BRONSON 2000 GATHERING
AT BIG SUR
Wednesday, July 19
Well, the plane for SF has left without me. I'll be there in spirit but not in body (which is still not well enough to travel). If any of you are still interested in meeting up with some other fans, send me an email (click here), and I'll put you in touch with the contact person. I don't know exactly how it will be handled, in terms of exact locations and timing. The group will be in Big Sur sometime Saturday July 22, but I don't know if they will make the ride from SF's Fort Point (where the pilot movie begins).
To all who make it to this TCB gathering, have a great time, take photos, and have a beer at Fernwood for me.
Saturday, July 15
Unfortunately, my body is not cooperating with my dreams. I haven't been in good shape physically for several years, and I seem to be getting worse. I've been getting increasingly worse body aches and serious stomach pains over the past few days (I had ulcers 12 years ago, along with my Fibromyalgia and Rheumatoid Arthritis), and hoped they'd go away. I'm going to go to the doctor's as soon as I can, to see what's up. Maybe it's the medications I'm on. I been able to get only 3-5 hours sleep each night, these past few days.
I'd love to see California again, but not if I'm in serious pain and disability. Maybe I'll have to postpone it till the fall or later, although there's no reason on my part why others can't make the TCB pilgrimage to Big Sur on their own, together or separately, on July 22. (I could coordinate that part thru this web site.) There are only a few people (3 or 4, plus 2 or 3 wives) who have firmly committed to this, all living in the SF Bay area, so I'm the only one I know of with an airline ticket to renegotiate. And Fernwood told me there's no problem to cancel motel or camping reservations if you give them 24 hours notice.
Sorry for this bump in the road. I know that some of you really want to see this TCB gathering happen.
I'll keep you informed thru this web page.
July 2, 2000:
I don't know quite what the timing will be. There are two fans in the SF area who want to "ride" out of SF on Bronson's route Saturday, and if I travel with them, it will mean arriving at Big Sur sometime mid-afternoon (my guess is between 1 and 3 pm). I'll be staying overnight Saturday night (Big Sur's Fernwood motel and campground, 831-667-2422), and doing more Bronson sightseeing and stuff on Sunday.
I have sent faxes to Michael Parks's and Bonnie Bedelia's agents, inviting the stars to this TCB "gathering"; I don't know what will come of it but I'll post info on this page if I hear anything from them. I've also invited one of the musicians who played on the last two Michael Parks albums - and he said he'd be happy to play guitar, maybe contingent on MP appearing. I'll leave it to them to work out any musical plans. Fernwood does have a place in their lounge for live performers.
By the way, Fernwood would like to know how many TCB people will be there for the barbeque, so send me an email if you are planning to be at the barbeque.
Click here to send me an email about the barbeque or any other matter.
Web sites for Big Sur area lodging, camping, restaurants, and other info:
June 24, 2000 update:
Tentative plan is to be at Big Sur Saturday afternoon (probably around 1 or 2 p.m.), July 22. I and another fan are trying to organize a gathering on the morning of July 22 (or sometime the previous day, July 21) at the San Francisco location used in the opening scene of the pilot movie, where Bronson is called to talk his friend Nick out of jumping to his death (scene was filmed at Fort Winfield Scott). Then ride thru SF and out to Route 1 for the ride down to Big Sur (possibly also going thru one or two of the SF locations, such as the intersection scene location, and definitely going along some of the coastal area scenic vistas, etc.). If we start the journey in SF on July 22, we'll arrive at Big Sur early afternoon of the same day.
Will probably also be sidetrips to Bixby Bridge, Pfeiffer Beach ($5 parking for the beach), and other Big Sur locations used in the show.
I and at least some other TCB fans will be staying in Big Sur Saturday night at Fernwood. The Fernwood motel and campground also has a restaurant, a store and a lounge with live entertainment, and there are other campgrounds and lodging places in the area. If you want info on campgrounds, motels and other lodging for Big Sur, California, just type in those words into an internet search engine (Yahoo.com, Altavista.com, Lycos.com, etc), and you'll get plenty of web pages with descriptions and contact info.
Fernwood also has that famous barbeque on Saturday afternoon, noon til 7 p.m. ($10 per person), which we'll no doubt be at.
For those still there on Sunday, maybe a trip up to Monterey, Carmel and/or Pacific Grove for more sightseeing and TCB location visits.
If you're interested, please send me an email to let me know. The folks who put on the Fernwood barbeque also asked me to inform them how many TCBers to expect.
I'll post more scheduling and itinerary info soon.
To send me an email about this event, and/or to be put on my TCB/Big Sur 2000 email list, click here!
May 17, 2000 update:
Just a quick note to all TCB fans who are thinking of attending: I've made my reservation for Saturday, July 22, at Fernwood (in the motel), in Big Sur. I'll be at Fernwood in Big Sur by early Saturday afternoon, and will stay overnight. I'll decide a bit later on what to do for Sunday - maybe just hang around, maybe go up to Monterey, Carmel and Pacific Grove to visit TCB locations there. Maybe head up to Stockton to visit TCB locations there. Send me an email if you want to be on a special Bronson 2000 at Big Sur email list.
