2013 President's Brunch

January 27, 2013

Our annual Presidents Brunch/Mystery Tour began at the Pacific Road and Gun Club, where we met for a running board breakfast of juice, pastries and coffee. Then our caravan proceeded to Skyline Boulevard, and we journeyed south onto the Cabrillo Highway, better known as Highway 1. Suddenly we were viewing the coast and the unsurpassed scenic beauty as we proceeded south on Highway 1 past Pacifica and south towards Montara. Just south of Pacifica we drove through the Devil’s Slide region, a steep, unstable geological formation. (This section of road has a long history of closure due to rock slides and land slippage. One of the longest road closures happened in 1995. It lasted 158 days, and cost almost $3 million to repair.) Here we observed the north portals of the Devil’s Slide Tunnels Project, two inland tunnels which when completed later this year will bypass Devil’s Slide, and according to CalTrans will provide a safe, dependable highway between Pacifica and Montara. We continued along the old highway as it hugs the cliffs past the south portals of the Tunnel Project. Approximately one-quarter mile south of the tunnel we observed the site of a new Operations and Maintenance facility. An earthen embankment and vegetation-covered roof helps the facility blend with natural surroundings and remain hidden from public view. Here we stopped and turned around, and then traveled back north along the Devil’s Slide portion of Highway 1 for the last time. Once the new tunnels open later this year the old roadway will be forever closed to vehicular traffic, and will then become a pathways for hikers, and bicyclists.

The project itself consists of two tunnels beneath San Pedro Mountain, each 30-feet wide and 4,200-feet long. At the northern end, a new 1,000-feet bridge spans the valley at Shamrock Ranch. On our way back we stopped here at the entrance to the new bridge and viewed the valley at Shamrock Ranch as well as the north portals to the new tunnels.

Then it was off to the Harding Park Clubhouse, where we gathered for a midday meal. After lunch we enjoyed a cake filled with fresh strawberries from Mazzetti’s Bakery in Pacifica and thanked our perennial club president Barry Kinney for his ongoing efforts and commitment to sustain our San Francisco Bay Area Chapter well into the future.

Photos by Scott Williams