With the grand opening of the Tom Lantos Tunnels Monday, March 25, 2013, the days of washed out highways, prolonged closures, construction work, and stranded communities will finally be behind us. But with this exciting new moment in history, comes some longing for the past.
My husband has been driving Devil’s Slide on his commute to work ever since we first moved to the Coast from San Francisco 10 years ago. In that time, he’s learned to love that stretch of Highway 1, bold to the point of being reckless, but always reminding you that you are alive. It’s his favorite part of his commute for its magnificent views, history, and hairpin turns that he would prefer to experience on a motorcycle, I’m sure.
But the other day he reminded me of what he will miss the most. It's seeing that lone tree, of all things, growing out of the rocky cliffs on the west side of the highway that years ago he pointed out to my daughter and I when we were driving by. Ever since then, when we drive past that tree, one of us has to comment on it. We’ve seen it grow; we’ve seen it in the moonlight and in the rain and the fog. He’s even taken multiple pictures of it over the years, pulling over like the crazy man he is to photograph it or driving by snapping a few out the car window. I cringe every time I think of him doing this, considering this treacherous stretch of highway, but now that we have these wonderful photographs to reminisce over, it doesn’t seem all so bad.
Still, whenever we are heading south, the tree reminds my kids we are almost home. Whenever we are heading north, the tree signifies the end of our island that we know as Half Moon Bay and indicates that we are about to enter another world that is not the Coast. I guess I'm going to miss seeing that tree, too. Now we will have to find something else to evoke these emotions since this part of the highway will be closed to traffic forever. We will only be lucky enough to see this tree again when that area is opened up as a park.
So what will you miss about Devil’s Slide if, anything? I don’t think anyone will miss the car accidents, the cliff rescues, the fatalities. But here’s your chance to wallow in some nostalgia about the good old days — and bad old days — of Devil’s Slide.
Share your Devil’s Slide stories for better or worse. What will you miss? What won’t you miss? Did you ever walk or ride your bike over that stretch of highway? Tell us about it. Or were you ever stuck in traffic there or worse an accident? Were you part of the group who made the tunnels possible? This is your opportunity to go over every Devil’s Slide rut and pothole from memory lane.
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