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THANK YOU FOR READING THIS IMPORTANT INFORMATION - updated February 25, 2021 

ALERT: Due to a January 26-28 storm, Highway 1 is closed from Big Creek Vista Point in the south to just north of Lime Creek Bridge in the north. Long-term, there is a significant washout of the Highway 1 at Rat Creek (just north of Big Creek Reserve and just south of Esalen Institute). Expect this closure to be in place until summer 2021. Nacimiento-Fergusson Road (which connects Highway 1 at Kirk Creek with Fort Hunter Liggett on the eastern side of the Coast Ridge) is also significantly damaged and may not be open for quite some time.  

Effective January 22, 2021 U.S. Forest Service - Los Padres National Forest has re-opened most unburned areas of the Monterey Ranger District. In and around the northern Ventana Wilderness, most lands north of and including the Marble Peak Trail are open. Wilderness camps in the backcountry can be accessed from the Arroyo Seco Recreation Area near Greenfield (off 101) or via Tassajara Road deep in the Carmel Valley. 

The Pine Ridge Trail from Big Sur Station to Redwood Camp remains closed. 

Lands south of Willow Creek Road, including most of the Silver Peak Wilderness, are also open.

Most secondary roads (including Del Venturi/Milpitas, Nacimiento-Fergusson, Plaskett Ridge, Willow Creek/Los Burros, & South Coast Ridge roads) remain gated and closed. 

This map depicts the closure boundary. Not sure if a particular road, trail, or camp is open? Call the Monterey Ranger District at 831-385-5434. Please enjoy your public lands responsibly. When in place, abide by NO CAMPFIRE restrictions. Pack out everything you pack in (including toilet paper). Leave this special place better than you found it. Leave No Trace ethics are more important than ever with visitors concentrated in fewer places to go.  

State Parks 

The following are open for day use:  Point Lobos State Natural Reserve, Garrapata State Park - Soberanes Canyon Trail, Andrew Molera State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park (tours only), and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park (go online or call to find out if the park's campgrounds are open)  

The following remain closed: Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, John Little State Natural Reserve, Limekiln State Park  

KNOW BEFORE YOU GO (additional US Forest Service information for the Monterey Ranger District): Please note that the information above is oftentimes more up-to-date than the US Forest Service site. Call 831-385-5434 with questions. 

 

Ventana Wilderness Forums • View topic - Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

This is the place for general discussion and backcountry information.

Moderators: Betsy M, dknapp1

Re: Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby AaronP on Sun May 31, 2020 5:47 pm

I am a Big Sur local and myself had never been to Botchers. I hiked there solo on May 9th 2020 for a morning hike not overnight. I also ran into said individual, his name is Larry. He was very nice but also informed me the LPNF was closed. I had not done my homework enough to know he was wrong, developed campground were indeed closed but not the entire wilderness. I want to go back next weekend and camp at little sur campground.
Did you have any issues there other than running into Larry at Botchers? I will call the forest service tomorrow to inquire as well.


I had not really encountered any other issues along our way to Fox Camp besides having to route find and bushwhack a little because of washouts and fallen trees. Larry had informed me of a man than came through with an intent to camp at Little Sur Camp and I believe that he made his way. Check the trail reports because I believed that he or someone after him had left one. The trailhead down to the camp from the road seemed impassable though I didn't take that great of a look. Making your way down to where the road intersects the creek may be an easier option.
AaronP
 
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Re: Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby innature on Sun May 31, 2020 3:57 pm

[quote="AaronP"][quote="Jim Ringland"]Interesting picture from the turn off to Pico Blanco Camp.

I have no great personal insights, but a little web searching, which you can do as well as I can, was enough to learn the two names go fairly far back and that both still occasionally show up. Google searches on "Bouchers Gap Big Sur" and "Bottchers Gap Big Sur" were productive. In particular, see the Wikipedia article on Bottcher's Gap. The USGS site for viewing historic topo maps at https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/viewer/ ... /-121.7119 is interesting too for what names do and do not show up when.

If you find yourself getting more and more interested in the area history, find a copy of Donald Clark's [i]Monterey County Place Names[/i]. Several years ago someone on this forum -- it may have been Mike Splain but I can't find the post off hand and it may have been in an off-line conversation following up on a post -- recommended this to me. It's been a valuable addition to my library. There's overlap with what you can find on the web, but it added one interesting tidbit. Robinson Jeffers, in his 1947 poem [i]The Inquisitors[/i], references "Bowcher's Gap."[/quote]

All very interesting stuff. I recently picked up Henry Miller's [i]Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch[/i] and I'm thoroughly enjoying the romanticized nature of the places and people that once made up the Big Sur community. Even then it seems that there was a feeling among the locals to keep Big Sur small and sacred.

