The Mesozoic Era is an interval of geological time from about 252 to 66 million years ago. This Era is called from a paleobotanist view the Age of Conifers, Mesozoic means middle life, deriving from the Greek prefix meso-/μεσο- for between and zōon/ζῷον meaning animal or living being. It is one of three eras of the Phanerozoic Eon, preceded by the Paleozoic and succeeded by the Cenozoic. The era is subdivided into three periods, the Triassic and Cretaceous, which are further subdivided into a number of epochs. The Mesozoic was a time of significant tectonic and evolutionary activity, the era witnessed the gradual rifting of the supercontinent Pangaea into separate landmasses that would eventually move into their current positions. The climate of the Mesozoic was varied, alternating between warming and cooling periods, however, the Earth was hotter than it is today. Birds first appeared in the Jurassic, having evolved from a branch of theropod dinosaurs, the first mammals appeared during the Mesozoic, but would remain small—less than 15 kg —until the Cenozoic.
Following the Paleozoic, the Mesozoic extended roughly 186 million years and this time frame is separated into three geologic periods. It is known as the Great Dying because it is considered the largest mass extinction in the Earths history, the upper boundary of the Mesozoic is set at the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which may have been caused by the impactor that created Chicxulub Crater on the Yucatán Peninsula. Towards the Late Cretaceous large volcanic eruptions are believed to have contributed to the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event. Approximately 50% of all genera became extinct, including all of the non-avian dinosaurs, the Triassic ranges roughly from 252 million to 201 million years ago. The Triassic is a time in Earths history bracketed between the Permian Extinction and the Triassic–Jurassic extinction event, two of the big five, and precedes the Jurassic Period and it has three major epochs, the Early Triassic, the Middle Triassic and the Late Triassic. The Early Triassic was between about 252 million to 247 million years ago and was dominated by deserts as Pangaea had not yet broken up, thus the interior was nothing, the Earth had just witnessed a massive die-off in which 95% of all life became extinct.
The most common life on earth were Lystrosaurus, labyrinthodonts. Temnospondyls evolved during this time and would be the dominant predator for much of the Triassic, the Middle Triassic spans roughly from 247 million to 237 million years ago. The Middle Triassic featured the beginnings of the breakup of Pangaea, the ecosystem had recovered from the devastation that was the Great Dying. Algae, sponge and crustaceans all had recovered, new aquatic reptiles evolved, such as ichthyosaurs and nothosaurs. Meanwhile, on land, pine forests flourished, as did groups of insects like mosquitoes, the first ancient crocodilians evolved, which sparked competition with the large amphibians that had since ruled the freshwater world
A mountain range is a geographic area containing numerous geologically related mountains. A mountain system or system of ranges, sometimes is used to combine several geological features that are geographically related. Mountain ranges are usually segmented by highlands or mountain passes and valleys, individual mountains within the same mountain range do not necessarily have the same geologic structure or petrology. They may be a mix of different orogenic expressions and terranes, for example thrust sheets, uplifted blocks, fold mountains, most geologically young mountain ranges on the Earths land surface are associated with either the Pacific Ring of Fire or the Alpide Belt. The Andes is 7,000 kilometres long and is considered the worlds longest mountain system. The Alpide belt includes Indonesia and southeast Asia, through the Himalaya, the belt includes other European and Asian mountain ranges. The Himalayas contain the highest mountains in the world, including Mount Everest, mountain ranges outside of these two systems include the Arctic Cordillera, the Urals, the Appalachians, the Scandinavian Mountains, the Altai Mountains and the Hijaz Mountains.
