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Views From the Road: Devil’s Slide and Mussel Rock

I recently returned from a two-week vacation to the West Coast and thereabouts. It was a busy but fun vacation, visiting friends and familiar places, making new friends and having new experiences. It was one of those vacations you didn’t want to end, but you knew it had to because: (1) you have a job you have to go back to (and that job finances your vacations) and (2) you don’t have the stamina you used to have. Oh and let’s not forget (3) your furry balls-and-chain, your cats who tend to puke over everything whenever you’re absent for more than a couple of days.

One of the first spots we visited when we arrived at San Francisco was Devil’s Slide in San Mateo County. Besides the dramatic coastline, Devil’s Slide has an interesting landmark: a World War II bunker that looks as though it’s about ready to topple into the ocean. The bunker is privately owned and, yes, there’s a fence warning of danger and trespassing on the site. But when we visited, people were  literally crawling over the ruin, graffiti artists had had their way with it, and we obviously got up close and personal … but not too personal. I didn’t want this to be my last vacation.

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You can find more information on the bunker here:

For those who like their waves live, here’s a short video. I actually took a lot of videos on this trip, finding them to be a more satisfying way to remember my experiences than gazing at a stationary image.

Next we checked out Mussel Rock. My husband had been reading Assembling California by John McPhee and this is how he begins the book (pp. 3-5):

“Mussel Rock is a horse. As any geologist will tell you, a horse is a displaced rock mass that has been caught between the walls of a fault. This one appears to have got away … green seas slammed against it and turned white. It was not a small rock. It was like a three-story building, standing in the Pacific, with brown pelicans on the roof … after a five hundred-mile northwesterly drift through southern and central California, this was where the San Andreas Fault intersected the sea.

“[…] there is granite under the sea off Mussel Rock that is evidently from the southern Sierra Nevada, has travelled three hundred miles along the San Andreas system, and continues to move northwest. As evidence of the motion of the plates, that granite will do.”

I don’t have any pictures of the “rock” itself, probably too distracted by this sight:

Looks like fun, but you’ll never catch me gliding. I’d probably puke all over the rocks.

Stay tuned for more fun and frivolity!

Categories: Travel

Tagged as:

Marie A Bailey

Writer, blogger, knitter, cat lover, and introvert.

10 replies

  1. What beautiful photos of beautiful country, Marie. I’m so glad you got to enjoy it. I would love to glide. I won’t because I am so nervous about my foot getting banged (and therefore ruined permanently), but gosh, it looks like FUN even with my fear of heights haha! The sound of the waves is so mesmerizing. I could so live at a raw and rough beach. The gardener NEVER. I hope you get your rest and your strength back quickly!

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