[quote="Thoreau"]Note: I find it disturbing that the Bottchers camp attendant is giving incorrect advise related to the trails being closed in that area. People like "Adrenaline" are being told bogus advise. I understand that the guy is bored, the campground has been closed for 4 years, the phone lines have been cut to that area for the same time and the campground host is getting a bit snippy but that isn't really enough of an excuse.
That guy got all the way out there only to have this guy chase him away. Its a crime.[/quote]

I met said person at Bottcher's Gap a few weeks ago on a trip up the Little Sur and he was also advising that portions of trails in LPNF were said to be closed, however he did say that he wasn't going to tell me not to continue after I had informed him that I have done my research in checking all LPNF closure orders and that none in that area were on those orders. After that he offered to provide a fire permit if needed and gave guidance of my intended route from the overlooking ridge. However, this was before the most recent updated order that included the Turner Creek Trail.

I also met a local in a vehicle past the fence closure and he also tried to tell me that the area in which we were traveling was closed to hiking. I had informed him too that no nearby trails were on the forest closure order and he backed off saying that he hadn't even read the whole order in it's entirety.

My advise for anyone heading up that way would be to print out a map and the closure orders in case you need to correct the record for anyone up there.[/quote]

I am a Big Sur local and myself had never been to Botchers. I hiked there solo on May 9th 2020 for a morning hike not overnight. I also ran into said individual, his name is Larry. He was very nice but also informed me the LPNF was closed. I had not done my homework enough to know he was wrong, developed campground were indeed closed but not the entire wilderness. I want to go back next weekend and camp at little sur campground.
Did you have any issues there other than running into Larry at Botchers? I will call the forest service tomorrow to inquire as well.
innature
 

Re: Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby AaronP on Sat May 30, 2020 7:18 pm

Redleader wrote:I wrote the Wikipedia article about Bottcher's Gap and most of the WP articles about the Little Sur River, Camp Pico Blanco, and Pico Blanco. I found a reference some time ago that "Sherman Comings, a descendant of a family who purchased property near Bottcher's Gap in 1927, says his family spelled the name Boucher. I have been unable to find additional references using that spelling.

But more importantly, I found records with the full name of the patentee. John Gottfried Boettcher was born in Prussia in 1833. He was in the USA by 1871, when he was registered to vote in San Mateo, California. He became a naturalized citizen on 19 Oct 1876 in Sonoma. He was living in Castroville in 1880 and in Monterey in 1882. He married his wife Pauline Draitwell in Salinas on 25 Dec 1887. He obtained two patents using the surname Bottcher, one on 25 Sep 1888 for 160 acres, and one on June 24, 1890 for 120 acres. The three sections of land were located in Twp 018S Range 001E Sect 24: E½NW¼, NW¼NE¼, and NE¼SW¼.

I found his obituary, which states,
Died of Pneumonia
John Boettcher died at Spreckles yesterday morning of pneumonia. He was a native of Germany, and in seventy-forth year of age. So far as known he has no relatives in this country. The body will be shipped to Watsonville this morning for internment.

He died on 26 November 1900. I have not been able to find out where his wife went.


This is some good information, great work!
AaronP
 
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Re: Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby Redleader on Fri May 29, 2020 11:56 pm

I wrote the Wikipedia article about Bottcher's Gap and most of the WP articles about the Little Sur River, Camp Pico Blanco, and Pico Blanco. I found a reference some time ago that "Sherman Comings, a descendant of a family who purchased property near Bottcher's Gap in 1927, says his family spelled the name Boucher. I have been unable to find additional references using that spelling.

But more importantly, I found records with the full name of the patentee. John Gottfried Boettcher was born in Prussia in 1833. He was in the USA by 1871, when he was registered to vote in San Mateo, California. He became a naturalized citizen on 19 Oct 1876 in Sonoma. He was living in Castroville in 1880 and in Monterey in 1882. He married his wife Pauline Draitwell in Salinas on 25 Dec 1887. He obtained two patents using the surname Bottcher, one on 25 Sep 1888 for 160 acres, and one on June 24, 1890 for 120 acres. The three sections of land were located in Twp 018S Range 001E Sect 24: E½NW¼, NW¼NE¼, and NE¼SW¼.

I found his obituary, which states,
Died of Pneumonia
John Boettcher died at Spreckles yesterday morning of pneumonia. He was a native of Germany, and in seventy-forth year of age. So far as known he has no relatives in this country. The body will be shipped to Watsonville this morning for internment.

He died on 26 November 1900. I have not been able to find out where his wife went.
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Re: Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby AaronP on Mon Apr 27, 2020 5:36 pm

Jim Ringland wrote:Interesting picture from the turn off to Pico Blanco Camp.

