Sun 30 Dec 2012
Welcome back for another year. The management of this blog takes great pleasure in announcing that 2013 is being brought to you through arrangements made by SparselySageAndTimely.com. Portions of this year have been prerecorded. Any resemblance between persons living and dead would be ghastly.
Last week’s rainstorms here may have made shopping trips less attractive to residents who had waited until the last minute to buy Christmas presents, but in another vein, so to speak, the rains also brought forth a seldom-seen beauty.
Point Reyes Station received more than 10 inches of rain in December, and outside Mitchell cabin, the downhill entrances to gopher tunnels turned into artesian springs.
Thirteen Turns on Highway 1 north of Dogtown.
The State Highway Commission’s engineering staff half a century ago proposed straightening Highway 1 between Olema and Highway 101 at Richardson Bay. For awhile, West Marin residents were divided over the proposal.
Many residents worried that the character of West Marin would change if it were connected to East Marin and San Francisco by a high-speed highway. On the other hand, many members of the business community reasoned they would get more customers if West Marin were accessible to more people.
To demonstrate the need for a straighter and presumably safer highway, two men, Frank Myer and Lee Sefton, 52 years ago this January counted all the curves on Highway 1 between Point Reyes Station and Highway 101. As was reported at the time in The Baywood Press (the original name of The Point Reyes Light), there are 520 curves in that 30-mile stretch, and “33 of these are blind, sharp curves.”
Kite flying outside Mitchell cabin on Dec. 30.
Here is the Highway 1 survey carried out by Myer and Sefton, whom the newspaper referred to as a “citizens curve-counting committee”:
Point Reyes Station to Olema — 2 miles, 21 curves. Olema to Bolinas — 10 miles, 115 curves. Bolinas to Stinson Beach — 5 miles, 81 curves. Stinson Beach to Muir Beach — 6 miles, 166 curves. Muir Beach to Tam Junction — 6 miles, 132 curves. Tam Junction to Highway 101 — 1 mile, 5 carves.
This abundance of curves prompted a sardonic comment from Baywood Press publisher Don DeWolfe: “Makes us wonder what the motive is behind opposition to the improvement of this wonderful road.”
Despite its support from members of the business community, such as Myer, Sefton, and DeWolfe, most West Marin residents — and finally the Marin County Board of Supervisors — came to oppose straightening Highway 1, and the state abandoned the proposal. In retrospect, most of us are glad it did.
Let me now close by wishing my English-speaking friends and relatives: Happy New Year! And my Spanish-speaking friends and relatives: ¡Prospero año nuevo!