If the definition of a range is stretched to include underwater mountains. The mountain systems of the earth are characterized by a tree structure, the sub-range relationship is often expressed as a parent-child relationship. For example, the White Mountains of New Hampshire and the Blue Ridge Mountains are sub-ranges of the Appalachian Mountains, the Appalachians are the parent of the White Mountains and Blue Ridge Mountains, and the White Mountains and the Blue Ridge Mountains are children of the Appalachians. The position of mountains influences climate, such as rain or snow, when air masses move up and over mountains, the air cools producing orographic precipitation. As the air descends on the side, it warms again and is drier. Often, a shadow will affect the leeward side of a range. Mountain ranges are constantly subjected to forces which work to tear them down. Erosion is at work while the mountains are being uplifted and long after until the mountains are reduced to low hills, rivers are traditionally believed to be the principle erosive factor on mountain ranges, with their ability of bedrock incision and sediment transport.
The rugged topography of a range is the product of erosion. The basins adjacent to a mountain range are filled with sediments which are buried and turned into sedimentary rock. The early Cenozoic uplift of the Rocky Mountains of Colorado provides an example and this mass of rock was removed as the range was actively undergoing uplift
The Diablo Range is a mountain range in the California Coast Ranges subdivision of the Pacific Coast Ranges. It is located in the eastern San Francisco Bay area south to the Salinas Valley area of northern California, the United States. The Diablo Range extends from the Carquinez Strait in the north to Orchard Peak in the south, near the point where State Route 46 crosses over the Coast Ranges at Cholame, as described by the USGS. It is bordered on the northeast by the San Joaquin River, on the southeast by the San Joaquin Valley, on the southwest by the Salinas River, the range corresponds to the California Coast Ranges east of the Calaveras Fault in this northern section. Though the average elevation is about 3,000 feet, a summit at over 2,300 feet is considered high, mainly because the range is mostly rolling grasslands and plateaus, the plateaus are usually at about 2, 000–3,000 feet. The hills rising out of valleys rise to about 1,000 feet at most, such as the which are found near the Santa Clara Valley, Livermore Valley and San Joaquin Valley, are lowest, from 400–1,000 feet.
Canyons usually are 300–400 feet deep and valleys are deeper but gentler, the peaks often have high topographic prominence because they are typically surrounded by hills, valleys, or lower plateaus. Streams draining the slopes of the Diablo Range include Hospital Creek. Stream draining the western slopes include Alameda Creek and Coyote Creek, the Diablo Ranges following peaks and ridges are between 2, 517–5,241 feet and are distinct landmarks. Mount Diablo, San Benito Mountain, Mount Hamilton Ridge, the Diablo Range is paralleled for much of its distance by U. S. Route 101 to the west and by I-5 to the east. The Diablo Range is largely unpopulated outside of the San Francisco Bay Area, major nearby communities include Antioch, Walnut Creek, San Ramon, Livermore and the Central Valley city of Tracy. In the South Bay, communities near the range are Milpitas, eastern San Jose, Morgan Hill, South of Pacheco Pass, the only major nearby communities are Los Baños, and Hollister. The small town of Coalinga may be notable for its location on State Route 198, most of the range consists of private ranchland, limiting recreational use.
In addition, some land is held in conservation easements by the California Rangeland Trust. In addition, the elevation of 3,000 feet is not high enough to catch most of the incoming moisture at higher altitudes. Winters are mild with rainfall, but summers are very dry. Areas above 2,500 feet get light to moderate snow in the winter, especially at the highest point, though sites at the lower end get annual snowfall, it is typically light and melts too fast to be noticed. Once or twice a decade there is deep and long lasting snowfall
Hearst Castle is a National Historic Landmark and California Historical Landmark mansion located on the Central Coast of California, United States. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan, between 1919 and 1947, as a residence for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951, in 1954 it became a California State Park. The site was opened to visitors in 1958, since that time it has been operated as the Hearst San Simeon State Historical Monument where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. Despite its location far from any urban center, the site attracts millions of travelers each year, Hearst formally named the estate La Cuesta Encantada, but usually called it the ranch. Hearst Castle and grounds are sometimes referred to as San Simeon without distinguishing between the Hearst property and the adjacent unincorporated area of the same name. Invitations to Hearst Castle were highly coveted during its heyday in the 1920s and 1930s, the Hollywood and political elite often visited, usually flying into the estates airfield or taking a private Hearst-owned train car from Los Angeles.
