June 25, 2016

Along the Relinquished Coast

For no particularly sound reason roadmakers guessed that setting roads meandering on the existing seaside cliffs along the coast between Santa Cruz and San Francisco was an eminently doable task, and set out constructing them with the confidence (emboldened all along the West Coast of America by the example of the Panama Canal) that any conceivable project could be accomplished with the proper application of enough concrete, a belief leading, understandably, to more than a century of collapsed roadways on the coast from Big Sur to the Golden Gate.
These coastal cliffs aren't finalized. Geologically, they are composed of the compressed muck of an earlier seafloor, and, exposed to the unrelenting seasonable rains of a climate literally bordering on a rainforest, they are distinctly impermanent.
East Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz memorializes this untoward confidence. Plates of concrete, stubs of what was once roadway balance on the cliffs above Seacliff State Beach.

Looking Southeast across Monterey Bay, a plate of concrete roadbed balanced on an eroding bluff  in the foreground

Objectifying The Impassible

In the distance, a fence of the same sort as that cutting across the foreground. Beyond that fence Eastcliff Drive resumes

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