I have no great personal insights, but a little web searching, which you can do as well as I can, was enough to learn the two names go fairly far back and that both still occasionally show up. Google searches on "Bouchers Gap Big Sur" and "Bottchers Gap Big Sur" were productive. In particular, see the Wikipedia article on Bottcher's Gap. The USGS site for viewing historic topo maps at https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/viewer/ ... /-121.7119 is interesting too for what names do and do not show up when.

If you find yourself getting more and more interested in the area history, find a copy of Donald Clark's Monterey County Place Names. Several years ago someone on this forum -- it may have been Mike Splain but I can't find the post off hand and it may have been in an off-line conversation following up on a post -- recommended this to me. It's been a valuable addition to my library. There's overlap with what you can find on the web, but it added one interesting tidbit. Robinson Jeffers, in his 1947 poem The Inquisitors, references "Bowcher's Gap."


All very interesting stuff. I recently picked up Henry Miller's Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch and I'm thoroughly enjoying the romanticized nature of the places and people that once made up the Big Sur community. Even then it seems that there was a feeling among the locals to keep Big Sur small and sacred.

Thoreau wrote:Note: I find it disturbing that the Bottchers camp attendant is giving incorrect advise related to the trails being closed in that area. People like "Adrenaline" are being told bogus advise. I understand that the guy is bored, the campground has been closed for 4 years, the phone lines have been cut to that area for the same time and the campground host is getting a bit snippy but that isn't really enough of an excuse.
That guy got all the way out there only to have this guy chase him away. Its a crime.


I met said person at Bottcher's Gap a few weeks ago on a trip up the Little Sur and he was also advising that portions of trails in LPNF were said to be closed, however he did say that he wasn't going to tell me not to continue after I had informed him that I have done my research in checking all LPNF closure orders and that none in that area were on those orders. After that he offered to provide a fire permit if needed and gave guidance of my intended route from the overlooking ridge. However, this was before the most recent updated order that included the Turner Creek Trail.

I also met a local in a vehicle past the fence closure and he also tried to tell me that the area in which we were traveling was closed to hiking. I had informed him too that no nearby trails were on the forest closure order and he backed off saying that he hadn't even read the whole order in it's entirety.

My advise for anyone heading up that way would be to print out a map and the closure orders in case you need to correct the record for anyone up there.
AaronP
 
Posts: 45
Joined: Tue Mar 12, 2019 8:07 pm

Re: Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby Imaginer on Mon Apr 27, 2020 3:36 pm

The sign seems to say:

Left -- pico blanco camp 1 1/2 miles (to the boy scout camp, or the public camp??)
Left -- S Frk Little Sur River (this suggests the S.frk and Pico Public are left 1 1/2 miles)
Left -- Coast Road 6 miles
Right -- Bouchers Gap 6 miles
Right -- N. Frk Little Sur 1 1/2 what is 1 1/2 mile from the North Fork ??)

It boggling. Maybe the sign was at the Manuel Pk trail intersection with Little Sur trail when approached from the Manuel Peak trail ?? But did the Manuel peak trail exist when this image was created ??
Imaginer
 

Re: Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby Thoreau on Mon Apr 27, 2020 11:38 am

Fantastic image ! Where was that sign located ?

Note: I find it disturbing that the Bottchers camp attendant is giving incorrect advise related to the trails being closed in that area. People like "Adrenaline" are being told bogus advise. I understand that the guy is bored, the campground has been closed for 4 years, the phone lines have been cut to that area for the same time and the campground host is getting a bit snippy but that isn't really enough of an excuse.
That guy got all the way out there only to have this guy chase him away. Its a crime.
Thoreau
 

Re: Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby Jim Ringland on Sun Apr 26, 2020 8:35 pm

Interesting picture from the turn off to Pico Blanco Camp.

I have no great personal insights, but a little web searching, which you can do as well as I can, was enough to learn the two names go fairly far back and that both still occasionally show up. Google searches on "Bouchers Gap Big Sur" and "Bottchers Gap Big Sur" were productive. In particular, see the Wikipedia article on Bottcher's Gap. The USGS site for viewing historic topo maps at https://ngmdb.usgs.gov/topoview/viewer/ ... /-121.7119 is interesting too for what names do and do not show up when.

If you find yourself getting more and more interested in the area history, find a copy of Donald Clark's Monterey County Place Names. Several years ago someone on this forum -- it may have been Mike Splain but I can't find the post off hand and it may have been in an off-line conversation following up on a post -- recommended this to me. It's been a valuable addition to my library. There's overlap with what you can find on the web, but it added one interesting tidbit. Robinson Jeffers, in his 1947 poem The Inquisitors, references "Bowcher's Gap."
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Lost in Translation[Bottchers Gap]

Postby AaronP on Sat Apr 25, 2020 9:19 pm

I was doing some light research on the history of Big Sur and I came accross this photo from approximately the 1930's. Anyone know when Bouchers Gap became formally known as Bottchers Gap?
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