just don't take any pipes they pass to you.
 

_____

Miki Dora status
Sep 17, 2012
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Dude rock fish from here are the best fish
Totally down with rockfish if I'm camping or to eat that day but don't like dealing with them on shore dives. I look for halibut, WSB, YT but a good size ling will get the shaft most of the time. Full lightning storm this AM with dumping rain so I ran errands. I looked over the bluff a bit ago and it's swimming pool clear right now. I'll shoot a rockfish if it's a decent one.
 

Iceman

Phil Edwards status
Apr 1, 2002
6,089
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NorCenCal
Sad story from Plaskett when I was there last month. Apparently people are afraid to use the bathrooms, so a handful of campers have been shitting/peeing in buckets, but then taking the buckets into the bathrooms and dumping them in the toilets. Instant overflow and clogging. The poor camp hosts shouldn't have to deal with that. And it renders the bathrooms inoperable for everybody else until it's cleaned. Would not be surprised if it's also people camping up the fire roads where there aren't any bathrooms and then using it as a dump site. It really is sad to see how packed it has become. Still looking forward to the 9th annual New Years campout my friends and I have been partaking in. Last year was the first year out of all of them that we didn't surf. The weather was great, but it was too damn big!
 
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HarryLopez

Phil Edwards status
Jan 17, 2007
6,595
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Neck deep
Looks like a 'COVID outbreak' needs to be rumored to be spreading through Big Sur. Come on, someone with more time, energy, and the social media knowhow to pull this off resides on the erbb?
 
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afoaf

Duke status
Jun 25, 2008
33,115
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we skipped right over big sur on our trip....we tried our best to get above SF
before stopping but hit a snag in pismo because I'm dumb and then had to
tarry overnight in Aptos to set up the leap over the bay area and up to the
redwoods

six rivers and lassen are the place to be right now.

everything else is a straight up fookin mess

also, look at ANY gear site right now....

tents, bags, packs, bear cannisters....you name it...it's all sold out.

strange days, boys!

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