“Coastland” by Galen Wolf (Part VI) 1885 (Conclusion)


“The pier at Amesport is one thousands feet long. Here at the double warehouse Wm. Mullen greets you, the loads are weighed. The low cars roll slowly down the grade of the wharf. A steady horse immune to the scare of breaking waves beneath, follows the cart to draw it back.

“Other wagons come from the north. From the ranch of Guerrero, at the foot of Pedro Mountain. The Burkes come in. Deany, Draffen, Dennison, John Kyne, Murphy. There will be a load for the little steam schooner rolling at her anchor fifty feet beyond the pier.

“The donkey engine clanks. The slings lift high. Your potatoes appear on the deck of the schooner. The men work fast, to clear the way for the waiting boats.

“You shake hands with John Mullen, with Ring and Casey.


“It is too late for the stage. You walk along the cliffs south of town to pass the afternoon.

“Godetia and wile aster and clean shining strawberrries garden the banks. A rich, drowsy smell comes from the new mown hay, and it is spiced with tarweed. You breathe deeply.

“The beaches far below are swept clean as carpets. Gulls float by. At sea the murres are flying in an endless phalanx from south to north. This will go on all day.

“In the bay a whale breaks the surface. The cry of sea lions comes from the Sail Rock of Pillar Point.

“Over the sky a silver veil has crept. The hay fields are a dusty gold, and the half seen hills a soft and smoky blue. The sea breaks with a hollow sound and the sea birds scream.

“To the west a grey shape passes. It is no doubt the steam schooner. But it could be anything. The ghost of a ship that had lost its way in the fog and wrecked. Now its whistle blows, a voice hoarse and unbelievably wild.

“In the hay field a horseman is riding. No particular somebody. But in the glorifying light, and in your wish, it is Pablo Vasquez on the golden pony.


(Pablo Vasquez and his golden horse).

“For a spell has been about you since first you glimpsed the coach in San Mateo. The magic reaches you now with great force. There is no distinction of time remaining. Either of the day or of the year. The gentleness of the land has overcome you. Here is the long sleep. The long dream.

“You will carry some of this back to the busy city streets. You will carry a bit of it all your life. For the dream is fadeless, the heritage of those who know and love this land.”

Note: “Coastland 1885” by Galen Wolf was published to commemorate the 90th anniversary of Levy Bros, founded in Half Moon Bay in 1872.