The End of the Slide?

Oh nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

For hours last night, in the deep of the dark, I listened to the wind. It was hard to sleep.

We have a family of Eucalyptus trees in the center of the street, and, thank goodness, they caught the blows from the rain-less storm.

The last time Devil’s Slide was closed (1990s), every morning I looked out of my window and saw the endless line of commuters feeding into Highway 1 for the tedious ride to 92, the only other road out of here.

Bring all your electronic toys with you as you struggle to get to work.

P.S. We have a friend, we call him “Foley”, and he lives “over the hill”. He’s a big old Irish guy–he was a pilot for United (before that, TWA)–his father was a dentist in San Mateo. Every time there’s a Coastside car accident or road closing, he calls to give us the “good” news. But we haven’t heard from this morning– maybe this time the news (that the Slide may be closed forever) is so bad that he’s sparing us. Do you think? Today, got the “indefinitely closed alert” from

More of San Gregorio Farms in the 1970s…

…and its main crop, the agricultural earthworm

The bins were filled with the hybrid earthworms (and soil, of course)

Photos: Below: Pouring cement for a new floor in one of the farm’s barns.

Center: Beautiful view of the San Gregorio Ranch in the 1970s, today part of POST (Peninsula Open Space Trust).

Bottom: Walking along peaceful Stage Road:

Impressions of the Coastside: 1960 & 1980

Ed Bauer, the former editor/publisher of the Half Moon Bay Review arrived on the Coastside in 1960. Twenty years later he appeared in my documentary, “The Mystery of Half Moon Bayâ€?.

Here are two sets of Ed Bauer’s observatons that remain true about this special place we all call home.

Ed Bauer describes the Coatside when he arrived in 1960.

“When I came here there was no dental office except one man who was over 87- years-old—and he came over on Saturday afternoon from 2 to 4.

“An excellent man, Dr. Sissom, who had an office in San Mateo, and he liked to come to Half Moon Bay on Saturday afternoons and he would attend to your teeth.

“…When I came here in 1960, there was one lawyer who came over here from Redwood City—the late Richard Bell—and he came over on Thursday.

“That was the lawyers day—and now [1981] I would say we have at least six lawyers in the area who are active, very active.â€?

He didn’t comment on how many dentists there were in 1980, but I suspect there were fewer than there were lawyers!

Ed Bauer gives an example of the type of person arriving on the Coastside circa 1980.

“..We had a man who had an excellent [law] practice in a larger city in New England. And he just wanted to leave the metropolitan area and live in a small community.

“…and the surroundings of Half Moon Bay are somewhat, along the coast itself, resemble New England to a slight extent…

“He likes to have a rural setting. He likes the outdoors. He doesn’t care to work in a downtown corporate suite.

“He’s his own man….â€?

Photo: Ed Bauer with daughter, Ann.

photos by Jerry Koontz

From Pebble Beach Pebble to Pebble Beach Pendant

Mrs. Caroline Dias, just the sweetest lady who lived in Pescadero (she passed away some time ago), grew up in the village, married and lived across the street from the library where she worked. Like many Pebble Beach-goers before her, she found a favorite pebble, had it polished and turned into a pretty pendant that hung from this gold chain.

The aunt of Ron Duarte, Mrs. Dias became one of the sources for my book, “The Coburn Mystery”. She was familiar with the characters in the 20 th century part of the book.

Oops–almost forgot, you can’t pick the pebbles anymore.

Visit the Coastside After WWII in 1946: Part II

“Down the Ocean Shore”, an a tour by automobile from the pamphlet, “The Chapter in Your Life Entitled San Francisco”, published in 1946 after WWIIHalfby Californians, Inc. The trip began near Pacifica, and the mileage figures begin there; see Part I back a few posts.

Half Moon Bay, 20.6 m is farm village at northern end of the blue bay bordered by a long white beach. Back from bay are small farms with whitewashed barns, weather-beaten farmhouses, sheltered from wind by lines of dark cypress trees. The Portola expedition pitched camp near mouth of Pilarcitos Creek, northern edge of town, on rainy night Oct. 28, spent wet, miserable weekend.

Purisima, 24. 8 m., once lively town on Rancho Canada de Verde y Arroyo de la Purisima, is deserted and ghostly now. From Viewpoint, 28.9m, tawny bluffs bordeered by surf stretch S.

Next comes San Gregorio Valley, 32.4m, with hidden farm hamlet reminiscent of early Spanish rancho days, where suave hills sweep up to Sierra Morena crest.

Pescadero (fishing place), 39.8m, small settlement, its prim white buildings having look of New England village, got its name from Pescadero Creek. This trout stream and its lagoon are still good fishing places.

At 40.8m is junction with dirt road; R. here 2m to Pebble Beach, famous for polished stones–small agates, jaspers, opals, moonstones, waterdrops (pebbles with drops of water in their centers).

Next comes Pigeon Point Lighthouse, 46.1m, overlooking rocky coast on which Boston clipper “Carrier Pigeon” was wrecked in 1853.

Punta del Ano Nuevo (New Year’s Point), 53.8m, forms southwestern tip of Peninsula. Was first important headland sighted Jan. 3, 1602 by Sebastian Vizcaino’s crew when they sailed up coast from Monterey. Here pine-forested mountainsides slop steeply to the sea, crowding highway to edge of narrow beach. (Note: experienced Peninsula travelers say that views are even more spectacular if the route is taken driving N. from Punta del Ano Nuevo toward San Francisco).

Dining & Dancing

Nerli’s Place

Moss Beach
Frank Torres

Half Moon Bay
Dominic’s Place
Red’s Place

Duartes, San Gregorio St.

Photos: Beginning at top: Main Street, HMB, at left, location of Dominics; Peterson & Alsford Store, San Gregorio; Pebble Beach w/hotel on bluffs, south of Pescadero; Pigeon Point lighthouse; Frank’s, Moss Beach; Bar inside Duartes, Pescadero.
credits: San Mateo County History Museum, R.I. Guy Smith
Note: The photos didn’t appear in the original pamphlet.