While guests were expected to attend the formal dinners each evening, since the Ranch had so many facilities, guests were rarely at a loss for things to do. The estates theater usually screened films from Hearsts own movie studio, Hearst Castle was the inspiration for the Xanadu mansion of the 1941 Orson Welles film Citizen Kane, a fictionalization of William Randolph Hearsts career. Hearst Castle was not used as a location for the film, commercial filming is rare at Hearst Castle and most requests are turned down. U. Y. One condition of the Hearst Corporations donation of the estate was that the Hearst family would be allowed to use it when they wished. Patty Hearst, a granddaughter of William Randolph, related that as a child, the house is screened from tourist routes by a dense grove of eucalyptus to provide maximum privacy for the guests. In 2001, Patty Hearst hosted a Travel Channel show on the estate, Hearst Castle joined the National Register of Historic Places on June 22,1972 and became a United States National Historic Landmark on May 11,1976.
Hearst Castle was included as one of Americas 10 Amazing Castles by Forbes Travel. com, the estate itself is five miles inland atop a hill of the Santa Lucia Range at an altitude of 1,600 feet. The region is sparsely populated because the Santa Lucia Range abuts the Pacific Ocean, the surrounding countryside visible from the mansion remains largely undeveloped. Its entrance is approximately five miles north of Hearst San Simeon State Park, Hearst Castle was built on Rancho Piedra Blanca that William Randolph Hearsts father, George Hearst, originally purchased in 1865. The younger Hearst grew fond of this site over many childhood family camping trips and he inherited the ranch, which had grown to 250,000 acres and 14 miles of coastline, from his mother Phoebe Hearst in 1919. The Hearst Castle area has a mediterranean climate that is moderated by its relative proximity to the Pacific coastline. Hearst first approached American architect Julia Morgan with ideas for a new project in April 1915, I get tired of going up there and camping in tents
Alta California, founded in 1769 by Gaspar de Portolà, was a polity of New Spain and after the Mexican War of Independence in 1822, a territory of Mexico. The region included all of the states of California and Utah. Large areas east of the Sierra Nevada and San Gabriel Mountains were claimed to be part of Alta California, to the southeast, beyond the deserts and the Colorado River, lay the Spanish settlements in Arizona. The areas formerly comprising Alta California were ceded to the United States in the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo that ended the Mexican–American War in 1848, two years later, California joined the union as the 31st state. Other parts of Alta California became all or part of the U. S. states of Arizona, Utah and Wyoming. The Spanish explored the area of Alta California by sea beginning in the 16th century. During the following two centuries there were plans to settle the area, none of which were effectively carried out. Ultimately, New Spain did not have the resources nor population to settle such a far northern outpost.
To ascertain the Russian threat a number of Spanish expeditions to the Pacific Northwest were launched, the Spanish Crown funded the construction and subsidized the operation of the missions, with the goal that the relocation and enforced labor of Native people would bolster Spanish rule. The first Alta California mission and presidio were established by the Franciscan friar Junípero Serra, the following year,1770, the second mission and presidio were founded in Monterey. In 1773 a boundary between the Baja California missions and the Franciscan missions of Alta California was set by Francisco Palóu, the missionary effort coincided with the construction of presidios and pueblos, which were to be manned and populated by Hispanic people. The first pueblo founded was San José in 1777, followed by Los Ángeles in 1781, by law, mission land and property were to pass to the indigenous population after a period of about ten years, when the natives would become Spanish subjects. In the interim period, the Franciscans were to act as mission administrators who held the land in trust for the Native residents, the transfer of property never occurred under the Franciscans.
