Landslides and a bridge collapse unleashed by fierce winter storms have kept much of Big Sur at a standstill.
Along the 25-mile stretch between the destroyed span at Pfeiffer Canyon to the north and a cascade of debris at Paul’s Slide, near Lucia, just a few business have stayed open to serve locals and visitors who hike in or arrive by helicopter.
But a small reprieve is expected any day. Transportation officials said Paul’s Slide was just about ready to fully reopen. That means motorists will be to get to the enclave using Nacimiento-Fergusson Road, a remote east-west route that cuts across the Santa Lucia Range.
Yet the timing on a return to normalcy remains uncertain.
Crews continue to work on two other painful blockages along Highway 1: the collapsed Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and a major slide at Mud Creek roughly 35 miles to the south.
Officials said a new span would be in place by the end of September, resuming easy access for visitors from points north.
The Mud Creek timeline is less clear. The May 20 landslide was so large that it reshaped the coastline. Jim Shivers, a spokesman for Caltrans, said that even a ballpark estimate for reopening was impossible.
“It’s not as simple as pushing the debris over the side into the ocean. There are environmental regulations we have to adhere to,” he said. “At this point we don’t know what we plan to do.”
In the meantime, with summer upon us, the few visitors have been seeing a rare crowd-free version of Big Sur.
Anthony Albert, from Oakland, lugged his bike along a half-mile hiking trail that circumvents the downed Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge and cycled all the way to Paul’s Slide and back.
In roughly eight hours of riding, he said, he encountered maybe 10 people.
“It was surreal,” said Mr. Albert, 27. “It felt like I was in the afterlife, like reliving a past experience with nobody around.”
He shared some of his photos with us:
(Please note: We regularly highlight articles on news sites that have limited access for nonsubscribers.)
• If Democrats want to retake the House, they need to win in places like Southern California. [The New York Times]
• Representative Darrell Issa, a San Diego area Republican, is suddenly sounding like a moderate. [Los Angeles Times]
• The two top contenders in the race for California governor have hired advisers with knowledge of each other’s extramarital affairs. [Los Angeles Times]
• The industry for legalized marijuana is facing a federal crackdown under Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has compared cannabis to heroin. [The New York Times]
• A man was sentenced to 16 years in jail in a cat-killing spree that shook a San Jose neighborhood. [The Mercury News]
• Fulfillment centers, led by Amazon, are thriving in Central Valley cities like Tracy, and creating thousands of jobs. [CNBC]
• This tech entrepreneur commutes by plane every day between Burbank and San Francisco. [BBC]
• Venice Beach is one of the nation’s most coveted neighborhoods, but it hasn’t gained a single housing unit in 15 years. [Dow Jones Newswires]
• Maryam Mirzakhani died at 40. The Stanford professor was the only woman to win what is described as the Nobel Prize of math. [The New York Times]
• Martin Landau, the tall, intense, sometimes mischievously sinister actor, died at 89. [The New York Times]
• Disneyland in Anaheim is planning a “Star Wars”-themed attraction. Here’s what it will look like. [Bloomberg]
• You can now text your feelings to a San Francisco museum, and it will reply with a matching artwork. Emoji work, too. [The New York Times]
• Video: A woman taking a selfie set off a domino effect of tumbling art at a Los Angeles gallery. Damage estimate: roughly $200,000. [The New York Times]
Coming Up This Week
• The California Mid-State Fair begins on Wednesday in Paso Robles and runs for nearly two weeks.
• O.J. Simpson is up for parole on Thursday. He’s been in a Nevada prison for his role in a 2008 kidnapping and robbery.
• Comic-Con International opens on Thursday in San Diego. HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will be front and center.
• On Sunday, more than 27,000 runners are expected at the San Francisco Marathon.
And Finally …
San Diego held its Pride parade over the weekend, drawing large crowds that organizers pegged at more than 200,000.
The event, first held in 1974, was organized under the theme “Allied in Action, United for Justice.”
It drew a broad array of supporters, among them interfaith leaders, a contingent of uniformed military personnel and the city’s Republican mayor, Kevin Faulconer, who tweeted a photo of himself in front of a banner supporting marriage rights.
Chloe Janda, a parade spokeswoman, said there were scattered counter-protests, but none that amounted to disruption. “I think everyone had a good time,” she said.
Some scenes from the celebration on Saturday:
Want to submit a photo for possible publication? You can do it here.
California Today goes live at 6 a.m. Pacific time weekdays. Tell us what you want to see: CAtoday@nytimes.com.
The California Today columnist, Mike McPhate, is a third-generation Californian — born outside Sacramento and raised in San Juan Capistrano. He lives in Los Osos. Follow him on Twitter.
California Today is edited by Julie Bloom, who grew up in Los Angeles and graduated from U.C. Berkeley.