Deetjen's buys off-road vehicle so
employees stranded on Partington Ridge can get to
Published: January 18, 2013
GETTING TO work each day is no small
challenge for those who live on Big Sur’s Partington Ridge,
which was transformed into an island Dec. 24, 2012, when its
access road was buried by a massive rock slide.
But the commute for three residents who work at Deetjen’s Big
Sur Inn has been eased by the generosity of their employer,
which recently purchased an $11,000 Polaris all-terrain vehicle.
Thanks to the “quad,” residents can now save valuable time and
energy as they negotiate a network of steep, rugged and unpaved
private roads that lead on and off the ridge.
Deetjen’s general manager Torrey Waag decided to buy the
vehicle shortly after seeing the magnitude of the slide and
realizing how long it would take to repair — and how difficult
it would be for the employees to get to work on foot.
After first looking at a used vehicle and determining that
“people really abuse their quads,” Waag decided it made more
sense to get a new one. “My idea was that if we bought this, and
we only used it for four months before we resold it, it would
still be a cheap investment,” he reasoned.
The quad has also come in handy at the inn, where it’s been
used to carry everything from laundry to firewood.
For the three ridge residents who work at Deetjen’s — chef
Domingo Santamaria, human resources manager Linda Rowland-Jones
and facilities manager Martin “Hubbs” Hubback — the quad has
been a godsend.
“It makes a huge difference,” Rowland-Jones said. “It’s a good
walk up the ridge [two or three miles uphill], but you don’t
want to be carrying your groceries.
Also, we’re able to use the quad to help others on the ridge.”
On her blog (http://survision-bigsur.blogspot.com)
Rowland-Jones is keeping the outside world informed about life
on “Partington Island.”
“Partington Island may become a real ‘eco-resort,’ where we
pack everything in and out on foot or on 4-wheel drive quad
vehicles,” Rowland-Jones wrote this week. “As a friend of
mine coined it, we could become ‘Quadlandia’ and remain tranquil
in the stillness of nature. Everything is somehow smaller and
closer as we reach out to our neighbors to arrange rides, share
supplies and drink wine together. We solve each problem the lack
of road creates step by step, and build consensus over the best
course of action for rebuilding it.”
The main road to Partington Ridge remains impassable and could
take several months to repair. An estimated 40 people — about
half over 60 — are currently living on the ridge.