Hang in there!
March 3, 2000:
[Email to Michael, who offered to host a TCB gathering last fall:]
I was emailing with a guy from San Jose about a possible gathering this year at Big Sur. I suggested a ride from SF (where the first scenes were filmed in the pilot movie) to Bixby Bridge/Pfeiffer Beach, but he seemed to think it would take up to 5 hours for a leisurely ride. What do you think? Would it make more sense to confine it to Big Sur?
I talked with the General Manager at Fernwood today (he remembers the show well, but not the pilot movie), and he gave me the following location info (orientation, distance between) from north to south:
(2 miles between)
Pico Blanco access road ("Palo Colorado Canyon Road" ?)
(10 miles between)
(1 mile between)
He said there would be room for plenty of motorcycles at Pfeiffer and at the Bixby Bridge turn-off (on the north side of the bridge), and that he would be happy to have fans stop off for lunch at Fernwood. He also said that Fernwood throws a mean barbeque in the summer, Sat & Sun, 12 to 7pm, for $9.95 per person, and they would be happy to accomodate whatever size group gets organized (but would appreciate advance notice).
He also said that Fernwood has a bar (open til 2 a.m.) with a tv, and he could hook up a VCR for the fans to watch a TCB video. And the place seems very biker friendly (they host some biker-oriented groups), and for those who stay in the campground who want a beer, there's no restriction. (I don't drink much these days - health problems.)
It seems like a too-short ride, only a dozen miles, but the only other locations I know of, from the pilot movie, are up in SF and over in Stockton and north of there. I suppose fans could ride down Hwy 1 to Morro Rock (is that what it is called?) for the scenery, or else up to Monterey/Pacific Grove for the episode locations from the last 4 shows of the series, or just hang out somewhere. Maybe camp in the Big Sur area overnight, then an optional ride to Monterey/Pacific Grove the next day.
What's the climate like in the months of May thru early October, month by month? What would be good months and not so good months, and other pros and cons?
Anyway, maybe it's just cabin fever, but I couldn't help but start brainstorming about a get-together for this year. Any thoughts?
I think the guy's estimate of a "leisurely" ride from San Francisco to Big Sur at 5 hours sounds good to me, for there are some nice scenic places that cannot be rushed by. Fernwood is definitely "biker friendly" and would be a great gathering place, being centrally located to good things in both directions. And that summer BBQ is to die for, as long as you're not watching your meat intake. I had trouble finishing mine. Hopefully, Bixby
Bridge will be finished with the earthquake retrofitting by this spring and
summer. It is in full swing at this time, looking very messy and not very
photogenic. When they are done, it will still look like the great span it
always has been, but will be ready for more typical California shakers.
The weather is usually great from about April to October, you never can tell
though, we had some great weather down there this weekend. Sunny days and
clear starlit nights. It also rained like hell. But it is still my favorite
place on earth, second only to the West coast of Ireland.
Anyway, let me know when you want to do this, and how many days you want to
do it in, and we'll do some Bronson cruising. Oh, by the way, the old Pico Blanco campground is accessed by Palo Colorado Road. I need to ride down that road and see what's up there. The Pico [Boy Scout] camp sign is no longer there.
Hopefully I got to most of your questions.
I talked again with the owner of Fernwood, the Big Sur campground and restaurant. He will help as he can, to make this happen. He is checking on availability at his place and will contact me soon.
He did say that there will be a big golf tournament during the second and third weekends of June, and the Fernwood campground and motel get filled up quickly and the area is very crowded. That leaves the first and fourth weekends for June.
As for "convention rooms", he has a room off of the main restaurant that could accomodate a group of people, but not too many (100 is out of the question). The room would probably be available in the mornings and afternoons, but it is where the live entertainment performs in the evening. He said that the Big Sur state park has a conference room for a modest fee, and the Big Sur Grange also has a large room in their building. He could arrange these, possibly.
From the February 2000 newsletter:
Here's a thought. The place in Big Sur with the gas pumps where Bronson meets Temple Brooks (Bonnie Bedelia), in the pilot movie, is called Fernwood. It is located 10 miles south of the Bixby Bridge and a couple miles north of the beach where Bronson first sees her (first in her wedding dress, and then in her birthday suit). It has over 60 campsites, plus a general store, restaurant and bar (with live entertainment), and a weekend barbeque that a TCB fan says is great (for $10). There are other campgrounds all around the area, public and private, some in Redwood groves, and there are some motels and lodging facilities. We could meet there on a Saturday, and do whatever (TCB location sightseeing, etc.). And for those who stay overnight, there's Sunday, to do more of whatever (TCB episodes were also filmed up a couple dozen miles in Monterey and Pacific Grove). It won't be an "organized" "convention", although I may try to put some more structure to it as time goes by. And some of the activities will be weather-dependent, obviously.