As the number of Spanish settlers grew in Alta California, the boundaries, conflicts between the Crown and the Church and between Natives and settlers arose. State and ecclesiastical bureaucrats debated over authority of the missions and they advocated that the Natives owned property and had the right to defend it. Governor Diego de Borica is credited with defining Alta and Baja Californias official borders, Mexico won independence in 1822, and Alta California became a territory of Mexico. The Spanish and Mexican governments rewarded retired soldados de cuera with large grants, known as ranchos, for the raising of cattle. Hides and tallow from the livestock were the primary exports of California until the mid-19th century, the construction and domestic work on these vast estates was primarily done by Native Americans, who had learned to speak Spanish and ride horses
Martin of Tours
St. Martin of Tours was Bishop of Tours, whose shrine in France became a famous stopping-point for pilgrims on the road to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. He has become one of the most familiar and recognizable Christian saints, sometimes venerated as a military saint. As he was born in what is now Szombathely, spent much of his childhood in Pavia and his life was recorded by a contemporary, the hagiographer Sulpicius Severus. Some of the accounts of his travels may have been interpolated into his vita to validate early sites of his cult. He is best known for the account of his using his sword to cut his cloak in two, to give half to a beggar clad only in rags in the depth of winter. Conscripted as a soldier into the Roman army, he found the duty incompatible with the Christian faith he had adopted, Martin was born in 316 or 336 AD in Savaria in the Diocese of Pannonia. His father was an officer in the Imperial Horse Guard, a unit of the Roman army, stationed at Ticinum, in northern Italy. The date of his birth is a matter of controversy, with both 316 and 336 having rationales, at the age of ten he attended the Christian church against the wishes of his parents, and became a catechumen.
Christianity had been made a religion in the Roman Empire. It had many adherents in the Eastern Empire, whence it had sprung. Christianity was far from accepted amongst the higher echelons of society, although the conversion of the Emperor Constantine and the subsequent programme of church-building gave a greater impetus to the spread of the religion, it was still a minority faith. As the son of an officer, Martin at fifteen was required to join a cavalry ala. At the age of 18 around 334 or 354, he was stationed at Ambianensium civitas or Samarobriva in Gaul and it is likely that he joined the Equites catafractarii Ambianenses, a heavy cavalry unit listed in the Notitia Dignitatum. Jacques Fontaine thinks that the biographer was somewhat embarrassed about referring to long stint in the army and he was charged with cowardice and jailed, but in response to the charge, he volunteered to go unarmed to the front of the troops. His superiors planned to take him up on the offer, but before they could, the invaders sued for peace, the battle never occurred, and Martin was released from military service.
Martin declared his vocation, and made his way to the city of Caesarodunum, where he became a disciple of Hilary of Poitiers and he opposed the Arianism of the Imperial Court. When Hilary was forced into exile from Pictavium, Martin returned to Italy, according to Sulpicius Severus, he converted an Alpine brigand on the way, and confronted the Devil himself. Having heard in a dream a summons to revisit his home, Martin crossed the Alps, there he converted his mother and some other persons, his father he could not win
Sedimentary rocks are types of rock that are formed by the deposition and subsequent cementation of that material at the Earths surface and within bodies of water. Sedimentation is the name for processes that cause mineral and/or organic particles to settle in place. The particles that form a rock by accumulating are called sediment. Sedimentation may occur as minerals precipitate from solution or shells of aquatic creatures settle out of suspension. The sedimentary rock cover of the continents of the Earths crust is extensive, sedimentary rocks are only a thin veneer over a crust consisting mainly of igneous and metamorphic rocks. Sedimentary rocks are deposited in layers as strata, forming a structure called bedding, sedimentary rocks are important sources of natural resources like coal, fossil fuels, drinking water or ores. The study of the sequence of rock strata is the main source for an understanding of the Earths history, including palaeogeography, paleoclimatology. The scientific discipline that studies the properties and origin of rocks is called sedimentology.
