Big Sur In Recovery Mode

No matter how little time I get to spend in Big Sur (more than most people, less than I would like), I think of this part of the world as my West Coast home. Isolated. Rugged. Beautiful. Landscape of novels. When I think of iconic California, I think of the Big Sur Coast before I think of Yosemite.

Big Sur was hit hard by fires this past fall (2016) and even harder by this winter’s rains. The fires stripped the vegetation, and the rains pounded the land, creating landslides, washouts, and weather mayhem. People were evacuated.

This is not unusual for Big Sur. In my years tromping up and down the coast, road closures happened periodically due to mudslides. Huge mudslides. And fires were always a threat in the summer and fall. This season was particularly hard though.

This is the first time in my memory that all of my favorite hangouts on the coast have been cutoff by multiple landslides to the south and a bridge washout to the north. (SF Chronicle – more images)

One of these places is Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn, who sent out a note to its regulars via its facebook page:

Dear Friends of Deetjen’s,

This is the first time we are reaching out to our friends and clientele. We are in serious need. An emergency proclamation has been declared for our area.

Last summer the 134,000 acre Soberanes fire almost caused Deetjen’s to close full scale operations. Deetjens remained open primarily as a service to the community and also to serve those few intrepid guests who chose to visit. That was a major shock operationally but one from which we expected a full recovery. Unfortunately, the winter’s rains shut down all access from the south and, as can be seen in these photos, severely damaged our property, totally destroying Creek House (a duplex unit), Stokes and Faraway cabins as well as compromising many other historic structures and all the internal roadways. The coup de grace was the compromised structural integrity and consequent closing of the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge on Highway 1 to the north. This closure dictated we close completely, a result shared with our neighbors Nepenthe, Ventana and the Post Ranch Inn and devastating to the families who depended on this work for their sustenance.

We intend to retain a skeleton staff for the anticipated 4-5 month closure and in order to do so we badly need your support. A consequence of our not for profit mission to provide an affordable Big Sur experience has been that we have not built large financial reserves. A donation of any amount will be greatly appreciated.

We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization and as such any donation should be deductible by you on your tax returns. Donations can be made by credit card, Pay Pal or check which we will acknowledge appropriately.

Any questions should be addressed to Doris Jolicoeur at 831-667-2377 or Jeanne Crowley at
Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn Preservation Foundation Inc.

To donate, please visit us here: Paypal

Deetjen’s is the go-to place for locals and travelers alike for breakfast and the most affordable accommodations (above camping) in the area. The people who work there are wonderful and the place deserves your donations to restore the property. That’s my opinion, of course.

It seems that Ventana, Post Ranch, The Henry Miller Library, Nepenthe, and Esalen, as well as all places in between are also cut off until further notice.

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