Sedimentology is part of both geology and physical geography and overlaps partly with other disciplines in the Earth sciences, such as pedology, geochemistry, sedimentary rocks have been found on Mars. Clastic sedimentary rocks are composed of rock fragments that were cemented by silicate minerals. Clastic rocks are composed largely of quartz, rock fragments, clay minerals, and mica, any type of mineral may be present, clastic sedimentary rocks, are subdivided according to the dominant particle size. Most geologists use the Udden-Wentworth grain size scale and divide unconsolidated sediment into three fractions, gravel and mud and this tripartite subdivision is mirrored by the broad categories of rudites and lutites, respectively, in older literature. The subdivision of these three categories is based on differences in clast shape and breccias), composition. Conglomerates are dominantly composed of rounded gravel, while breccias are composed of dominantly angular gravel, composition of framework grains The relative abundance of sand-sized framework grains determines the first word in a sandstone name.
Naming depends on the dominance of the three most abundant components quartz, feldspar, or the lithic fragments that originated from other rocks, all other minerals are considered accessories and not used in the naming of the rock, regardless of abundance. Clean sandstones with open space are called arenites. Muddy sandstones with abundant muddy matrix are called wackes, six sandstone names are possible using the descriptors for grain composition and the amount of matrix. Mudrocks are sedimentary rocks composed of at least 50% silt- and clay-sized particles and these relatively fine-grained particles are commonly transported by turbulent flow in water or air, and deposited as the flow calms and the particles settle out of suspension
The Miocene is the first geological epoch of the Neogene Period and extends from about 23.03 to 5.333 million years ago. The Miocene was named by Sir Charles Lyell and its name comes from the Greek words μείων and καινός and means less recent because it has 18% fewer modern sea invertebrates than the Pliocene. The Miocene follows the Oligocene Epoch and is followed by the Pliocene Epoch, the earth went from the Oligocene through the Miocene and into the Pliocene, with the climate slowly cooling towards a series of ice ages. The Miocene boundaries are not marked by a single distinct global event, the apes arose and diversified during the Miocene, becoming widespread in the Old World. By the end of this epoch, the ancestors of humans had split away from the ancestors of the chimpanzees to follow their own evolutionary path, as in the Oligocene before it, grasslands continued to expand and forests to dwindle in extent. In the Miocene seas, kelp forests made their first appearance, the plants and animals of the Miocene were fairly modern.
The Miocene faunal stages from youngest to oldest are typically named according to the International Commission on Stratigraphy, Two subdivisions each form the lower, continents continued to drift toward their present positions. Mountain building took place in western North America, both continental and marine Miocene deposits are common worldwide with marine outcrops common near modern shorelines. Well studied continental exposures occur in the North American Great Plains, India continued to collide with Asia, creating dramatic new mountain ranges. The Tethys Seaway continued to shrink and disappeared as Africa collided with Eurasia in the Turkish–Arabian region between 19 and 12 Ma. The subsequent uplift of mountains in the western Mediterranean region and a fall in sea levels combined to cause a temporary drying up of the Mediterranean Sea near the end of the Miocene. The global trend was towards increasing aridity caused primarily by global cooling reducing the ability of the atmosphere to absorb moisture, climates remained moderately warm, although the slow global cooling that eventually led to the Pleistocene glaciations continued.
Although a long-term cooling trend was well underway, there is evidence of a period during the Miocene when the global climate rivalled that of the Oligocene. The Miocene warming began 21 million years ago and continued until 14 million years ago, by 8 million years ago, temperatures dropped sharply once again, and the Antarctic ice sheet was already approaching its present-day size and thickness. Greenland may have begun to have large glaciers as early as 7 to 8 million years ago, life during the Miocene Epoch was mostly supported by the two newly formed biomes, kelp forests and grasslands. This allows for more grazers, such as horses, ninety five percent of modern plants existed by the end of this epoch. The higher organic content and water retention of the deeper and richer grassland soils, with long term burial of carbon in sediments, produced a carbon and this, combined with higher surface albedo and lower evapotranspiration of grassland, contributed to a cooler, drier climate. The expansion of grasslands and radiations among terrestrial herbivores correlates to fluctuations in CO2
California Coast Ranges
The Coast Ranges of California span 400 miles from Del Norte or Humboldt County, California south to Santa Barbara County. The other three coastal California mountain ranges are the Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges and the Klamath Mountains, physiographically, they are a section of the larger Pacific Border province, which in turn are part of the larger Pacific Mountain System physiographic division. UNESCO has included the California Coast Ranges Biosphere Reserve in its Man, the northern end of the California Coast Ranges overlap the southern end of the Klamath Mountains for approximately 80 miles on the west. They extend southward for more than 600 miles to where the coastline turns eastward along the Santa Barbara Channel, here the southern end meets the Los Angeles Transverse Ranges, or Sierras de los Angeles. The rocks themselves that comprise the mountains are of a great variety, most of the rocks were formed during the Tertiary and Jurassic periods. All of the range has been folded and faulted during several periods, the California Ranges had a high production of mercury following the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada.
In the Cache Creek Basin, Cenozoic cinnabar deposits near Clear Lake are the northernmost of a group of similar deposits associated with volcanism, during 1877, these deposits hit their peak production of mercury, producing approximately 2,776 metric tons. These abandoned mines are still a source of mine waste runoff in Cache Creek, the Northern Coast Ranges are a section of the California Coast Ranges. They run parallel to the Pacific Coast from the North San Francisco Bay Area to coastal Del Norte County, the Klamath Mountains, including the Siskiyou Mountains sub-range, lie to the north and northeast. The Southern Coast Ranges lie to the south, the Northern Coast Ranges run north-south parallel to the coast. Component ranges within the Northern Coast Ranges include the Mendocino Range of western Mendocino County and the Mayacamas and Vaca Mountains and they include the King Range, which meet the sea in the Lost Coast region. The southernmost peak of the Northern Coast Ranges is Mount Tamalpais, the highest point in the Northern Coast Ranges is Mount Linn, at 8,098 ft.
The Northern Coast Ranges consist of two parallel belts of mountains, the Outer Northern Coast Ranges lying along the coast. They are separated by a system of valleys. The northern valley portion is drained by the Eel River and its tributaries, a series of short rivers, including the Mattole and Navarro rivers, drain the western slopes of the ranges. The eastern slopes of the drain into the Sacramento Valley. Clear Lake lies in the southeast portion of the range, U. S. Route 101 runs generally north-south in the valleys between the Outer and Inner Northern Coast Ranges. The seaward face of the coastal Outer Northern Coast Ranges is part of the Northern California coastal forests ecoregion, home to forests of Coast Redwood
Saint Lucy's Day
Her feast once coincided with the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year before calendar reforms, so her feast day has become a Christian festival of light. Falling within the Advent season, Saint Lucys Day is viewed as an event signaling the arrival of Christmastide, pointing to the arrival of the Light of Christ in the calendar, on Christmas Day. Saint Lucy’s Day is celebrated most commonly in Scandinavia, with their long dark winters, where it is a major feast day, in both Protestant and Catholic churches, boys participate in the procession as well, playing different roles associated with Christmas. It is said that to vividly celebrate Saint Lucys Day will help one live the long days with enough light. In Hungary and Croatia, a tradition on Saint Lucys Day involves planting wheat grains that will eventually be several centimetres high on Christmas. An inscription in Syracuse dedicated to Euskia mentioning St Lucys Day as a local feast dates back to the 4th century A. D. The Feast of Saint Lucy became a universal feast of the Church in the 6th century, St.
Lucys Day appears in the sacramentary of Gregory, as well as that of Bede, and Christian churches were dedicated to Saint Lucy in Italy as well as in England. Saint Lucy is one of the few saints celebrated by the overwhelmingly Lutheran Nordic people — Danes, Swedes and Norwegians but in USA and Canada and Italy. It is speculated that the St. Lucys Day celebrations in Scandinavia alone may retain a few indigenous Germanic pagan, pre-Christian midwinter elements and it is likely that tradition owes its popularity in the Nordic countries to the extreme change in daylight hours between the seasons in this region. The pre-Christian holiday of Yule, or jól, was the most important holiday in Scandinavia, originally the observance of the winter solstice, and the rebirth of the sun, it brought about many practices that remain in the Advent and Christmas celebrations today. The Yule season was a time for feasting, gift-giving, and gatherings, in Scandinavia this date was the longest night of the year, coinciding with Winter Solstice, due to the Julian Calendar being employed at that time.
The same can be seen in the poem A Nocturnal upon S. Lucys Day and it is very difficult to tell the exact date of the Winter solstice without modern equipment. The choice of 13 December as Saint Lucys day and this date is attested in the pre-Tridentic Monastic calendar, probably going back to the earliest attestations of her life in the 6th and 7th centuries, and it is the date used throughout Europe. So, while the world changed from a Julian to a Gregorian calendar system—and hence acquired a new date for the Winter Solstice—St Lucys Day was kept at 13 December, and not moved to the 21. In the Roman Empire,25 December date was celebrated as being the day when the Sun was born and this date corresponding to the date of the Winter solstice. Lussinatta, the Lussi Night, was marked in Sweden 13 December, Lussi, a female being with evil traits, like a female demon or witch, was said to ride through the air with her followers, called Lussiferda. This itself might be an echo of the myth of the Wild Hunt, called Oskoreia in Scandinavia, found across Northern and Central Europe.
Between Lussi Night and Yule and evil spirits, in some the spirits of the dead, were thought to be active outside
The coast is frequently praised for its rugged coastline and mountain views. As the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the United States, Big Surs Cone Peak at 5,155 feet is only 3 miles from the ocean. The stunning views make Big Sur a popular tourist destination, the region is protected by the Big Sur Local Coastal Program which preserves the region as open space, a small residential community, and agricultural ranching. Approved in 1981, it is one of the most restrictive local use programs in the state, and is widely regarded as one of the most restrictive documents of its kind anywhere. The program protects viewsheds from the highway and many vantage points, about 60% of the coastal region is owned by a government or private agency that does not allow any development. The majority of the region is part of the Los Padres National Forest. When the region was first settled by European immigrants in 1853, the region remained one of the most isolated areas of California and the United States until, after 18 years of construction, the Carmel-San Simeon Highway was completed in 1937.
The interior region is uninhabited, while the coast remains relatively isolated and sparsely populated with about 1,000 year-round residents and relatively few visitor accommodations. The original Spanish-language name for the mountainous terrain south of Monterey, the capital of Alta California, was el país grande del sur meaning. It was Anglicized by English-speaking settlers as Big Sur, Big Sur is not an incorporated town, but an area without formal boundaries on the Central Coast of California. The boundaries of the region have expanded north and south over time. Members of the Harlen family who homesteaded the Lucia region 9 miles south of Slates Hot Springs, prior to the construction of Highway 1, the residents on the south coast had little contact with the residents to the north of them. Later on the border was extended as far north as Malpaso Creek,4.5 miles south of Carmel River. Most current descriptions of the area refer to either Malpaso Creek or the Carmel River in Monterey County as the northern border, the southern border is generally accepted to be well past Lucia at San Carpoforo Creek in San Luis Obispo County.
Visitors sometimes mistakenly believe that Big Sur refers to the community of buildings and services near Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. Author and Big Sur historian Jeff Norman considered Big Sur to extend inland to include the watersheds that drain into the Pacific Ocean, the region is relatively difficult to access. Prior to 1937 when the coast highway was completed, the way to travel the coast was a horse and wagon road. The Old Coast Road was expanded south to the Post Ranch near Sycamore Canyon, the southern portion is known as the Coast Ridge Road